In this post Andrea Belgrano outlines the Research Article ‘Social networks and seafood sustainability governance: Exploring the relationship between social capital and the performance of fishery improvement projects‘ by Helen Packer, Jörn Schmidt & Megan Bailey, which he handled as Associate Editor.

The authors have also written a plain language summary ‘Relationships matter: why and how paying attention to social networks could help accelerate improvements towards sustainable seafood‘.

Strong social bonds and high social capital in Indonesia’s coastal fishing communities translates into greater potential for collective action towards sustainable fisheries. Copyright: Masyarakat Dan Perikanan Indonesia.

There is a global urgency to move towards sustainable fisheries and seafood provision practices to enhance human well-being and the health of the planet.  Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) are currently used for example by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to support initiatives that are working to achieve sustainability of fisheries. Packer et al. illustrate the importance of understanding the social structure of FIPs as a key element to improving the ability of FIPs projects to influence the policy-making process and multi-stakeholder participation, as an essential step towards sustainability and equity of the ocean. They have included excellent examples to illustrate how the FIPs social networks can be used in real-life case studies. Their illustrative examples can further complement current efforts in the operationalization of FIPs projects around the globe.