What is “usable” knowledge? Perceived barriers for integrating new knowledge into management of an iconic Canadian fishery
Understanding the perspectives of knowledge users and the demands of their decision-making environment would benefit researchers looking to enhance the utility of the knowledge they generate. Using the Fraser River Pacific salmon fishery as a case study, we investigate the views of 49 government employees and stakeholders regarding the barriers to incorporating new knowledge into fisheries management. Our study uses analysis of qualitative data structured by a knowledge–action framework, which revealed that 90% of respondents perceived the contextual dimension (e.g., institutional structures and norms) as a barrier for incorporating new knowledge, followed by barriers related to the characteristics of knowledge actors (52% of respondents), characteristics of the knowledge (27%), time and timing (27%), knowledge transfer strategies (17%), and relational dimension (8%). The identified barriers have indirect–direct relationship with knowledge producers and appear hierarchical in nature. We note that informal relationships can enable conditions whereby knowledge users can access new knowledge, and knowledge producers can gain insights on users’ needs. We discuss lessons learned from the case, which we believe can be applied more beyond fisheries.
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