When Conservation Steps Onboard a Fishing Vessel: A Conflict Between Grey Seal Conservation and Coastal Fishery

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"This paper deals with interactions between grey seals and coastal fisheries. The Kvarken region in the Bothnian Bay is selected as an illustrative example of the interaction. The problem in the region is basically that grey seals cause economic losses to fishing. As a result of growing number of seals in the coastal waters of Northern Baltic Sea, damages caused by seals to fisheries have increased rapidly. However, the number of grey seals in the Baltic Sea area has been very low and it is not certain that the population has recovered. Seal conservation is still justified, which makes the mitigation of damages caused by seals even more complex than it would be in a situation when e.g. hunting of seals did not create any risk for seals on a population level. "...The paper describes first a historical development of grey seal conservation and the coastal fishery. These developed separately, but successful conservation policy lead to a collision that now seems to be an inevitable outcome. The main focus in the rest of the paper is on a regional initiative to deal with the conflict. It is presented as a (sort of) comanagement of the conflict. The case shows the difficulties in common- pool resources (CPR) management, especially in a case like this that is not about managing a clearly identifiable resource and which have strong multi- level characteristics."
IASC, common pool resources, fisheries, sealing, coastal resources, conservation, conflict, co-management, Baltic Sea