Strategy for fisheries socio- economic research
de Wit, Martin
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This document sets broad strategic directions for a period of five years and provides a framework on which fisheries socio-economic research priorities can be determined on a more frequent basis. This is seen as more effective than investing in socio-economic research as and when the need arises. Development of the strategy should be seen as a process, not an endpoint, hence, it is quite likely that the strategy itself will require refinement during the next five years. An overview of fisheries socio-economic issues has to start with a clear meaning and understanding of what is meant by 'socio-economics' and, more importantly, what relevance this has to fisheries management. The term socio- economics therefore needs to be handled with some care. It does not really indicate a particular disciplinary focus and, in most cases, the work carried out by 'socio-economists' would be better divided between sociologists and economists carrying out their respective analyses though clearly working closely together (FAO, 2003). In this overview, the focus is on the work carried out by sociologists and economists, although the many important areas of overlap, where the disciplines may need to closely cooperate, are also discussed. This project has identified three fisheries socio-economic research themes for implementation by Marine and Coastal Management. These themes span the spectrum of fisheries management information needs, and often correspond to specific disciplines within the socio-economic sciences.