The consequences of paradigm change and poorly validated science: the example of the value of mangroves to fisheries

Sheaves, Marcus, Abrantes, Katya, Barnett, Adam, Benham, Claudia, Dale, Patricia, Mattone, Carlo, Sheaves, Alison, Waltham, Nathan, and Bradley, Michael (2020) The consequences of paradigm change and poorly validated science: the example of the value of mangroves to fisheries. Fish and Fisheries. (In Press)

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Abstract

Accuracy in representing, communicating and reporting science is critical to the translation of science into knowledge. Any lack of accuracy degrades the quality and reliability of consequent decisions. One common cause of inaccuracy is the use of superseded paradigmatic concepts with a lack of careful validation. This leads to evidentiary dissonance (an apparent abundance of evidence with little basis in actual reported scientific findings). We illustrate the nature and consequences of evidentiary dissonance using the example of estimates of the value of mangroves to fisheries, which are key motivators of decision‐making around land‐use activities in mangroves systems, mangrove restoration and disturbance offset initiatives. Causes include the use of inappropriate or inaccurate data and inadequate support for reasoning used to develop estimates of fisheries value. Evidentiary dissonance in linking estimates to scientific understanding has produced a citable and cited body of work with tenuous foundations in current ecological understanding, and a body of literature that is likely to lead to unrealistic expectations, misdirected and wasted resources, and perverse management outcomes.

Item ID: 63666
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-2979
Keywords: ecosystem services, fisheries export, fisheries productivity, habitat valuation, inaccurate citations, mangrove nekton
Copyright Information: © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2020 04:31
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
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