Co-managed territorial use rights for fishers (TURFs) have shown promise for small-scale fisheries management. The territorial use rights help clarify access and ownership rights, while co-management arrangements create formal relationships between fishers and government. However, there is limited research into the governance processes that influence the interactions and complementarities of TURF zones that are clustered together. In a network of 16 co-managed TURFs in the Cau Hai lagoon, Vietnam, we analyzed management decentralization and the relationship between spatial and networked (social) proximity. Our findings draw attention to several broad lessons for co-managed TURFs: (1) TURFs may operate as isolated silos if co-management agreements do not address relationships among TURF leaders; (2) spatial proximity does not automatically translate to social proximity; and (3) leaders of individuals TURFs need capacity for communication and coordination with other local fisheries leaders. These findings highlight the importance of consideration to the ways that TURF design and implementation influences the relationships and collaboration between fishers, government officials, and other actors.
Fisheries management is often data-limited, and conducted at spatial scales that are too large to address the needs of Indigenous peoples, whose cultures depend upon the local availability of marine resources.
In British Columbia, fisheries management policies in the last few decades have severely diminished access for a generation of youth to knowledge of traditional governance, ecological economies, and cultural practices. However, legal precedents, the completion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and activism are changing the status quo such that colonial relationships in resource management are no longer viable. This research looks at best practices for, as well as opportunities and challenges facing fisheries monitoring and stewardship programs because they are a promising way to bridge generational gaps in access to and knowledge of the ocean environment, and because resource monitoring is a foundation for a community’s capacity to govern. Overall, the research contributes to a better understanding of how stewardship and monitoring training programs can contribute to the larger vision of coastal First Nations in their desired return to First Nations governance of their marine territories. (Masters of Resource Management thesis, Haley Milko. Simon Fraser University.) (Full publication)