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Addressing Social Sustainability for Small-Scale Fisheries in Sweden: Institutional Barriers for Implementing the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines

Chapter in book
Authors Milena Arias Schreiber
Filippa Säwe
Johan Hultman
Sebastian Linke
Published in The Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines: Global Implementation
Pages 717-736
ISBN 978-3-319-55073-2
Publisher Springer International Publishing; MARE Publication Series
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
School of Global Studies
Pages 717-736
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-5...
Subject categories Social Sciences Interdisciplinary, Other Social Sciences, Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified, Research on Europe, Political Science, Globalization Studies

Abstract

Swedish coastal fisheries are not sustainable in terms of the status of their main fish stocks, their economic profitability, and as source of regular employment. Social sustainability commitments in fisheries governance advocated by the SSF Guidelines have been so far mostly neglected. In this chapter, we bring attention to two institutional settings at different governance levels relevant for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines in the Swedish context. First, we look at the introduction of social goals under the perspective of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Second, we consider national tensions between forces advocating or opposing a further application of market-based economic instruments, often portrayed as an effective cure for all ills, in fisheries governance. Taking into account the logic on which the SSF Guidelines rest, we evaluate in both cases current processes for stakeholder participation in the formulation of fishing policies and strategies in Sweden. We conclude that the inclusion of a social dimension and stakeholder involvement at the EU level face procedural and institutional limitations that prevent the SSF sector from exploiting opportunities for change. Further challenges to the implementation of the SSF Guidelines arise when central national authorities’ interpretation of societal benefits opposes other interpretations, and consequently economic calculations take precedence over a participatory process-based, knowledge-accumulating approach to resource management. The SSF Guidelines, therefore, provide important material and intellectual resources to make the most of new chances that can lead to an increased likelihood of change in the direction of sustainable coastal fisheries in Sweden.

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