The importance of rebuilding trust in fisheries governance in post-Brexit England

Dixon, Maximilian, Grilli, Gaetano ORCID:, Stewart, Bryce D., Bark, Rosalind H. ORCID: and Ferrini, Silvia (2024) The importance of rebuilding trust in fisheries governance in post-Brexit England. Marine Policy, 161. ISSN 0308-597X

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The sustainable management of common pool resources, like fisheries, relies heavily on trust and reciprocity between managers and stakeholders (fishers). The UK Fisheries Act of 2020 and the Joint Fisheries Statement of 2022 seek to reinvent post-Brexit fisheries governance and the economic and environmental sustainability of the sector. Management of the fisheries sector through Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) is still under development but changes in governance arrangements are likely to significantly impact fishers’ livelihoods. This highlights a need for improved collaboration between fishers and the governing institutions. Using a novel survey design, representatives of the English fisheries sector were surveyed to capture their level of different forms of trust (rational, affinitive, system-based) towards national and regional governing institutions. Overall, low levels of trust were found, although regional institutions (i.e., Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities) were more trusted than national institutions (i.e., Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and Marine Management Organisation). Exploring different forms of trust revealed nuance between the institutions and distinctive regional differences. To build on this, interviews were conducted revealing feelings of apathy and conflict towards the governing institutions rather than inclination towards collaborating. Trust has a role in fostering more resilient fisheries management and fishers discussed the need for sustained institutional efforts to rebuild trust post-Brexit through greater transparency, face-to-face interaction, and meaningful consultation. Our research also reveals that FMPs will need to factor in geographical differences and that current institutions will need to work more collaboratively in order to foster local adaptive management.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/life_below_water
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE)
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2024 02:19
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:27
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2024.106034


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