10. Assumptions and perspectives (formal level)

System level:
  • Fisheries and coastal management are now moving towards “ecosystem-based” management, by recognizing the complexities and interactions characteristic of such systems.
  • The new approaches also emphasize the need to include humans and human systems in the equation.
  • Human-in-nature systems are complex and dynamic, due for instance to globalization, and thus exposing local fishing people with more risk


  • The users of marine and coastal resources come with social and cultural baggage.
  • Their resource use and management approaches are embedded in social networks and institutions.
  • As people pursue secure livelihoods, they also seek meaning, security and justice.
  • Livelihood strategies are both individual and collective.
  • Women play an important role in providing for the basic needs of their family.

Collective level:
  • Coping capacity is both individual and collective empowerment.
  • Small-scale fishers and their dependants (also) need social capital, such as well-functioning communities and networks.
  • State intervention and centralized command and control are not (always) the (only) answer to the problems that small-scale fisheries are facing.
  • Markets and civil society have a role to play in resource management.
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