Anthropology and Fisheries Management in the United States



The collection of articles in this volume of NAPA Bulletin describes various types of social science research currently conducted in support of federal and state fisheries management by anthropologists and sociologists studying fishing-dependent communities and fisheries participants. The contributors work for NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); various state fisheries agencies; in academia; or as contract researchers. These articles represent a wide geographical range, employ a diverse set of methods, and demonstrate different research goals ranging from responding to specific statutory or management requirements to establishing broader baseline social information to exploring the theoretical constructs that constrain or advance the field of applied anthropology in fisheries. This introduction provides background to the recent expansion of anthropological capacity in U.S. fisheries management and the divergent methods employed by practitioners. The range of methods includes classic ethnography and survey methods, cultural modeling, participatory research, and quantitative indicators-based assessment. The compilation of articles presents an opportunity to think about standardizing some methodological approaches for certain types of tasks, while expanding the array of accepted methodologies available to anthropologists advising fisheries managers.