Science and participation in governance of the Baltic Sea fisheries
Journal article, 2010
This paper is an empirical study of the role of science in environmental governance using a case study of the Baltic Sea fisheries. In an attempt to encourage stronger participation in the European fishery governance, the European Commission established the Baltic Sea Regional Advisory Council (BS RAC) in 2006. Conceptualized as a functionalistic and deliberative forum, the BS RAC consists of representatives of the fishery sector and other interest groups and provides advice to the European Commission on fishery matters. This paper examines how science and the scientific advice are perceived, interpreted and used by the stakeholders in the BS RAC. The scientific advice cannot overcome the conflict between the different rationalities of, for example, nature conservationists and fishery representatives. Unlike most environmental NGOs, fishery representatives tend to show low levels of trust towards the scientific data and the resulting advice as well as scientists in general. As a consequence, science lies often in the centre of the debate, where one side uses the scientific advice as the foundation of its position while the other side points at scientific uncertainty and/or competing knowledge to promote its alternative. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
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