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Article
What is "Ecological" in Local Ecological Knowledge? Lessons from Canada and Vietnam
Society and Natural Resources (2011)
  • Anthony A. Davis, Dr,, Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Kenneth Ruddle, Dr.
Abstract

Case studies from Canada and Vietnam demonstrate both the importance and content limitations of local ecological knowledge (LEK) acquired during collaborative research between local fishers and scientists. The Canadian research disproved fishers’ contentions that white hake (Urophycis tenuis) was the main predator on juvenile lobster (Homarus americanus). In the Vietnam case, the LEK of 400 fishers was used to test a hypothesis about monsoon seasonality and the availability of fish for fermentation. Fishers’ LEK was important in both confirming the basis of the hypothesis and highlighting anomalies. The cases demonstrate that although important, harvesters’ local experiences and observations may not characterize accurately such ecosystem processes as predator–prey dynamics or seasonality. It is unrealistic to expect fishers’ LEK and understanding of ecology to embody such attributes, since stomach contents of commercially important target species are rarely examined, and fishers interact with ecosystems primarily to earn a living.

Keywords
  • coastal fisheries,
  • collaborative research,
  • local ecological knowldege
Publication Date
2011
Citation Information
Anthony A. Davis and Kenneth Ruddle. "What is "Ecological" in Local Ecological Knowledge? Lessons from Canada and Vietnam" Society and Natural Resources (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/anthony_davis/3/