Information access and knowledge exchange in co-managed coral reef fisheries

Barnes, Michele L., Mbaru, Emmanuel, Muthiga, Nyawira, and UNSPECIFIED (2019) Information access and knowledge exchange in co-managed coral reef fisheries. Biological Conservation, 238. 108198.

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Effectively managing ecosystems is an information intensive endeavour. Yet social, cultural, and economic barriers can limit who is able to access information and how knowledge is exchanged. We draw on social network theory to examine whether co-management institutions break down these traditional barriers. We examined the factors that predict information access and knowledge exchange using interview and knowledge sharing network data from 616 Kenyan coral reef fishers operating in four communities with formal co-management institutions. For access to fisheries management information, we found disparities in fisher's age, leadership status, and wealth. Yet once we accounted for formal engagement in the co-management process, only wealth disparities remained significant. In contrast, knowledge exchange was insensitive to whether or not we accounted for engagement in co-management. We found that community leaders and external actors, such as NGO representatives, were primary sources of fisheries-related knowledge. Among fishers, knowledge exchange tended to occur more often between those using the same landing site. Fishers engaged in the co-management process and community leaders were likely to transfer knowledge widely (acting as 'central communicators'), yet only leaders bridged disconnected groups (acting as 'brokers'). Ethnic minorities and those with higher levels of education were more likely to fall on the periphery of the knowledge exchange networks. Taken together, our results suggest that co-management can break down traditional social and cultural - but perhaps not economic barriers to information access; while social, cultural, and economic factors remain important for structuring knowledge exchange.

Item ID: 61240
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: co-management, information access, knowledge exchange, participation, coral reef, social network
Copyright Information: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: NSF Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Grant, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Marine Science for Management (MSM)
Projects and Grants: NSF 1513354, ARC 20-017, MSM Contract No. MASMA/OP/2014/ 04
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2019 07:53
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441002 Environmental sociology @ 40%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 20%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950299 Communication not elsewhere classified @ 40%
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