Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
To understand and mitigate the increasingly rapid and complex global and local changes of coastal marine social–ecological systems in such a manner as to ensure their sustainability requires both recognising the dynamic nature of the interactions within and between these systems, and drawing on insights from different types of knowledge and knowledgegenerating systems. This requires the systematic collection, comparison and (where feasible) integration of scientists’ and stakeholders’ knowledge from a broad range of natural and social science and humanities backgrounds, different social– ecological locations (spatial, temporal and organisational), local experiences and traditional practices, as well as formal knowledge. Considered separately, each of these groups can only throw light on how a part of the system is changing and, because of interactivity and complexity, may sometimes misunderstand what is actually happening, its social and environmental consequences, and the available options and alternatives for change. We suggest ways in which integration of the various knowledge bases for fisheries management might be achieved, and the types of governance infrastructure that would need to be put in place.