Gearing up for Improved Collaboration: The Potentials and Limits of Cooperative Research for Incorporating Fisherman’s Knowledge
Bonnie J. Mccay, Teresa R. Johnson, Kevin St. Martin, and Doug Wilson
Cooperative research provides a mechanism to renew trust and good faith in the management process, and contributes a sound methodological tool. In addition, it recognizes the expertise of different stakeholders. Cooperative research efforts also open the research process to greater scrutiny and increased transparency of the entire research process. Such programs can provide the key to improved relationships among marine stakeholders as well as more effective marine policy that is based on improved research design methodologies and appropriate data collection techniques—in other words, “the best science available.” [Kaplan and McCay 2004]
Is cooperative research (CR) a way that fishermen’s knowledge can be meaningfully integrated with scientific knowledge to improve fisheries science and management? Does CR improve conditions for mutual understanding and trust? Our research suggests that the answer is yes, qualified by the conclusion that it depends on the kind of cooperative research, the kind of knowledge, and the kinds of science and management questions.1 Another condition is who actually participates.