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An Evaluation of Collaborative Salmon Fishery Management in Prince William Sound, Alaska Public Deposited

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  • Collaborative decision-making is often promoted as a means to achieve socially acceptable and enduring solutions to natural resource management issues, and one that holds promise for resolving “wicked” problems. However, success rates for implementation of collaborative recommendations are unknown. This paper explores challenges to collaborative salmon fishery management in Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, based on experience made possible through internship service on the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation (PWSAC) Board of Directors, and the Alaska Hatchery Research Project (AHRP) Science Panel. Three constraints to collaborative salmon fishery management in PWS were identified, including: (1) PWS citizens’ mistrust of public managers, (2) recent and ongoing reductions to the State of Alaska’s budget, and (3) a lack of individual and organizational capacity among the area’s prospective collaborators. The paper then identifies several broad lessons to consider when collaborating, including: (1) the importance of selecting participants who possess relevant knowledge and who are willing to compromise, (2) an awareness and acceptance of the significant resources and time that collaborations require, (3) the availability of organizational capacity to support these endeavors, and (4) the availability of individuals with the credibility and skills required to effectively lead collaborations. The paper concludes with some recommendations for PWSAC and AHRP to consider when attempting collaborations in the future, including resorting to a quasi-traditional top-down management approach should their attempts at collaboration fail.
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  • Sheridan, Thomas M. 2017. An Evaluation of Collaborative Salmon Fishery Management in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Final Report, Professional Science Masters Program, Oregon State University, Corvallis, 95 pp.
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