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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Knowing through fishing: exploring the connection between fishers' ecological knowledge and fishing styles

Garavito-Bermudez, Diana; Boonstra, Wiebren J.


That fishers' ecological knowledge (FEK) can contribute to the sustainability and legitimacy of environmental planning and management is widely accepted. Nevertheless, despite this broad consensus about its importance, there is uncertainty about the ways in which FEK can be captured methodologically. Here, we present the results of a methodological inquiry aimed to connect FEK to the diversity of work practices within fisheries. Using a sample from a qualitative study of Swedish small-scale fishers, we test to what extent a new combination of concept and method - Fishing Style analysis and the Structure-Dynamic-Function framework - can produce insights into the partiality and diversity of FEK, as well as its embodied and tacit aspects. Results demonstrate how different work practices generate a variety of FEKs. We use this finding to discuss the implications of our work for future study of FEK, and how attention to FEK can inform environmental planning and management.


fishers' ecological knowledge (FEK); traditional ecological knowledge (TEK); local ecological knowledge (LEK); fishing styles; methodology

Published in

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management
2023, Volume: 66, number: 9, pages: 1841-1860

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Swedish Biodiversity Centre

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG14 Life below water

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Management
    Fish and Aquacultural Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)