Participatory Action Research for Positive Change

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Save our Sharks - Community Component - Saba

For the Save our Sharks project of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and the Dutch Council of State, 7Senses conducted Participatory Action Research on Saba for 7 weeks in July/August 2016, focusing on the fisheries component of the project by improving the marine ecosystem.

Project details

In just 7 weeks, Saban fishermen discovered and developed a way to solve the issue of plummeting redfish stocks, something that had been bothering them for over 20 years without a concrete resolution. Trough this initiative, they indirectly save sharks in a way that suits their personal needs and perspectives. An extra economic incentive to improve living circumstances for sharks is to fish for (marketable) lionfish using lionfish-specific traps, which are currently being tested.

Project name Save our Sharks
Start date July 2016
Duration 7 weeks
Status Finished
Country Saba
Action Researcher Madelon Eelderink
Local researcher Luke Spencer Hassel

Together with local stakeholders, 7Senses designed a PAR project for the Save Our Sharks project, in a way that fitted the local context, from the problem framing up to methodology and concept definitions.

Problem Definition
Main Research Question
Sub Questions

Each PAR project delivers direct outcomes for the local community on the addressed issue: we can share how many people have been reached, what their perspective is on the current and desired situation and what final Community Action Plan (CAP) they have co-created and implemented. In a later stage, local stakeholders will evaluate the impact of the CAP.

Current situation (baseline) according to local stakeholders
Desired situation according to local stakeholders
Co-created solution

The impact of this Challenge has not been measured yet. However, messages were received from fishermen, a cook and other stakeholders that the redfish has increased in size. Saba Conservation Foundation has provided a histogram showing increased redfish stocks after the closed season. Future research should reveal what the exact impact of this PAR is.



Madelon Eelderink

Coordinator & Action Reseacher
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Luke Spencer Hassel

Action Researcher, Fisherman
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Sustainable Development Goals


Each action research performed by 7Senses delivers one or more reports or other written material. Read here all detailed information on the PAR methodology and outcomes of this action research.

Blogs about this action research