Social capital and fisheries management on small islands.


Recent research on the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) has demonstrated that social capital has an important role to play in how fisheries are managed and, more importantly, how conflicts are dealt with. The present paper examines the management of fisheries conflicts through a social capital ‘lens’ and reviews the importance of the development of social capital by natural resource managers and policy makers in their bid to increase community participation in natural resource management. The paper ‘de-bunks’ the myth that island communities have high levels of co-operation and social cohesion. Using a structural/ cognitive social capital analytical framework, it concludes that while structural or institutional social capital is high, cognitive or relational social capital is low. Failure to tackle the mismatch between structural and cognitive social capital is likely to lead to serious natural resource problems in the future and will ultimately inhibit collective action. It recommends that social capital be used as an entry point for future work that requires the involvement of the community but where there is no prior history of co-operation.


Bennett, E.; Clerveaux, W. Social capital and fisheries management on small islands. Aquatic Resources, Culture and Development (2005) 1 (2) 109-118. [DOI: 10.1079/ARC200510]

Social capital and fisheries management on small islands.

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