Converging biology, economics and social science in fisheries research-lessons learned

Päivi Haapasaari, Soile Kulmala, Sakari Kuikka
It has been acknowledged that natural sciences cannot provide an adequate basis for the management of complex environmental problems. The scientific knowledge base has to be expanded towards a more holistic direction by incorporating social and economic issues. Besides this, the multifaceted knowledge has to be summarized in a form that can support science-based decision making. Interdisciplinary skills and methodologies are required that enable the integration of knowledge from conceptually
more » ... rom conceptually different disciplines. We built an integrated decision support tool for the long term management of the Baltic salmon stocks, using the Bayesian networks. It enabled the analysis of the outcomes of different management measures from biological, social and economic perspectives. The synthesis was the final output of a learning process of eight years. We reflect how and what kind of interdisciplinarity between natural scientists, economists and social scientists grew from the need to better understand complexity related to the salmon fisheries in the Baltic Sea, what we learned about the fishery, and what we learned about interdisciplinary collaboration.