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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 205-216

A coexistence of Paradigms: Understanding Human–environmental Relations of Fishers Involved in the Bycatch of Threatened Marine Species

1 Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP – CONICET), Mar del Plata; Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero, Mar del Plata, Argentina
2 Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani (Universidad de Buenos Aires) – CONICET, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Correspondence Address:
Victoria Gonzalez Carman
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP – CONICET), Mar del Plata; Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero, Mar del Plata
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_17_45

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In this article, we study a fishing community and its relationship with non-human species, including threatened marine mammals and turtles incidentally captured by fishers. We focus on the interaction between this fishing community and a group of conservation experts who seek to protect these vulnerable species by proposing the testing of alternative fishing gear. This conservation practice, however, ignores the fishing community's worldview − which includes its relationship with animal species and the links and negotiations established with other stakeholders. Through an interdisciplinary ethnographic approach, we find that although fishers classify species according to their capacity to be exploited as a resource, they may also be willing to become strategic conservationists by negotiating with conservation experts to protect some of these species. The coexistence of strategic conservation and resource exploitation practices in this fishing community does not preclude the existence of an 'implicit communalism', in which resource exploitation is rooted in daily intimacy with various species. A comprehensive reconstruction of local perspectives and practices is a first step towards a democratic exchange between local and expert knowledge in pursuit of the conservation of biodiversity.

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