Multi-stakeholder perspectives on the use and influence of “grey” scientific information in fisheries management.

Soomai, S.S., Wells, P.G., & MacDonald, B.H. (2011). Multi-stakeholder perspectives on the use and influence of “grey” scientific information in fisheries management. Marine Policy, 35(1), 50-62. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2010.07.006


Scientific information on the shrimp and groundfish resources of the Brazil-Guianas Continental Shelf has been produced by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in collaboration with the national governments exploiting the resources, since the early 1970s. In spite of the availability of such information, largely as grey literature, there is limited evidence as to the extent it is being used in fisheries management in Trinidad and Tobago. The flow of information between multiple stakeholders ─ fishing industry, scientists, fisheries managers, policy makers and fisheries advisory bodies ─ was studied based on responses to a survey of key individuals to document each of their roles in the creation, distribution, and use of fisheries information. Content analysis of responses was completed to determine the opportunities and barriers for using scientific information in fisheries management.

Salience, credibility, and legitimacy of the information were shadowed by barriers that decreased these attributes. Knowledge about the fishery has increased and technical capabilities have been strengthened through research. At the same time, advances in digital technology have made information more accessible. Yet, the high technical content of fisheries information reduced its usefulness to some stakeholders and formal systems do not exist for distributing or measuring the use and influence of such information in decision making. Communication strategies to promote awareness of the scientific information and aligning scientific information with fisheries policy could increase its use and influence. Institutional support for partnerships and education to encourage stakeholder involvement could also facilitate increased influence of scientific information.

Soomai et al 2011(author’s version)_0