To shape or to be shaped: Engaging stakeholders in fishery management advice

Paz Sampedro, Raúl Prellezo, Dorleta García, José María Da-Rocha, Santiago Cerviño, Julia Torralba, Julia M. Touza, Javier García Cutrín, María José Gutiérrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this article is to assess the effectiveness of the collaboration between stakeholders and scientists in the construction of a bioeconomic model to simulate management strategies for the fisheries in Iberian Atlantic waters. For 3 years, different stakeholders were involved in a model development study, participating in meetings, surveys and workshops. Participatory modelling involved the definition of objectives and priorities of stakeholders, a qualitative evaluation and validation of the model for use by decision-makers, and an iterative process with the fishing sector to interpret results and introduce new scenarios for numerical simulation. The results showed that the objectives of the participating stakeholders differed. Incorporating objectives into the design of the model and prioritizing them was a challenging task. We showed that the parameterization of the model and the analysis of the scenarios results could be improved by the fishers' input: e.g. ray and skate stocks were explicitly included in the model; and the behaviour of fleet dynamics proved much more complex than assumed in any traditional modelling approach. Overall, this study demonstrated that stakeholder engagement through dialogue and many interactions was beneficial for both, scientists and the fishing industry. The researchers obtained a final refined model and the fishing industry benefited from participating in a process, which enables them to influence decisions that may affect them directly (to shape) whereas non-participatory processes lead to management strategies being imposed on stakeholders (to be shaped). © International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 2017. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487
Number of pages498
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number2
Early online date16 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

© International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 2016. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • stakeholder engagement
  • fisheries
  • Maximum Sustainable Yield

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