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Understanding what fishers know about the ecology of the fish they catch, and how they perceive the state and management of their fisheries can guide efforts towards more sustainable fishing practices. We tested relationships between fishers’ local ecological knowledge (LEK) and their perceptions of their fisheries and of marine protected areas in the Dominican Republic. A qualitative-quantitative methodological sequence using data from interviews with 152 multi-species fishers revealed variable, but generally high levels of LEK, particularly of habitat use and predator–prey interactions. The majority reported negative perceptions of the state of their fishery and were aware of local management actions. Contrary to study expectations, we found that fishers’ LEK, measured by Cultural Consensus Analysis, did not significantly co-vary with their perceptions of the state of fisheries or with their awareness of, and support for, marine protected areas. These results highlight the need to identify and understand barriers to information flow and communication in local fisheries’ social/political networks.

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Human Ecology




Elizabeth L. Mclean and Graham E. Forrester are from the Department of Natural Resources Science.

Carlos. G. García-Quijano is from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of Marine Affairs.