Overfishing is jeopardizing both ocean ecosystems and the food security of the billion-plus people that depend on seafood as their primary source of protein. Over the past several decades, we have come to understand that the oceans’ bounties are in fact highly sensitive and terminable. People from every corner of the globe have responded by making positive changes from ocean to table.
One of the most effective tools for improving the sustainability of fishing practices has been to foster communication between fishers and fisheries stakeholders. Fisher learning exchanges are peer-to-peer gatherings among fishermen from different villages, countries, and regions and others involved in the fishing industry. Participants freely exchange information, experiences, and lessons learned about fishing in order to expand awareness, knowledge, skills, and networks for the betterment of fisheries resource management and the communities involved.
But how do we know which elements of these exchanges actually lead to changes in conservation behaviors? Drs. Kiki Jenkins and Hoyt Peckham organized a workshop supported by SESYNC that was the first phase in a larger effort on assessing fisher learning exchanges.