Soomai, S. (2009). Information and Influence in Fisheries Management: A Preliminary Study of the Shrimp and Groundfish Resources in the Brazil-Guianas Continental Shelf. (Unpublished MMM graduate project). 84p. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University.
Scientific information on the shrimp and groundfish resources of the Brazil-Guianas Continental Shelf has been produced over the years by intergovernmental advisory bodies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) in collaboration with the national fisheries management agencies. In spite of the availability of information, there is limited evidence that it is being used in management.
The study examines scientific information use and its influence in managing the shrimp and groundfish fishery to determine the related barriers and opportunities for using information. A survey questionnaire was administered to five key players: fishing industry, scientists, fisheries managers, policy makers, and fisheries advisory bodies, to document the role of each stakeholder in the creation and distribution of scientific information, primarily for Trinidad and Tobago. The study used content analysis of survey responses and publications to gain insights into the reasons for the infrequent uptake of management advice provided by the FAO and the CRFM.
Publications have increased the knowledge base and strengthened technical capabilities. Advances in digital technology have made information more accessible to users. Assessments were largely driven by local scientists and the FAO and CRFM while other stakeholder groups were not fully engaged. The high technical content of information affected its usefulness to some stakeholders. There was no formal system for measuring the use and influence of information in decision making. More efficient communication strategies and streamlining scientific information with policy may increase the use and influence of information. Partnerships and education to encourage stakeholder involvement can facilitate the increased influence of information.