Transition and adaptation An analysis of how professional fishermen change their practices

Transition and adaptation: An analysis of how professional fishermen change their practices

Transition and adaptation: An analysis of how professional fishermen change their practices

Quentin Le Bras, Didier Gascuel, Florian Quemper, Harold Levrel

Résumé

The succession of crises in the French professional fishing sector raises the question of the sector’s capacity to adapt to changes in its global environment, and of the possibilities for fishermen to change their practices. Through interviews with fishermen and representatives, 5 ideal types of individual transitions were described, as well as two examples of changes in the fisheries management system. Some changes can be characterised as adaptations following a shock, rather than real voluntary and planned transitions. Voluntary individual transitions do exist, however, initiated by a variable trigger factor, but they require a high degree of introspection about personal and professional expectations. These examples of transitions are made possible by the rare synchronisation of external events and various characteristics of the project owners and remain overall a niche phenomenon in the current situation. There is little scope for transition in the sector, mainly because of the difficulty of accessing production rights and the rigidity of management systems. To help the sector evolve and adapt to a changing macro-environment (organisational, environmental, societal, energy, etc.), transition levers can be mobilised at organisational, political, financial, technical, social and societal levels. The age structure of ships and people will probably be the mainstay of a major reconfiguration of the sector in the short term.

Citation: Le Bras Q., Gascuel D., Quemper F., Levrel H. (2024) Transition and adaptation: An analysis of how professional fishermen change their practices, Marine Policy
Volume 164, June 2024, 106154

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