CORDIS - EU research results

Social transformations of marine fisheries

Project description

How fisheries react to environmental and social challenges

A wide range of local and global challenges require fisheries to plunge into deep and enduring transformations. These can be difficult to forecast and invert and can also have extensive impacts on fish stocks, ecosystems and society. However, little is known about why some fisheries succeed in transforming themselves while others fail to do so. The EU-funded SOCIALSHIFT project will study how fisheries successfully react to environmental and social challenges. It will integrate studies from different disciplines in a global database to determine the reasons for such challenges and the restraining as well as enabling conditions for social changes in marine fisheries. Through individual interviews, it will investigate what social changes signify to individuals and how they shape and connect this transformation to ecological factors.


SOCIALSHIFT investigates how fisheries can respond successfully to environmental and social challenges. Due to pressing local and global issues, fisheries are undergoing profound and long-lasting changes. These so-called transformations are hard to predict, difficult to reverse, and can have far-reaching impacts on fish stocks, ecosystems, economic outcomes, and social wellbeing. However, social transformations remain largely unexplored in the marine realm. Why are some fisheries capable of going through transformations with positive, desirable effects while others collapse or take an undesirable route? SOCIALSHIFT reunites studies from different disciplines in a global database to identify the drivers and inhibiting and enabling conditions for social transformations of marine fisheries. We combine this structural perspective with biographical interviews to explore what social transformations mean to individual people in marine fisheries and how their actions and mental processes shape these transformations and link to ecological factors. From case studies, we aim to develop a generalizable methods to systematically assess individual life histories and scale up qualitative approaches to make social aspects more accessible to fisheries management. Based on that, we identify tipping points and create scenarios to develop together with stakeholders inspirational visions for the future and resilient management strategies. The results will advance the field of fisheries science, raise awareness of social issues in fisheries, contribute to the understanding of complex systems, and provide guidance to decision-makers on how to steer successful transformations into resilient trajectories.



Net EU contribution
€ 172 932,48
15782 Santiago De Compostela

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Noroeste Galicia A Coruña
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 172 932,48