Fisheries Communication and Extension

The management of fisheries benefits from good communication in between scientists, managers, fishers and the general public. However, the level of understanding of conflictive issues largely depends on the levels of effective interaction among the different stakeholders.

The prevalent barriers to good communication, and therefore collaboration, included the lack of effective scientific information transfer tools from scientists to fishers and managers, a fear from fishers that management actions will further limit fishing opportunities, pre-existing antagonism between commercial and other fisheries, and fishers' suspicion of science and authority.

As is paramount to improve collaboration and participatory processes that help lead to robust, well-accepted management actions. I have been working in the following areas to overcome these issues:

Publications: I'm working with my friend Raul from Freshfish (Design & Branding) and Vibeke (publications/web) aiming to produce simple, well illustrated fisheries extension materials that facilitate the conveying of sometimes difficult concepts to the right level for the target audience.

Conflict resolution: Difficult conversations are integral to fisheries work, nevertheless this vital area that has not been sufficiently covered by the usual training of inspectors, observers, and managers. Working with my wife Vibeke (a certified mediator) we include a specific 1 day workshop specially designed for overcoming personal conflict for fisheries staff.

Video Scripts: I been involved in the writing of scripts for videos for small scale fisherman in Africa and in Indonesia aimed to capacity building in post harvest practices and fisheries regulations .

Hygiene in fish handling is the key for a better life: this participatory video acted by the fishermen of Mbita (Lake Victoria) makes it clear by showing the positive impact it has on the fisher folks income, nutrition and health!