Effective and sustainable management of marine ecosystems and resources relies on both qualitative and quantitative scientific information. For many global marine populations technical scientific information is lacking. In these cases it is important to tap into other possible sources of information when dealing with marine environmental issues. One source for information can be found among local populations of a given area. Traditional or local knowledge regarding the surrounding environment is dependent on “multiple bodies of knowledge accumulated through many generations of close interactions between people and the natural world” (Drew 2004). Many local stakeholder groups (i.e. fishermen, women,local tourist businesses, village elders, spiritual leaders and local governments) retain relevant information on fish stocks, resource and environment changes over time, household characteristics, socio-economic trends etc (Obura et.al. 2002). This nature of knowledge is referred to as traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). TEK can be used in participatory management strategies as a resource for creating alliances between informal and formal institutions. It can also create links between government, local users and scientists.
Hill, Kalah D., "Examining the influences of traditional social codes and taboos in marine resource use and regulations in northeastern Madagascar." (2011). Internship Reports (Restricted). 237.
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