To Adapt or Not Adapt: Assessing the Adaptive Capacity of Artisanal Fishers in the Trondheimsfjord (Norway) to Jellyfish (Periphylla periphylla) Bloom and Purse Seiners
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMarine and Coastal Fisheries. 2015, 7 (1), 260-273. 10.1080/19425120.2015.1037873
Worldwide increases of jellyfish has occurred during the last several decades. A dense population of a large scyphozoan jellyfish, Periphylla periphylla, has established itself as top predator in the Trondheimsfjord in Norway, impacting traditional fisheries. On this background we discuss the adaptive capacity of artisanal fishers and stakeholder involvement in environmental management. A serendipitous discovery was that fishers report that their capacity to adapt to the presence of jellyfish in fact was sufficient. What they could not adapt to, within the context of jellyfish proliferation, was top–down decisions from the national government allowing purse seiners into the fjord to harvest Sprat Sprattus sprattus and Atlantic Herring Clupea harengus rest quotas and thereby also large bycatches of the local codfishes. This harvest was perceived more detrimental to their fishery than was the jellyfish invasion. Relative to fisheries management's choice of regulatory mechanisms during times of climatic change, we argue that by involving stakeholders intimately, the resulting policy advice will be experienced bottom–up and, thus, more legitimate and serendipitous results of a critical nature are more likely to surface.