The paradox of public participation in fisheries governance. The rising number of actors and the devolution process

Suarez de Viveroa, J.L., Rodrıguez Mateosa, J.C. and Florido del Corral, D.
Marine Policy, 32(3), 319-325

During the process by which the number of actors was increased manifold as a result of the development of civil society, the fisher community has lost prominence and importance, fading into the wide spectrum of interests with which it is competing to make its voice heard in decision-making bodies and in the media. This results in what could be termed the participation paradox—the greater the number of actors, the smaller the role each plays, and the lesser the importance of traditional sectors. Participation and devolution do not bear a linear relationship; greater devolution does not necessarily result in greater participation, a claim that has contributed to the processes of devolution being overvalued. Governance, as interaction between State, civil society and the market, paradoxically might not strengthen the most traditional of the interest groups.


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