Volume 63

Communication Between Marine Science and Policy in the Eastern Caribbean.

Deane, L-M. and P. McConney
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Date: November, 2010

Pages: 406-410

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty-Third Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: San Juan

Country: Puerto Rico


Marine science seldom “speaks for itself”. Marine science, relevant to solving real problems, is still being done without any effort to inform and influence marine policy. This situation applies more to fisheries than MPAs, which often incorporate advocacy, but both are deficient. We suffer the consequences of marine policies that do not utilise research results. Research should mobilise knowledge (scientific, local, traditional) and stimulate learning to enhance future policy-making. Policies that encourage overfishing or poorly designed and operated MPAs, despite available scientific information, are witness to this deficiency. Why do these dysfunctions persist? There is insufficient attention, on both sides, to improving the communication between science and policy. Communication entails understanding people, pathways and products in the context of its purpose or main message. Marine scientists and managers require professional assistance in this area. The Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) is seeking to investigate and address these issues and means for improving communication through its Local Area Management Project (LAMP). LAMP, in the context of governance institutions for locally managed marine areas, sought to determine communication products and pathways for influencing policy makers and other key change agents; to use policy groups in Dominica and Grenada for learning best practices and information sharing; and to develop communication strategies for marine resource governance. Lessons learned from these study sites about communication between marine science and policy are likely to be applicable to an array of marine resource governance institutions and arrangements in the Wider Caribbean.

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