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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Identifying stakeholders' values and preferences for management of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) fisheries in British Columbia, Canada Scott, Jeffrey


It is said that fisheries management is concerned with managing people, rather than fish. Often managers must make difficult decisions under conditions of uncertain scientific predictions, conflicting demands from stakeholder groups, or high risk of harm to the resource and/or its users. Previous publications have applied decision theory and management theory to fisheries management, but such approaches may not acknowledge the legitimacy of all competing viewpoints and values. Post-normal science, on the other hand, does so explicitly, and aims to resolve conflicts through collaborative effort based on high-quality information. This thesis explores the issues surrounding political conflicts over Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) fisheries management in British Columbia, Canada in the 2010s, with a focus on the herring stocks in Haida Gwaii waters. These fisheries offer a unique yet generalizable case of stakeholder conflict, and an opportunity to examine that conflict’s root causes through my own original framework that parses normative from descriptive claims made by competing groups, to ascertain what those groups consider quality information and desired outcomes. I present here research conducted by an interdisciplinary team between 2015 and 2017 as part of a larger project, which employed a novel value- and ecosystem-based management approach methodology developed by Lam et al. to investigate the normative values, descriptive beliefs and fishery management preferences of 47 individuals in Haida Gwaii and 28 British Columbian herring fishery participants. The semi-structured interviews within the values-based component consisted of values-ranking and management scenario-preference exercises, an exercise associating respondents’ values with management scenarios, and open-ended questions on respondents’ experience and beliefs about herring and its fisheries. Analysis tabulated respondents’ value priorities and scenario preferences, and investigated descriptive beliefs about herring stocks. Results provide evidence that stakeholder groups’ nominal values are quite similar, while their preferences for management of herring stocks in Haida Gwaii are starkly different, and potentially influenced by level of trust in the opposing group and in management. This suggests that trust-building between opposing stakeholder groups, and between management and stakeholders, is a necessary first step toward conflict resolution.

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