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Exploring Social Capital in Chile’s Coastal Benthic Comanagement System Using a Network Approach

Andrés Marín, Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Ecología y Biodiversidad and Departamento de Ecología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden; Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Canada
Stefan Gelcich, Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Ecología y Biodiversidad and Departamento de Ecología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Laboratorio Internacional en Cambio Global (CSIC-PUC), Esporles, Spain
Juan C. Castilla, Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Ecología y Biodiversidad and Departamento de Ecología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Laboratorio Internacional en Cambio Global (CSIC-PUC), Esporles, Spain
Fikret Berkes, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Canada

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-04562-170113

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Abstract

Comanagement success relies on the proper administration of resources and on the capacity of users to establish and maintain positive social relationships with multiple actors. We assessed multifunctional relationships of small-scale artisanal fisher organizations engaged in a coastal benthic resources comanagement system in Chile to explore bridging and linking social capital, using an egocentric network approach. The formal leaders of 38 small-scale fisher organizations were surveyed to investigate (1) similarities and differences in social capital among fisher organizations and regions, and (2) possible effects of social capital levels on comanagement performance. Results show that the best performing fisher organizations are those with higher levels of linking and bridging social capital. Positive and strong correlations exist between linking social capital levels and comanagement performance variables. Importantly, fisher organizations considered to manage resources successfully consistently presented high levels of linking social capital, irrespective of variability in bridging social capital. Using egocentric networks allows understanding actors’ differences in the comanagement social structure, thus providing critical insights for improving comanagement systems.

Key words

artisanal fisheries; benthic resources; bridging social capital; Chile; coastal fisheries; comanagement; egocentric; human dimensions; linking social capital; territorial use rights
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087