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8 What Works and Doesn't Work To this point, this report has provided numerous examples and dis- cussed a variety of issues concerning cooperative research. In Chapter 1, the topic of cooperative research was introduced. In Chapters 2 and 3, case studies were provided to illustrate some experiences with cooperative re- search both in the United States and in other countries. In Chapter 4 the setting of cooperative research priorities and processes, along with descrip- tions of potential mechanisms, was discussed. Funding, legal issues, and scientific rigor were discussed in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 dealt with the con- straints and incentives and disincentives for cooperative research and Chap- ter 7 with issues related to outreach and communication of cooperative research. In this chapter the information from the previous chapters is summarized, with focus on what works and doesn't work in cooperative research. REASONS FOR SUCCESS Cooperative research works when scientists and fishermen realize that each bring valuable tools and experience to the objectives of a research project. Scientists who are successful in cooperative research realize that fishermen have knowledge, skills, and/or vessels that would not otherwise be available and are willing to work with fishermen in order to get the desired results. The fishermen in these successful projects are also willing to 95
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96 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE work with the scientists, recognizing that the information collected will not be used in decision making unless it is scientifically credible. Fishermen involved in cooperative research often acquire a much greater understanding and breadth of vision than provided by their fishing experience. When a fisherman becomes a partner in cooperative research, he/she often learns to value the scientific method and is better able to dif- ferentiate valid science from speculation. For a fisherman, having an open mind often means putting his fishing knowledge temporarily "at arms length" while learning about the science objective and the analytical tools involved with the work and then synthesizing his own experiences with that new point of view. lust as fishermen can achieve a new perspective on scientific research, scientists can also learn to value the knowledge of fishermen. When coop- erative research engages fishermen as experts, the information flow will not just be from the scientists to fishermen, but scientists will learn the value of enhancing their knowledge with the perspectives of fishermen. Participants in cooperative research projects have explained that the whole of the participants' knowledge is often greater than the sum of its parts. That is, ideas and understanding arise where fishermen and scientists work together in a single project that neither group would develop on its own through fishing or fishery-independent research. A prerequisite of successful cooperative research is that all participants thoroughly understand that they are involved in scientific research, even though fishermen may be responsible for much of the design and execution of that research. It must meet scientific standards if it is to be useful for management decisions. Cooperative research projects must apply scientific rigor with the same standards that are applied to traditional (dedicated) research if they are to have credibility. From the inception to its conclusion, the supervisors of cooperative research projects need to emphasize this need to all participants and make sure the project will produce scientifically defensible results. Cooperative research projects have worked when the participants fully cooperate from the start of the project to its finish. In the initial step, fish- ermen and scientists acknowledge that a problem or opportunity exists that needs to be addressed. Second, they determine that working together coop- eratively is the most effective means to solving it. They see that the involve- ment of fishermen along with the scientists is essential to success of that research. Third, they use each other's expertise in science and on the fishing grounds to design the most appropriate and practical research protocol.
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WHAT WORKS AND DOESN'T WORK 97 Fourth, they execute the project according to the original plan and within scientifically valid guidelines. They do this by extensive communication among all parties at each step of the project. Finally, they properly interpret and distribute the results of their project to the affected parties and man- agement agencies. Likewise, the government, or the regulatory agencies of the fisheries involved, also agrees on the cooperative process as the best method to solve a recognized problem. The agency supports the project to its conclusion, both administratively and financially. In Chapters 2 and 3, examples and case studies of cooperative research illustrating a broad range in levels of cooperation were provided. The ex- amples and case studies ranged from no government participation (except in the review process) to industry taking the lead on developing cooperative research but where government scientists participated in the data collec- tion, to cooperative research dominated by government scientists in plan- ning and execution but including fishermen in some way in the execution of the project. There does not appear to be any "best" way. Different ap- proaches have been successful for different types of problems in different institutional settings, but the overriding theme is the desire to provide im- proved information for decision makers that meets accepted standards of design, program execution, and analysis. The Motivation of Fishermen There are a number of reasons why fishermen may be motivated to participate in cooperative research. Fishermen may perceive a threat to their fishery from pending management action. When dolphin bycatch mortal- ity in the tuna seine fleet precipitated widespread boycott of tuna products by the general public, eastern Pacific tuna seiners were motivated to de- velop dolphin avoidance techniques in conjunction with the Inter- American Tropical Tuna Commission, starting in the 1 980s. Potential sanc- tions of the Endangered Species Act likewise threatened to close the North Pacific longline fishery in the late 1990s due to bycatch of an endangered species, the short-tailed albatross. Fishermen did not have to be convinced that this was a problem and to seek a solution. Other projects arise from financial motivations. In 2001 a mid-Atlantic surf clam fisherman thought that the government used faulty stock assess- ment techniques. If the current level of effort was resulting in underharvest, there was additional resource available to the fishermen. If the current level of effort was resulting in overharvesting, the resource in which they have a
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98 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE long-term stake could be in jeopardy. In this case, the fishermen approached the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and convinced them of the problem and the need to work together to find a solution. The development of the New Zealand rock lobster logbook program was similarly motivated by a desire of the fishermen to "prove" the status of the resource. Individual fishermen's observations or logbooks were not considered adequate as input to the stock assessment process, so the fishermen arranged for a scientifi- cally designed program that now forms the basis of the stock assessment. Another motivation, one most easily misunderstood or easily dis- missed, stems from the fishing community's desire to investigate alternate hypotheses (to what management or scientists may suggest) or simply a desire to improve the scientific information used in managing fishery re- sources. Sometimes the "best available information" may be significantly improved upon at an acceptable cost. That cost-benefit analysis has to be conducted by fishermen and scientists together. For the fishing community it is an issue of self-determination. In the northeast United States stock boundaries for codfish were established decades ago from tagging studies, growth rates, and parasite loading. Currently, management recognizes a Georges Bank cod stock and a Gulf of Maine cod stock with distinctly different biological reference points and management strategies. Many fish- ermen contend that mixing rates are a significant factor at different life stages and confound these established stock models. Different stock bound- aries or a more complex stock model would alter the present management regimen. A series of port meetings documented fishermen's observations, and a task force was convened to design a comprehensive tagging program. Starting in 2003, this program will be carried out with cooperation of fish- ermen from four states and the Canadian maritimes. The Motivation of Scientists There are often far more fishermen than scientists willing to partici- pate in cooperative research. Cooperative research is often seen in the aca- demic community as not being "legitimate" research. In addition, scientists involved in cooperative research must make additional commitments of time and effort to foster good working relationships and true cooperation with their fishermen partners. Agency and university scientists need to pub- lish if they want promotion and tenure. If cooperative research requires a greater time commitment and is difficult to publish, many academic scien- tists will not participate. Agencies and academic departments involved in
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WHAT WORKS AND DOESN'T WORK 99 fisheries research need to take account of these challenges. This can be done by not using the same evaluation process for promotion and tenure that is used for research faculty and staff not involved in cooperative research: one that accounts for the additional time commitments and impediments to publishing. Another possible remedy would be the establishment of a scientific journal of cooperative research. This option could provide an incentive for more scientists to participate in cooperative research, but it could also serve to further marginalize cooperative research from traditional research. Such a journal would need to have a rapid turnaround time, and it might be possible to have the peer review of the cooperative research projects serve as the peer review for the reports and the reports then published online with rapid turnaround. An alternative is to encourage scientific journals to pub- lish more cooperative research. Scientists who have done successful cooperative research often state that the satisfaction comes from factors other than producing publications. The scientists may simply enjoy life on the ocean and time away from the office or lab. They may simply like to work with fishermen or seek the satisfaction of working on cooperative research and knowing that a real and immediate problem is being solved through the research. The results of a cooperative research project could provide the basis for changing laws or regulations, prevent a fishery closure, allow a fishery to function without onerous sanctions, or conserve fish and other marine life. Scientists can have a financial motivation as well. Chartering a fishing boat may be less expensive than chartering a dedicated research vessel. They may choose to charter a fishing boat because the cost may be charged to different funding sources or can be funded by catch. For decades the Inter- national Pacific Halibut Commission has chartered fishing vessels with fish caught on charters not only paying for the charter expense but also sub- sidizing the administrative costs of the commission itself. Appropriateness of Cooperative Research Once a problem is identified and defined, the choice of whether the research project is conducted solely by scientists or cooperatively with fish- ermen depends on both the scientists and the fishermen. If the fishermen have a complaint about research that NMFS is already doing, they natu- rally want to show the government how to do the work more effectively. In the case of the surf clam fishery, the fishermen questioned the efficiency of
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100 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE the dredge used by NMFS to measure the surf clam recruitment and bio- mass. They wanted to use their own boats and design a more effective dredge for research. In this case, the fishermen's incentive to be part of a research project was to point out the shortcomings of existing fishery-inde- pendent research. This was also the case in several other examples, includ- ing New Zealand rock lobster, Canadian West Coast groundfish and East Coast halibut. The North Pacific longliners likewise wanted to be part of research on seabird bycatch. In their case, the research was based on techniques of bird deterrence that already had been developed. Fishery-independent research would have been a redundant exercise. What the fishery needed were data on how well the techniques that they already had in the actual fishery worked. The volunteer vessels for the program also received an incentive. The time spent on the survey fulfilled the required quarterly observer cov- erage for each vessel, and the observers were paid by the research grant (instead of by each vessel). The Pacific tuna seiners had no option. They either had to figure out how to fish without catching as many dolphins or live with large closed areas and an actively promoted boycott of their product. Since their prob- lem related to fishing practices, the best way to solve the problem was to work on those practices while fishing and then effectively share, analyze, and utilize those solutions. Long-term monitoring projects and ecological research are generally less well suited to cooperative projects, at least as they are currently funded. The budget stream is too unpredictable and such projects require commit- ments over long periods of time. There is not as much motivation or incen- tive for industry to participate because there is no immediate return. On the other hand, cooperative biological surveys and research on abundance and density of fish provide not only the immediate incentive to fishermen of money earned by working on a charter, but also the possibility of changes in management measures that may benefit both fishermen and the fishery resources on which they depend. A project is more likely to gain voluntary industry participation when there are appropriate financial incentives or expectations of later economic gains due to research findings. Working Together Once the scientists and fishermen have decided that cooperative re- search is the best course, they must decide how best to use each other's
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WHAT WORKS AND DOESN'T WORK 101 expertise to best advantage. The fishermen are the experts on the fishing grounds; they understand the realities of working at sea. The scientists are the experts on experiment design and data gathering; they understand good scientific technique. Blending these two different points of view requires open-mindedness and tolerance, with trust and respect for everyone in- volved. Both the fishermen and scientists have to be willing not only to communicate with someone from outside their normal experience, they also have to provide and to accept diverse input and points of view. Both scientists and fishermen can benefit from this cross-fertilization of their
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102 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE respective ideas. In order for this kind of brainstorming to succeed, all parties must acknowledge each other's value. Ground rules of basic cour- tesy allow all participants to think and to speak freely, to take best advan- tage of everyone's expertise (Box 8-11. Though the fishermen may give insight to a scientist about the design of an experiment, and a scientist may provide a perspective a fisherman has never considered, all participants in a cooperative research project also need to understand the limitations of their roles. Fishermen will be running their operations as a well-controlled scientific project. Scientists will be running an experiment on or collecting data from a real fishing platform. The fishermen must understand the parameters of the scientific work and the scientists must accept the capabilities and limitations of the fishing operations. Each side's input is valuable to the other, but the roles and limitations of each participant need to be clear from the beginning. The model of NMFS scientists taking the lead in design and fishermen the lead in execution is far from universal or mandatory. NMFS is not the only science provider in the United States and in many cases university scientists have been heavily involved in the scientific design of cooperative research projects. In New Zealand and western Canada, numerous projects have been 100 percent industry designed and run relying on scientists from universities, the private sector, or in several cases in New Zealand govern- ment laboratories in Australia. Project Management Successful cooperative research projects often use a project leader who acts as a coordinator of the many roles involved in cooperative research. Initially, someone can help industry articulate the questions they have about research design and funding sources. Often, the time horizons of funding, management needs, data requirements, and priority setting are not aligned. Often, one knowledgeable individual needs to know ways to set the indus- try process in motion prior to the arrival of research funding. Through early planning, this individual could also improve opportunities for indus- . . . . . . . try participation in priority setting. A project leader can keep the goals of the cooperative research team clear and its purpose focused and defined. This person can also be a peace- maker and conciliator among divergent points of view in the design and implementation of the project. Mainly though, since communication throughout the project is essential to the project's success, someone who
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WHAT WORKS AND DOESN'T WORK 103 feels comfortable communicating with both fishermen and scientists is the most effective link to both sides of a cooperative research project. From the inception of the project and its initial planning stages to the setting of the techniques to be used in the research, the execution of the project and the deployment of boats and scientists, the assimilation of data at the conclu- sion ofthe project, and the analysis and distribution ofthose data, all parties involved need to communicate clearly and continually. One coordinator who thoroughly understands the importance of proper scientific work can be the hub of that communication. an. . . . . 1 his communicator can also be someone who maintains realistic ex- pectations among the participants and the overseeing agency. This person can select the best and most practical ideas from all the participants of the project, including the fisheries managers, the scientists, and the fisherman, and assess which ones can be accomplished. Perhaps the scientists want more replications of a certain type of data than fishermen can accomplish in a day. Perhaps the fishermen are expecting more certainty in the results . . . . . .. . . . as. . .. ... . . . than the scientists believe they can achieve. 1 trough responsibility should reside in one individual as the lead principal investigator, the most success- ful cooperative research results from an integrated team effort. The genius of cooperative research is that it attempts to harness divergent viewpoints to a common goal. Attention should be paid to mutual learning among team members and to defining roles based on expertise. More complex cooperative research projects often employ a small multidisciplinary board of directors or advisory group. Principal investigators in these situations should see themselves as a team leader and be generous when sharing credit. As with any research, the quality of the work is only as good as the science employed. Successful cooperative research employs scientific stan- dards as rigorous as those expected of any research. The scientists working with the fishermen need to be as scrupulous in their work as if they were doing research independently. From the design of the project to its imple- mentation, the research needs to follow accepted scientific methods and standards. The scientists involved must design and execute research that will stand the scrutiny of peer review, just as any other research should. Successful cooperative research requires fishermen who are professional operators and who run their businesses in a professional manner. They have to understand that their operations may have strict operating protocols. These restrictions can require them to operate differently but still work efficiently. Fishermen must be able to fish in a practical manner within the parameters of the research project. They also must be accountable to con-
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104 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE tracts and other obligations, must provide a safe working environment, and must follow strict guidelines while effectively using their fishing gear. Most important, the vessels used in successful cooperative research must be safe and seaworthy. lust as vessels used for fishery-independent research must follow the highest standards of safety, so must vessels used for cooperative research. For cooperative research projects to be successful, scientists and the agency (or agencies) administrators must make a commitment to coopera- tive research. Cooperative research requires secured funding that is avail- able from the planning to the completion of the research. Even in extreme cases where industry designs and operates the project, the management agencies must have a mechanism for accepting, evaluating, and incorporat- ing the appropriate information provided. Agencies that run successful cooperative research projects should have "cooperative research-friendly" policies. The personalities of scientists do- ing cooperative research are different from those of scientists who work exclusively in a lab or a classroom, and the overseeing agency needs to acknowledge and support this kind of scientist in order for cooperative research to have the greatest opportunity to succeed. Cases of scientists in need of material or information and in extenuating circumstances resulting from unforeseen circumstances at sea illustrate the need for the employers of scientists to provide cooperation and support in order to keep the project intact. The agency must be as committed as the scientist and likewise must be as flexible. Administrative infrastructure must have the capacity to handle . , . cooperative partnersnlps. Leadership support of scientists and managers who foster cooperative research is critical. This includes rewarding cooperative research with pro- fessional advancement and acknowledgment of the increased effort it takes to succeed in joint endeavors. Consistent, basic standards and criteria for awarding grants, distribut- ing money, selecting cooperative partners, choosing vessels, and deciding other aspects of cooperative projects, such as the basic authority to conduct such work, would shield the agency from challenges that the various coop- erative research programs are inconsistent and therefore unfair. Further, communication among NMFS headquarters, regional offices, and the fish- eries science centers should include sharing of problem-solving tactics and successful experiences. One region of the country need not be "reinventing the wheel" that another part of the country has already developed. Successful cooperative research programs often require clear, complete
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WHAT WORKS AND DOESN'T WORK 105 contracts, written from the inception of the program, that define in com- plete detail the expectations from all parties as well as the compensation the fishermen will receive. These contracts spell out all the details of everyone's obligations and duties. This kind of contract ensures compliance by the fishermen with the project's protocols, prevents disputes about roles and duties, and provides assurances for the fishermen about their compensa- tlon. The agency in charge of successful cooperative research also must be realistic about fishermen's compensation. They must be accountable and timely in their payment. A program that does not pay fishermen in a timely fashion will quickly lose the support of those fishermen. The fishermen who participate must also understand that the pay for their work is not renegotiable once the contract is signed. Successful cooperative research requires that scientists, fishermen, and the overseeing agency be responsible and accountable in ways not normally required in order to maintain the focus and to address the original purpose of the research. In the execution of cooperative research, scientists must ensure that the experimental procedures are followed, despite any pressure to do otherwise. Fishermen cannot "improvise" on or vary from the experi- mental procedures in order to make their operation run more smoothly. They must follow through by executing on the fishing grounds the com- mitments they have made for the project. As with any research, there may need to be some adjustments to the experimental procedures to address design flaws or information needs. These changes must be agreed to by all participants. Further, the overseeing agency must utilize the results of the cooperative research appropriately. If a management agency has requested the results, it needs to follow through by assessing those results and using them appropriately. Communication of Results Proper and timely dissemination of the results from cooperative re- search projects is essential. The first step of this dissemination process is to have the results peer reviewed to validate the work. It is important that before any data or analysis reach anyone outside the project it first be fully analyzed and validated, through the peer review process and then put into final form. Once the review is completed, the results can be distributed to fishery managers, fishermen, and the public at large. If the cooperative research is based on a management need, it is especially important that the
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106 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE results be fully validated before managers receive them. There also may be pressure to release preliminary data or results prior to the completion of the peer review process. While this should be prevented, all participants need to be prepared to address possible interpretations of the leaked data and results and emphasize the importance of waiting until completion of the project (including peer review) prior to using the data and results. Since an important benefit of cooperative research can be the fostering of healthy relations between NMFS and the fishing community, it is also important that the fishermen have full access to the results of the coopera- tive research through full distribution of the results to fishermen's associa- tions and the press. If the project is to be effective, the public and fishermen, especially those fishermen involved in the project, need to know that good research does not necessarily produce good news. Fishermen need to be able to do their part of the research without prejudice and must be willing to live with the results. REASONS FOR FAILURE Cooperative research can fail for the same reasons that any research can fail. If the science is not done well or if the data are poor, neither will be of much value. If the purpose of a research project is unclear or too broad, the results can be meaningless. If a project is not adequately funded, it may not be completed. These vulnerabilities are not unique to coopera- tive research. They apply to fishery-independent research as well. But the special conditions of cooperative research make it vulnerable to particular kinds of failure. Lack of coordinating control is one way that a cooperative research project can fail. With the many different parties involved in cooperative research, any participant wavering from protocols can provide bad data. Cooperative research "can be frustrated or even destroyed by the actions of only a few individuals" (Leeman, 19981. If quality data are not collected all the way through the project, or at least consistently, the project is vulner- able to failure. The proper procedures for data gathering must be estab- lished early, communicated fully and repeatedly, and overseen properly, or the project can fail. Another failure of control of cooperative research is when fishing done as research "assumers] an economic life of its own . . . [when an] experimental fishery [is] regarded as a necessary part ofthe . . . industry" (Leeman, 19981.
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WHAT WORKS AND DOESN'T WORK 107 In other words, the industry quickly becomes used to another source of income and resists, through fishing and through the political process, relin- quishing that income. This can be prevented by a clear, complete statement of purpose to which all parties agree at the outset of the cooperative re- search. When the project ends, the industry has to be prepared to stop any extra fishing that the project may have provided. Once again, if this point is made clear early and communicated regularly, the problem can be avoided. The results of research are often not simple. This is especially true if the cooperative research deals with a fishery with any allocation fights be- tween user groups. Conclusions of a cooperative research project need to be carefully elucidated in order to draw accurate and proper conclusions. If unprocessed results of a project reach the public before the final reviews on that project are complete and validated, that project's intent is in jeopardy. What was intended to bring order to a problem can instead provoke chaos. Fisheries with allocation wars between user groups make cooperative research difficult. Without careful screening of suggestions for cooperative research, there is a risk of doing research that may further the bargaining position of one specific user group. A group of fishermen may want to do research as a political attack on another group that targets the same stock of fish, with the result that the first group attains some allocation priority to those fish, or fishermen may oppose a specific proposal for research on their gear if they fear the data obtained may be used against them in allocation battles. For example, the results of the West Coast trawl bycatch study have often been used by users of other gear types as arguments against trawl allocation, leading some trawlers to question the usefulness of such studies for their political position in allocation battles. Allocation battles can ruin a project by degrading the commitment to good science and the proper gathering of data. Cooperative research will effectively fail, no matter how good the sci- entific work is, if the administration required to handle the results of the work is insufficient. For fiscal years 1999 through 2003, the New England region has spent or obligated $7.9 million for cooperative research projects. With even more appropriations due in the future, regional officials have stated that they currently are unprepared to handle the amount of informa- tion from the resultant cooperative research. Results of successful projects will be useless if the management agencies cannot assimilate them as required. Indiscriminately providing money for cooperative research will not work if money and support are not provided appropriately to all parts of the system.
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108 COOPERATIVE RESEAR CHIN THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE MAKING COOPERATIVE RESEARCH WORK The extra education and administration needed for cooperative research will require extra work and vigilance on the part of NMFS, as has been noted earlier in this report. But a successful NMFS cooperative re- search program can provide solutions to problems that directly affect the agency. The first of these problems is money. Budgets are shrinking, while the duties of NMFS are expanding and becoming more diverse and demand- ing. Conservation imperatives and management mandates are not as simple as they once were. Increasingly, rigorous standards of overfishing, bycatch, and ecosystem management require better management tools to meet their requirements. NMFS needs more research in order to develop these man- agement tools, and in some cases cooperative research is the most cost- effective kind of research. NMFS has to spend enormous amounts of manpower and money on recent litigation brought by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and fishermen. Cooperative research has effectively thwarted lawsuits when it has been a tool to target a specific contentious issue and has established a basis for making rational, effective decisions that can resolve a particular issue (e.g., albatrosses in Alaska, stock assessments in surf clams). The effect of the cooperative research is more than just providing good data. The process also can relieve the tension between the parties involved in the litigation by the act of working toward a common solution. If NMFS can use cooperative research effectively for these purposes, it follows that the fishery management council (FMC) process will also ben- efit. By shedding light on contentious fisheries issues, cooperative research can provide a lubricant to the politics of the fisheries management process. If the parties involved in any FMC battle have worked together to under- stand an issue, they often have a less hostile, more understanding view of each other's position. Not only can cooperative research provide quality information with which an FMC can make decisions, but these decisions also can be made in a more conciliatory, less politically charged environment. The FMCs were designed to be an open process, with direct participa- tion of fishermen, scientists, and the public in the crafting of regulations. In practice, however, this sometimes is not the case if only because of a lack of understanding. Fishermen often need to know more of the management process and scientific principles on which management decisions are based. Many managers and scientists have not had direct experience in commer-
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WHAT WORKS AND DOESN'T WORK 109 cial fisheries and often lack basic knowledge of fisheries under their review. Cooperative research provides a venue for helping to solve this problem. Cooperative research is often cited as a means for fishermen to trust NMFS science, or at least to trust the results of research with which they are involved. When one considers the costs of a lack of trust the costs in manpower and resources of a politically besieged management system- then effort expended to bolster science for the sake of building political will is worth doing. Trust has real value. Cooperative research increases the knowledge of fishing communities of the processes that govern their fortunes. Well-informed fishing commu- nities tend to be supportive of management and conservation, while fishing communities that are poorly informed tend to be reactionary and resistant. Though most cooperative research has been done without the participa- tion of NGOs, they could be enlisted as participants and provide another point of view for the design of cooperative research. Since many of the problems of fisheries stem from environmental concerns, the participation of NGOs could provide an opportunity to directly address those concerns. The resulting partnerships could be another way to defuse potentially con- tentious and litigious issues. If the NGOs have the same understanding of a problem as the fishermen and the scientists, NMFS will have a better abil- ity to reach a consensus with all these groups without going to court. The indiscriminate use of cooperative research poses some dangers. "Science for hire" with a preconceived agenda could pass for cooperative research if the screening and review process is not sufficiently rigorous. Though legitimate cooperative research can have the benefit of uniting people, misused or shoddy cooperative research could further divide people, cause more hostility, and be an unsound basis for management. Cooperative research possesses potential problems in other ways. Re- sults of cooperative research may prove that a scientist with a long history of a certain point of view has been mistaken. Scientists must be willing to accept that result if the cooperative research is valid. Fishermen may find that the results of cooperative research show that a stock of fish may be weaker or a certain gear may be more destructive than they thought. They may face restrictions they don't like as a result of cooperative research. As with any research, if the work is done well, the results must be taken for what they are. If fishermen realize this and are favored by the status quo, they may resist cooperative research. If scientists realize this and are too proud to undergo scrutiny in the open forum of cooperative research, they may resist cooperative research as well.
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Representative terms from entire chapter: