A literature review on stakeholder participation in coastal and marine fisheries
Stakeholder participation is a fundamental component of many states’ and local agencies’ fisheries legislations worldwide. The European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), as one example, increasingly adopted a holistic approach to managing marine living resources. An important component of such an ecosystem-based management approach is the consideration of knowledge, values, needs and social interactions of stakeholders in decision-making processes. However, despite that stakeholder participation is a widely used term, a great variety of definitions exist, which often cause misunderstanding. Stakeholder participation is often used as part of conducting research on stakeholders but not in the context of their participation in resource management. Here, we present the results of a comprehensive literature review on the topic stakeholder participation in coastal and marine fisheries. We identified 286 scientific publications in Web of Science of which 50 were relevant for our research questions. Publications were analysed regarding (i) definition of stakeholder participation, (ii) analysis of participating stakeholders, (iii) applied participatory methods and (iv) intention for participation. Stakeholder types addressed in the publications included, e.g. fishery (fishers and direct representatives, N = 48), politics (policymakers and managers, N = 31), science (N = 25) and environmental non-governmental organizations (eNGOs, N = 24). In total, 24 publications labelled their studies as stakeholder participation, while stakeholders were only used as a study object. We conclude that improving science and the practice of including stakeholders in the management of coastal and marine fisheries requires definitions of who is considered a stakeholder and the form of participation applied.