The Principles of Transdisciplinary Research in Small-Scale Fisheries

  • Alicia SaidEmail author
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
  • Alfonso Aguilar-Perera
  • Minerva Arce-Ibarra
  • Tek Bahadur Gurung
  • Bonnie Bishop
  • Marc Léopold
  • Ana Isabel Márquez Pérez
  • Sérgio M. Gomes de Mattos
  • Graham J. Pierce
  • Prateep K. Nayak
  • Svein Jentoft
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 21)


The diverse characteristics, values, and importance of small-scale fisheries imply at least two key considerations. First, there is no tailor-made, one-size-fits-all solution to the problems and challenges facing small-scale fisheries; thus, policy and governance must be sensitive to the contexts. Second, the close relationship and interactivity between the natural and the social dimensions of small-scale fisheries suggests that knowledge and understanding about small-scale fisheries may need to transcend the boundaries of academic disciplines. These are the premises for research and activities conducted in the Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) – Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research. Taking a transdisciplinary approach to research, training, and learning about small-scale fisheries can help address real-world problems and reveal opportunities to move towards pragmatic solutions. In this chapter, we discuss what transdisciplinarity involves, what the underlying principles are, and what makes it distinct from other perspectives. We argue that transdisciplinarity in small-scale fisheries requires institutional and academic innovation at local and national scales that facilitates interactive and transformative learning.


Research techniques Transdisciplinary lens Knowledge integration Trust 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alicia Said
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
    • 2
  • Alfonso Aguilar-Perera
    • 3
  • Minerva Arce-Ibarra
    • 4
  • Tek Bahadur Gurung
    • 5
  • Bonnie Bishop
    • 6
  • Marc Léopold
    • 7
  • Ana Isabel Márquez Pérez
    • 8
  • Sérgio M. Gomes de Mattos
    • 9
  • Graham J. Pierce
    • 10
  • Prateep K. Nayak
    • 11
  • Svein Jentoft
    • 12
  1. 1.Too Big To Ignore Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries ResearchMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada
  3. 3.Departamento de Biología MarinaUniversidad Autónoma de YucatánMéridaMexico
  4. 4.Departmento de Sistemática y Ecología Acuática de El Colegio de la Frontera SurChetumalMexico
  5. 5.Nepal Agricultural Research CouncilKathmanduNepal
  6. 6.Education CoordinatorVancouverCanada
  7. 7.Institut de Recherche pour le développement (IRD) c/o Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines (IH.SM)Université de ToliaraToliaraMadagascar
  8. 8.Universidad Nacional de ColombiaSan AndresColombia
  9. 9.Ministry of PlanningRecifeBrazil
  10. 10.Departamento de Ecología y Recursos MarinosInstituto de Investigaciones Marinas (CSIC)VigoSpain
  11. 11.School of Environment, Enterprise and DevelopmentUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  12. 12.Norwegian College of Fishery ScienceUiT- The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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