Ecology and Society Ecology and Society
E&S Home > Vol. 19, Iss. 4 > Art. 52 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Ecologically sustainable but unjust? Negotiating equity and authority in common-pool marine resource management

Sarah C Klain, University of British Columbia
Rachelle Beveridge, University of Victoria
Nathan J Bennett, Univeristy of British Columbia; Visiting Research Fellow at University of Victoria

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07123-190452

Full Text: HTML   
Download Citation


Abstract

Under appropriate conditions, community-based fisheries management can support sound resource stewardship, with positive social and environmental outcomes. Evaluating indigenous peoples’ involvement in commercial sea cucumber and geoduck fisheries on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada, we found that the current social-ecological system configuration is relatively ecologically sustainable according to stock assessments. However, the current system also results in perceived inequities in decision-making processes, harvesting allocations, and socioeconomic benefits. As a result, local coastal resource managers envision a transformation of sea cucumber and geoduck fisheries governance and management institutions. We assessed the potential robustness of the proposed institutions using Elinor Ostrom’s common-pool resource design principles. Grounded in the region’s legal, political, and historical context, our analysis suggests that greater local involvement in these invertebrate fisheries and their management could provide more benefits to local communities than the status quo while maintaining an ecologically sustainable resource. Our research highlights the importance of explicitly addressing historical context and equity considerations in social-ecological system analyses and when renegotiating the institutions governing common-pool resources.

Key words

benthic fisheries; common-pool resources; CPR design principles; environmental governance; indigenous or aboriginal peoples; resource management; small-scale fisheries; social-ecological system framework

Copyright © 2014 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Top
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087