Participatory Action Research for Positive Change

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Description

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
Objective
Main Research Question
Sub Questions
Methods
Concepts

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.

Local nature organization Saba Conservation Foundation measured improvement of fish catches after the closed season. Also fishermen have noticed better fish catches: “after the closed season fishing was good!” However, more factors than only the PAR could have influenced this outcome. Whether redfish populations and shark populations have indeed increased is hard to measure as they migrate.

Fishermen claim to feel heard during the PAR process as opposed to -in their words- “having laws pushed down our throats”. They also expressed pride of what they had achieved, establishing their own official law:

“For twenty years we’ve been struggling to find a solution and to come to an agreement. Nobody has ever accomplished this, not even the experts. Now we have done it ourselves in just 7 weeks!”

It has also impacted restaurants, as the facebook message of a local cook indicates (in Dutch):

Sabaanse kok reactie

 

 

Team

Madelon Eelderink

Coordinator & Action Reseacher
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Luke Spencer Hassel

Action Researcher, Fisherman
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Sustainable Development Goals


Reports

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