What you know is who you know? Communication patterns among resource users as a prerequisite for co-management

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This article uses a Social Network Analysis (SNA) methodology to study the failure of a co-management system for a fishery off the coast of Kenya. Through a complete network analysis, it is revealed that communication between resource users was clustered by the fishing gear used. With very little communication between the cliques, methods for sustainable management were only communicated and adopted within a user group. Interestingly, power, as defined by closeness to those setting policy and control of the information, was concentrated in the deep sea fishermen with the least to use from the resource. This study demonstrates how SNA can be used as a tool for understanding relations to improve resource management in the development and co-management context.


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Participatory processes, Aquatic resources, Natural resource management, Fisheries, Social learning, Kenya, Common-pool resources, Fisheries management, Social network analysis, Co-management, Communication patterns, East africa, Ecological knowledge, Fishing gear, Social networks, Governance


Ecology and Society 11(2): 7