Earlier this year, the CCRI was commissioned by Defra to conduct a feasibility study for a new social survey of fishers. The final project report, has recently been published and is now publicly available.
Through a combination of desk based reviews and stakeholder consultation via interviews and workshops, the project aimed to understand the extent to which a new social survey of fishers could add value to the existing evidence base and begin to identify areas of consensus on social data needs. Discussions, recognising that fishers are a hard to reach group, explored alternative approaches for implementing a survey, in terms of sampling and data collection strategies. As the project progressed, it became clear that any new social survey is likely to be more successful if designed and deployed collaboratively between government, researchers and fishing stakeholders. Indeed, stakeholders indicated that a survey that is jointly designed, funded and delivered, would achieve better response rates and support from fishers. The project team therefore sought to develop a framework for a co-produced survey that would actively involve a variety of stakeholders from policy makers through to fishers themselves.
The CCRI project lead, Dr Julie Urquhart, commented that a new social survey is needed “to provide social data, which is currently lacking, to inform the development of social objectives in fisheries policy.” She explained that the framework for co-production of social fisheries data, which was developed by the project team in consultation with fisheries’ representatives, recognised the particular needs and challenges of bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders in a co-design process, but also the benefits of doing so.
Later this month, Dr Urquhart will be attending the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in Gothenburg on 9-12 September 2019. The event will attract hundreds of delegates where the latest marine science topics will be discussed and ideas exchanged. The findings from the feasibility study for a survey of fishers will be presented by Dr Urquhart in a session on balancing the social, economic and ecological impacts of small-scale and recreational fisheries. More information regarding the conference can be found on its website. It is also possible to follow events with the hashtag #ICESASC19.