Knowledge co-construction through knowledge actions: a case study of the Southwestern New Brunswick Bay of Fundy joint fishermen scientists Ovigerous Female Lobster(Homarus Americans) Abundance Project

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University of New Brunswick


Knowledge co-construction has gained popularity as a means to understand and identify mitigating measures for management of risk in marine environments. While there is general agreement on the value of multi-stakeholder knowledge inclusion as seen through its adoption in numerous joint stakeholder collaborations, there is still much to learn about how knowledge co-construction takes place and what factors contribute to its success. The early boundary work of Star and Griesemer (1989) laid the foundation for examining the relations between stakeholders and the exchange of knowledge sets. The subsequent literature however, has yet to speak to what is meant by the knowledge that is being jointly produced. This dissertation proposes an action oriented definition of knowledge that includes: theorizing relationships, agreeing on key concepts, specifying and interpreting required data, identifying principles and making evaluations. An argument will be made for the examination of knowledge actions in tandem with interdisciplinary knowledge exchange literature to glean a greater understanding of how knowledge co-construction occurs. Examples in support of this argument will be drawn from a case study examining the development and implementation of a scientific protocol for the Ovigerous Female Lobster Abundance Project, a joint fishermen-scientist project examining the impact of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) aquaculture industry on the in-shore American lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery of Southwest New Brunswick. It is the conclusion of this dissertation that an increased understanding of the actions of knowledge in relation to the essential boundary objects used for joint stakeholder projects will both facilitate knowledge co-construction and inform risk assessment.