Hot Off the Press: Reconciling Social Justice and Ecosystem-Based Management in the Wake of a Successful Predator Reintroduction

Evelyn Pinkerton, Anne Salomon and Frank Dragon have a paper that was published today in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. It suggests that in the case of sea otter recovery on the west coast of North America, not only is Canada’s Species at Risk Act in conflict with Indigenous rights, but how also there are equity and social justice gaps in the principles of ecosystem-based management (EBM).

The paper explores evidence of sea otter management among precontact Northwest Coast societies and a contemporary co-managed system proposed by the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations that would combine research with refinement of traditional hunting practices. It shows that barriers persist through lack of knowledge of past controlled hunts, ignorance of recent experiences of successful community-based clam management, distrust of Indigenous capacity to self-manage or co-manage a hunt, and divergent values among actors.

Lots of the ideas contained in this paper come from the Coastal Voices project, so it is great to see this knowledge being broadcast to larger international science audiences!

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