Learning Is an Ongoing Experience: What Fishers Have Taught Us during Our Careers
Vahdet Ünal and Huriye Göncüoðlu
It was 1994 when I (VÜ) first started my career in fisheries. I had been studying agricultural economics, but love of the sea caused me to change my discipline. At first, I was like a fish out of water, confused and helpless, and spent days and nights on board different types of Mediterranean fishing vessels. My impressions of the fishers were that they thought they knew all about the sea and fish. Those simple solutions to the problems they talked endlessly about, they knew them better than anyone else.
There were two sentences I heard constantly: “Those who manage the fisheries don’t know anything about it,” and “University is no use to us.” It was actually the fishers who helped me choose my field of study: fisheries management. Since the fishers thought those managing fish did not know anything about it, I was interested in learning how fisheries should be managed. How were fisheries managed in developed countries?