Using Traditional Ecological Knowledge to Improve Holistic Fisheries Management: Transdisciplinary Modeling of a Lagoon Ecosystem of Southern Mexico

"We developed a transdisciplinary modeling approach for the Huave Lagoon System (HLS), Mexico. This lagoon was selected because it has been used sustainably in various complimentary ways by different ethnic groups since pre-Hispanic times. Over the last few years, however, the ecological impact of artisanal fisheries in the region has grown significantly, thus endangering the balance between society and nature. Because the Huaves and the Zapotecs are ancestral fishing cultures with a profound knowledge of ecosystem resources and local property rights, the aim of this study was to identify ecosystem-level management alternatives capable of diminishing fishing impacts to the HLS. We used a consensus-building process and applied the user’s traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Our counterintuitive results show that specific management strategies should be considered for each particular fishing seascape within the HLS while taking into account the differences among ecological structures and fishery dynamics. The insights from this research aid in defining holistic management policies and support spatial allocations of use rights in local fisheries."
consensus, ecosystems, fisheries, traditional knowledge