Local Fisheries Knowledge (LFK)

  • LFK is knowledge concerning many aspects of commercial, subsistence, and recreational marine fishing / harvest, including the marine environment and species; fishing culture and society; fishing technology and practices; and business and economic aspects of fishing.

  • LFK is acquired and possessed by those involved on a day-to-day basis in marine fishing / harvesting and related activities (e.g., fish processing, boat building, and fishing gear construction).

  • LFK is derived from personal and collective observations and experiences over a single lifetime or many generations.

  • LFK is transmitted orally and through observation.

  • LFK can be possessed personally and communally.

  • LFK is connected to place and is locally specific.



Maine herring fishermen.1969. Photo from the NOAA Photo Library.


Local Fisheries Knowledge Research

Local fisheries knowledge research is a type of cultural research. Culture is the shared code of meanings, conventions and knowledge that lie behind a people’s way of life. It is the “common sense” of a particular society. Culture is learned through the acquisition of a language, through observation, and through experience. Some call these patterns of life in communities’ socio-cultural systems (Keesing, Roger. “Theories of Culture”, Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 3, Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews, Inc, 1974, pg. 82).


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