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Integrating human and ecological dimensions: the importance of stakeholders' perceptions and participation on the performance of fisheries co-management in Chile


Franco-Melendez, M and Tam, J and Van Putten, I and Cubillos, LA, Integrating human and ecological dimensions: the importance of stakeholders' perceptions and participation on the performance of fisheries co-management in Chile, PLoS ONE, 16, (8 August) Article e0254727. ISSN 1932-6203 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

© 2021 Franco-Meléndez et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0254727


Increasing attention is paid to the interdependence between the ecological and human dimensions to improve the management of natural resources. Understanding how artisanal fishers see and use the common-pool resources in a co-management system may hold the clue to establishing effective coastal fisheries policies or strengthening existing ones. A more comprehensive planning of the system will also have a bearing on how to reduce conflicts and strengthen social networks. We surveyed artisanal fishers and decision-makers to determine their perceptions about the Management and Exploitation Areas of Benthic Resources (known as MEABR) in Chile's Biobio region. We performed a field study from November 2018 to August 2019, applying a set of questionnaires to determine the ecological and human attributes that contribute to MEABR outcomes, and then constructed composite scores for those attributes according to a multidimensional scaling technique ("Rapfish"). We find that fishers have different perspectives: surprisingly, women highlighted that the institutional dimension was the most influential on MEABR performance, whereas men highlighted the ecological and economic outcomes. The decision-makers' role in the MEABR system was considered adequate, but communication and socialization of regulations were irregular. Results also showed that fishers expressed dissatisfaction with illegal fishing practices (poaching), productivity, profits, and conflicts inside and outside the MEABRs. Our study allowed us to better understand how the MEABR has developed in the region. We recommend strengthening local management strategies with particular attention paid to networking among stakeholders, including gender inclusive relations BFB hips.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences
UTAS Author:Van Putten, I (Dr Ingrid Van Putten)
ID Code:152002
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2022-08-09
Last Modified:2022-09-01
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