Social-ecological traps in reef fisheries

Cinner, J.E. (2011) Social-ecological traps in reef fisheries. Global Environmental Change, 21 (3). pp. 835-839.

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[Extract] There is a long history of research on social traps, which are situations where individuals or even whole societies "get started in some direction or some set of relationships that later prove to be unpleasant or lethal and that they see no easy way to back out or to avoid" (Platt, 1973, p. 641). Although the idea of social traps are prevalent in debates about the governance of natural resources (e.g. [Hardin, 1968] and [Costanza, 1987]), they have rarely been discussed using the resilience lens of linked social-ecological systems, which emphasizes feedbacks between social and ecological domains and the potential for phase shifts to alternative, less socially desirable, stable states (e.g. Hughes, 1994). Here, I discuss the idea of 'social-ecological traps' (sensu Steneck, 2009), which refer to situations when feedbacks between social and ecological systems lead toward an undesirable state that may be difficult or impossible to reverse. I synthesize recent research conducted on coral reef social-ecological systems in east Africa as a focal context for this discussion.

Item ID: 17999
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9495
Keywords: social-ecological system; social traps; human–environment; artisanal fishery; coral reef
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2011 01:38
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920413 Social Structure and Health @ 50%
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