The integration of social science information into Great Lakes fishery management: Opportunities and challenges
Fishery management is increasingly moving toward management that accounts for environmental and social dimensions. Such an approach requires the integration of natural and social science information into planning and decision-making processes. The actual integration of social science information, however, remains limited in many policy and decision-making processes within fisheries. Our study provides insights into factors that influence the intention to use social science information among fishery managers and the actual integration of such information into fishery management. Based on interviews with fishery managers in the Great Lakes, we find that the lack of social science expertise in fishery management agencies leads to multiple negative beliefs and attitudes, and subsequently a low intention to use social science information in decision-making processes. At the same time, the paper finds that more expertise in decision-making tools and basing social science on equal footing with natural sciences within fishery management institutions appears critical to advance the actual integration of social science information in fishery management.