Stefan is a marine biologist with an interest in the social dimensions of marine conservation and management. His PhD dissertation was on the experience of co-management in Chilean coastal fisheries. Stefan is currently a researcher at the Pontifica Universidad Cat’lica de Chile conducting field research on themes of small-scale fishermen, local government and scientific research for marine management. Stefan has broad experience working directly with fishing communities in coastal regions of Chile. He also has experience working with impoverished indigenous communities in Chile in the following areas: environmental education, management of fisheries by local fishermen, repopulating invertebrate species, and the creation of protected woodlands.
The Chilean government has introduced a co-management policy that grants territorial user rights to organised groups of artisanal fishers with the goal of achieving sustainable coastal fisheries. This measure aims to encourage a positive change in fishers’ behavioural patterns and to transform fishing operations into small business enterprises co-managed by fishers. This talk will describes the historical events which led to changes in artisanal fisheries policies in Chile from open access scenarios towards the co-management strategies. Emphasis is put on the incorporation of ecological research within the policy process. Further, the talk will present results of research regarding the human dimensions of the policy process as a critical determinant of the policy’s long term success. Specifically I will present results regarding fishers’ attitudes towards conservation and co-managemet and their determinants. I will also show ways in which the Chilean co-management policy affects traditional artisanal subsistence management strategies. The talk ends advocating for the establishment of integrated sustainable use and coastal conservation networks in which civil society is actively engaged, from its design to implementation and management phases.