Public participation is a key ingredient of good governance and there are many advantages of involving stakeholders in the decision-making process. The European Commission identified the lack of stakeholder involvement as one of the major weaknesses of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). As such, the 2002 Reform of the CFP aimed to improve its system of governance by increasing the involvement of stakeholders in decision-making. Over the last decade, Scottish inshore waters have seen an increase in management measures focused on involving fishers, delegating responsibilities and decentralizing management. The present document investigates commercial inshore fishers' perceptions of participation in the decision-making process and attitudes towards a new management regime - the Inshore Fisheries Groups (IFGs) - which aims to increase participation in and decentralization of inshore fisheries management. A survey was conducted, through face-to-face interviews, and ordered logistic and multiple regression models created to identify which characteristics influence fishers' perceptions and attitudes. The present analysis concluded that, 5 years subsequent to the reform of the CFP, the majority of inshore fishers perceive themselves not to be consulted or involved in the decision-making process. However, and despite the fact that fishers are not completely certain of the potential of the IFGs to increase their participation in the management process, they have an overall positive attitude towards their implementation.
- decision making
- inshore fisheries groups