The rise of the scientific fisherman: Mobilising knowledge and negotiating user rights in the Devon inshore brown crab fishery, UK
This article draws on a process of collaborative research associated with the brown crab fishery in Devon, UK. It charts the mobilisation of knowledge in the struggle over ‘ownership’ and influence in the coastal zone. Using methods from the social and behavioural sciences the article outlines different perspectives on a number of key contestations across the domains of sustainable use and a new conservation agenda ushered in by the introduction of European and UK national marine spatial planning tools for the South Coast of England. Along with their introduction and the ‘opening up’ of marine space, new opportunities emerge for fishers, who, by building alliances with scientists and managers, and by drawing upon the methods and materials of science, are better able to negotiate for their own interests over access and control of marine resources. The paper concludes by outlining the emergence of a new type of scientifically literate fisherman, a ‘political actor with a new crew’, better able to implement collective actions towards the sustainable use of brown crab resources.
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