Partnerships for a Common Purpose: Cooperative Fisheries Research and Management

Testimonies from Fisheries Managers, Scientists, and Industry: Achievements, Lessons, and Advice

Troy W. Hartley and Alesia N. Read

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569858.ch3

A wide variety of cooperative fisheries research and management initiatives are underway throughout the United States and around the world. What have we learned from these examples, and how can we move the science and practice of cooperative fisheries research and management forward? Testimonies were gathered from participants in successful cooperative fisheries research and management examples worldwide to prepare panelists and audience participants for the fourth Sea Grant-sponsored American Fisheries Society symposium Partnerships for a Common Purpose: Cooperative Fisheries Research and Management.

Thirty-seven cases and key case participants were nominated by the symposium steering committee members. Based upon their knowledge of the field, the steering committee felt these cases were innovative and demonstrated important lessons on how to do cooperative research and management well. See Appendix A for the complete list and short descriptions of the 26 cooperative research and 11 cooperative-management cases, along with a breakdown of geographic distribution and scale of cases and stakeholder groups of the study participants. While a geographically diverse sample was sought, there are more cases from the northeast (35% of sample) and Pacific Northwest/Alaska (22%) than other regions (southeast Atlantic, 11%; Great Lakes, 8%; Canadian maritime, 8%; mid-Atlantic, 5%; non-U.S./non-Canadian, 5%; Gulf of Mexico, 3%; and U.S. nationwide, 3%). This was due in part to the case participants that responded to the solicitation, the geographic composition and case suggestions of the symposium steering committee members, as well as the recent expansion of cooperative research activities in the northeast, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. The cases varied in size, complexity, and scale, ranging from local cases and issues, through regional, state, multistate/provincial, national, to multinational examples.

While some small cooperative projects had very few partners (e.g., one scientist and one or two fishermen on a research project) and focused on a very specific, local question, other research and management cases contained hundreds of formal partners and hundreds more informal or occasional collaborators and volunteers. The breadth of partner types was considerable: