This research aims to integrate scientific and traditional ecological knowledge in the assessment of data-poor fisheries. It is unlikely that small-scale fisheries (SSF) will ever have funds, scientific knowledge or data sets to develop a complete quantitative stock assessment. But to achieve sustainable livelihoods and maintain ecosystem services, it is a priority to assess and manage SSF in both developed and developing countries.

This project focuses on data-poor fisheries in the Oregon coast in the United States and in the Colombian Pacific. Using scientific information and traditional knowledge of nearshore fishes we developed a Productivity and Susceptibility Analysis (PSA), an expert opinion-based model that combines information about the productivity of a stock with its susceptibility to fishing activities, pollution, habitat degradation, or other factors. The PSA helps to prioritize the vulnerable species to improve local management and inform fisheries authorities of the stocks that require research or management attention.

On the Oregon coast we applied this technique by combining biological data for 10 nearshore species with information obtained from fishermen during a series of outreach meetings and an online survey. We found some key differences between the coastwide vulnerability ratings and regional (Cape-to-Cape) ratings, particularly for species as Black Rockfish, Cabezon and China Rockfish. While PSA provides only general information on vulnerability and stock status, it can be useful to identify important local differences in stock susceptibility to fishing or other impacts that may be lost when stocks are monitored at the coastwide level.

The research in Colombia is in process and surveys with fishermen and fisheries experts will be conducted during Summer 2017.


Project members:

Andrea Jara, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University

Selina S. Heppell, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University


Funding Sources:

Colciencias Scholarship

International Cultural Service Program Scholarship

David J. Ashkenas Memorial Fellowship

Charles E. Warren Award for Ecology and Sustainable Societies