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Local and regional strategies for rebuilding fisheries management institutions in coastal British Columbia: what components of comanagement are most critical?

Evelyn Pinkerton, Simon Fraser University
Eric Angel, Simon Fraser University
Neil Ladell, Simon Fraser University
Percy Williams, Gwayasdums, BC
Midori Nicolson, Land & Marine Resources Director, Dzawadaenuxw First Nation
Joy Thorkelson, United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union-UNIFOR
Henry Clifton, Native Brotherhood of British Columbia


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Aboriginal and nonaboriginal fishing-dependent communities on the coast of British Columbia, Canada, having lost traditional fisheries management institutions along with significant fishing opportunity, are in the process of rebuilding local and regional institutions to allow their survival. Sometimes, the rebuilding effort involves the creation of largely new institutions. It can also involve the reactivation, reinvention, or repositioning of older ones. We consider the aspirations, strategies, and activities of organizations in two regions of the coast involved in two different fisheries: salmon on the north coast and intertidal clams in the Broughton Archipelago. We analyze what the two regions have in common, as well as their differences, to generate general predictions and recommendations about what preconditions appear to be necessary for success in rebuilding institutions in communities and regions at these scales and what actions are likely to be most effective, according to a body of literature on self-management and comanagement. In both cases, we found favorable conditions in the communities, the external political arena, and in government to support the rebuilding goals of the organizations working in the two regions. Although both areas would benefit from greater financial resources, the most critical need is for external support in the form of alliances, issue networks, and access to multiple sources of power.

Key words

clams; fisheries comanagement; necessary conditions; regional institutions; salmon

Copyright © 2014 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087