Fishers perspectives on the barriers for the English inshore fleet to diversify into aquaculture

Heather Conejo-Watt, Angela Muench, Stephen C. Mangi, Keith Jeffery, Kieran Hyder

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Long-term trends in seafood production and demand indicate a need to move away from capture fisheries in favour of increased aquaculture production. The paper explores the potential social and economic barriers towards creating a more holistic seafood production chain. Fisheries not only provide food but also play a significant role in the provision of cultural ecosystem services. Diversification to a similar maritime activity is therefore a potential solution to help preserve this culturally significant activity as well as sustaining food provision and income. However, there are potential social and economic barriers that need to be understood to allow this integration of sectors to happen. This study uses the Q-methodology to investigate the integration or diversification into aquaculture in the English inshore fleet. The results indicate distinctive viewpoints of fishers on aquaculture and the barriers to integration. There were two emergent viewpoints that were positive to diversification into aquaculture and two viewpoints that were against integration. The findings suggest that there is room for policy makers to encourage diversification using measures such as providing guidance documents or training in winter downtime to help fishers to get technical knowledge on aquaculture. Moreover, aquaculture out-reach programmes, addressing public perceptions and aquaculture design consultations, run by NGO's or funded by government, may also provide an outlet for this group to learn more and help address the wants and interests of this group. To ease uncertainty for fishers, pilot projects demonstrating the potential co-location of aquaculture and fisheries, may another way to overcome the reluctance of some fishers to diversify into aquaculture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104610
JournalMarine Policy
Early online date2 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Blue growth
  • Income diversification
  • Q-methodology
  • Seafood production
  • Small-scale fleet
  • Sustainability

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