Assessing information-sharing networks within small-scale fisheries and the implications for conservation interventions

William N.S. Arlidge, Josh A. Firth, Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto, Bruno Ibanez-Erquiaga, Jeffrey C. Mangel, Dale Squires, E. J. Milner-Gulland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The effectiveness of behavioural interventions in conservation often depends on local resource users' underlying social interactions. However, it remains unclear to what extent differences in related topics of information shared between resource users can alter network structure - holding implications for information flows and the spread of behaviours. Here, we explore the differences in nine subtopics of fishing information related to the planned expansion of a community co-management scheme aiming to reduce sea turtle bycatch at a small-scale fishery in Peru. We show that the general network structure detailing information sharing about sea turtle bycatch is dissimilar from other fishing information sharing. Specifically, no significant degree assortativity (degree homophily) was identified, and the variance in node eccentricity was lower than expected under our null models. We also demonstrate that patterns of information sharing between fishers related to sea turtle bycatch are more similar to information sharing about fishing regulations, and vessel technology and maintenance, than to information sharing about weather, fishing activity, finances and crew management. Our findings highlight the importance of assessing information-sharing networks in contexts directly relevant to the desired intervention and demonstrate the identification of social contexts that might be more or less appropriate for information sharing related to planned conservation actions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number211240
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2021


  • bycatch
  • null model
  • permutation
  • sea turtle
  • social network analysis


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