The creation of coastal space – how local ecological knowledge becomes relevant
Since the 1990s, substantial efforts have been invested in Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK) research, but LEK has only been applied in western fisheries and resource management to a limited extent. The attempts to link LEK to model-based fish stock assessment seem to have failed largely because the format of LEK does not fit into the models currently in use. However, LEK is still relevant for natural resource management. This article approaches LEK from a different position, not as knowledge about fish stocks but as a constituent in the creation of coastal space as a management object. Through the description of procedures and practices for collection, mapping and authorisation of LEK in Norway, the article illustrates how LEK can potentially become a central element in fisheries and coastal management by using the construction of coastal space as a core management object. As the article will show, the translation of users’ experiences into formal knowledge (LEK) about specific activities in certain localities imbues the coastal space with formerly unknown properties and contributes to turning it into a more complex management object. Thus, the article illustrates that LEK becomes relevant for management when it is presented in a format that fits into the frames of reference used in coastal zone management.
CitationMaritime Studies 13(2014) nr. 2
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