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  • Titill er á ensku Local knowledge and perceptions of change in spatial and abundance trends of fish species in the Westfjords of Iceland between 1992 and 2012
  • Meistara
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Non-scientific information (local knowledge) in increasingly utilized together with more typical scientific data to understand the abundance dynamics and stock structure, migration patterns and species behavior variability in fish stock regimes. This thesis investigates local perceived changes in spatial and abundance trends of fish species over the study period 1992-2012, and the sensitivity and adaptability of the fisheries sector of the Westfjords of Iceland concerning these changes.
    Twenty-two qualitative, semi-directive interviews were completed with fishers and individuals working in the Westfjords’ fish processing and selling industry. Data of the annual groundfish survey of the Icelandic Marine Research Institute was used to compare perceived changes of the five most frequently cited species by individual interviewees to spatial and abundance trends obtained from the scientific data.
    The investigation indicates that interviewed individuals working in the fishing industry possessed detailed local knowledge regarding fish species occurrence in the Westfjords on a fine geographical scale. Five out of nine perceived changes seemed generally consistent with the findings of the scientific data; four perceptions at a minimal or marginal level and one perception at a high level. Changes in national fishery regulations and local social conditions were perceived to be of a bigger threat to the fishing industry than changes in the environment. Possible adaptation strategies included an increased focus to niche products, investment in knowledge and gear in order to adapt to potential new commercial species and a shift to different fishing grounds.
    This studies shows that local knowledge is highly complex: data is not standardized in spatial or temporal terms. However, data gathered by interviewing individuals working in the fishing industry combined with scientific data can contribute to the detection of short-term changes and increase the potential for more accepted stock assessments and decision making.

  • Atvest
  • 25.6.2013

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