Author Archives: Emilie Lindkvist

About Emilie Lindkvist

Researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm,Sweden. Interested in understanding social-ecological systems with a focus on small-scale fisheries,often using agent-based modeling as a way to understand and integrate case knowledge.

Upcoming visit to Zanzibar & Invitation to workshop

Our three year project about octopus closures in the Western Indian Ocean is coming to a close this year. In this project we have had the opportunity to explore the combination of agent-based modeling and empirical participatory field methods to answer questions about trade-offs, benefit sharing, as well as short- and long term social-ecological outcomes in protected areas.

On June 28th – July 7th 2022 the OctoPINTS team will be heading back to Zanzibar to feed back our results to villages and stakeholders. We will visit the communities we engaged with in our fieldwork back in 2019, where we plan to share our stories through forum theater and the agent-based model we developed based on the stories. In addition we will visit the local NGO we collaborated with in 2019 to go deeper into our methodologies and results with them. We’ll also bring a booklet (available in English or Kiswahili) where the stories are written and illustrated.

We look forward to revisiting Zanzibar and perhaps even see some of you there, if not – we will continue sharing our experiences in this blog!

Best wishes,

The OctoPINTS team


Stakeholder workshop July 6th, Stone Town Zanzibar – Open Invitation

Workshop for sharing and discussing processes & outputs around octopus closures based on results from the OctoPINTS research project

Dear octopus closure or MPA practitioner/researcher! 

If you are interested in learning more about our work and continue the dialogue around closures you are warmly welcome to attend our upcoming workshop, Stone Town, Zanzibar.

When:       Wednesday July 6th 12:00-16:00 Starting with lunch. 

Where:     The Golden Tulip hotel, Stone Town, Zanzibar.

How:         Please email druryoneill.elizabeth@gmail.com If you are interested in participating to make sure there is room and we can plan better. Let us know if you are joining as soon as possible but at the latest June 26th. 

We would like to share our work with you on our methods and results from the process. And have a dialogue around the implications around our results and how to take things forward. If it is not possible for you to attend the workshop, and you are located in Zanzibar, we might be able to visit your office on another day for a meeting to share our work. Don’t hesitate to contact  us by emailing druryoneill.elizabeth@gmail.com if so! 

Warmly welcome,

Emilie Lindkvist, Liz Drury O’Neill, Tim Daw, Rose Mwaipopo, Andrew Wamukota (on site Zanzibar)

The OctoPINTS team

OCTOPINTS SECOND YEAR

Our OctoPINTS project has officially been running for two years (and 4months)! This is a slightly delayed annual report of our activities and outputs for the second year and a bit more from June 2020 to October 2021. Please find a pdf version of the report here.

OctoPINTS Background

OctoPINTS May 2021 – Maja, Liz, Emilie, Jineth and Tim trying out a social distancing workshop with Rose, Andrew, and Benni on Zoom.

The OctoPINTS project is based on the belief that the intersection between participatory empirical research and agent-based modeling is a useful way to understand critical aspects of sustainability in small-scale fisheries. In collaboration with researchers from Sweden (Emilie Lindkvist, Liz Drury O’Neill, Tim Daw, Maja Schlüter), Kenya (Andrew Wamukota) and Tanzania (Rosemarie Mwaipopo) we have continued our exciting work that started back in 2019. This last year has included fieldwork data analysis, agent-based modeling, and online expert workshops, a storytelling series, as well as several conference presentations. This document summarizes the key activities and outputs that we have accomplished during the second year within the OctoPINTS project.

Overarching Project Aims

  1. Untangle what defines success of Octopus closures for different stakeholders in Zanzibar and across the Western Indian Ocean (WIO).
  2. Identify the mechanisms leading to successful outcomes in Zanzibar and across the WIO
  3. Reveal the trade-offs between short- and long-term outcomes and between different social groups within fishing communities in Zanzibar.
  4. Understand fishers and fish workers’ perceptions of closures in Zanzibar in different points in time and how that affects fishers’ motivations and actions.

We take a gendered perspective and thus include gender and gendered processes in our understanding of success, mechanisms, and trade-offs as well as in the models we develop.

Co-developed research questions

  1. Which factors influence the closure model design, compliance and outcomes under different conditions? Such as community relations, neighbors & migrant fishers, history of conservation, tourism, national policies, power relations and roles (by gender, age, class/wealth), enforcement agencies or NGOs.
  2. How does the closure model design process influence compliance and outcomes?
    For example, with respect to participation, equity, agency, communication and information sharing, design of closure.
  3. How do different fishery actors perceive the process and outcomes? And how are different social groups affected by the closures?

How do outcomes of the closure model reinforce or change future closures and community dynamics? E.g., relationships between fishery actors, agency and capacity, institutional dynamics, closure design.

Expanding the team

Two brilliant minds joined us during 2021. Jineth Berrío-Martínez, who will work on her master’s thesis with the tentative title “Exploring complexities of octopus fishery closures: a case study from Zanzibar, Tanzania”. She will do a rapid literature review on Octopus cyanea, review topics in our fieldwork, and make expert interviews to design and model the characteristic of the octopus and analyze the social-ecological outcomes of periodic octopus closures. Very exciting! Starting mid-August for 2.5 months we had the opportunity to have Benedetta Veneroni, from the University of Freiburg, doing her internship with us to learn agent-based modeling, engage in a research environment, and explore the topic of masculinities within the OctoPINTS fieldwork and in SSF. You can read her reflections from her internship (Veneroni, 2021a) and about her work on masculinities (Veneroni, 2021b) in our blog. Earlier in 2021 we also hosted SRC master student Anna Garre during a one-month internship on Intersectionality, one of our key OctoPINTS topics. She interviewed Liz among other researchers about how they approach intersectionality in their work as well as hosted a seminar discussion “Why care about Intersectionality?” and published her internship work in this blogpost “Intersectionality – of growing interest to social-ecological systems research”. In addition Anna also has worked with translation of our work into French (see the fieldwork section below).

Activities and outreach

This year we spent our time analyzing fieldwork data from our three Zanzibari sites and building the agent-based model. The planned second round of fieldwork had to be postponed due to COVID. The first round however has been shared through stories, available on our website and at Spotify and is soon to be shared through the publication “Compliance, complexity and cephalopods–Contested responses to collaborative marine natural resource management” led by Liz (Drury O’Neill et al., In Preparation), as well as in the model “The OctoSim Model: Compliance and periodic fisheries closures”, a beta version of which can be found at CoMSES (Lindkvist, 2021)

Expert workshop Sept 2021

During our weekly Tuesday mini-meetings involving Emilie, Tim and Liz, we have been discussing theories and frameworks for analyzing the fieldwork data in addition to other practicalities. We complemented these meetings during Autumn with a couple of modeling sessions involving Maja, our students Benedetta and Jineth. Benedetta and Jineth also joined us for our yearly OctoPINTS team meeting which happened over three days in September. This event included a half day expert workshop where we invited scientists and practitioners working with octopus closures from the WIO region, including those who had participated in our 2019 WIOMSA session in Mauritius. The online expert workshop sparked many interesting discussions based on the fieldwork results shared by Liz, through a story-telling exercise, and through Emilie presenting the model. Thanks to Tim’s excellent facilitation skills as well as tech and planning support by Benedetta and Jineth we were able to have multiple break out discussions and plenaries on compliance, collaboration and intervention-dynamics throughout the WIO. This session was invaluable to the progress as well as quality of our work and we are very grateful to those that participated and so actively engaged in the workshop.

Our poster at UDSM research week in Sociology and Anthropology at CoSS.

In May 2021 Rosemarie presented our research project at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Research Week, an event at UDSM where all research projects are presented and where participants prepare materials and the university prepare the final posters. Rosemarie and the OctoPINTS project were among the three research projects selected as best projects at the College of Social Science level and was then presented in the final University level Research week where projects from all disciplines are displayed. Our project was also selected for display [as part of UDSM] at the National Saba-Saba Celebrations of 2021, held for 10 days at the Mwalimu Nyerere International Trade Fair Grounds. The Saba-Saba celebrations are an annual event held for two weeks and climaxes on 7th July. These celebrations bring together academic, research, service, business, philanthropist and other innovations every year.

TBTI Session. Between June 2nd and 8th 2021 the international small-scale fisheries research partnership Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) virtually hosted 40 sessions run by 70 different organizations in celebration of World Oceans Week 2021 on the theme ‘Life and Livelihoods’. The open house focused on 5 main themes- 1) Wellbeing and food security; 2) Gender & dignity; 3) Change & resilience; 4) Justice & equity; and 5) Capacity & prospects. OctoPINTS took part in the Justice and Equity Day hosting an hour long session (Check out the full session on youtube). We focused the session on methodologies for understanding how small-scale fishery interventions are experienced, understood and simulated by stakeholders and researchers. We spotlighted the rapidly spreading periodic octopus closure in the WIO. The session reflected on multiple understandings and explorations of what ‘success’ means for this intervention process, particularly in the long term. The session led to fruitful discussions about the methodologies and perspectives of researching dimensions of equity or justice in a small-scale fishery context- where power imbalances and social marginalization often characterize aspects of who and how people access, participate and benefit from interventions (Drury O’Neill et al., 2021).

We participated in the MARE conference 2021 where Liz presented our work with emphasis on the fieldwork results in her presentation “The politics of compliance in marine protected areas- the case of octopus closures”, and Emilie presented with focus on the modeling work at the Social Simulations Conference ”Understanding complexities in small-scale fisheries: Combining stories and simulations”. The latter will be published as a part of a conference series.

Liz and Emilie presenting at SwAM

We also had the opportunity to present at Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM), in the network group for gender equity and human rights (Swe- Havs och vatten myndigheten, Nätverksgruppen för jämställdhet och rättigheter). SwAM is the government agency tasked to protect, restore and ensure sustainable use of freshwater resources and seas including fisheries management, with a strong focus in the WIO region. Emilie and Liz presented the project and Liz read Nuru’s story.

Benedetta and Liz organized a well-attended seminar on Watery Masculinities with the Stewardship and Transformative futures Theme and Complexities Theme seminar at SRC where they presented theories and fieldwork reflections around masculinities. She chose the exciting topic of masculinities in fisheries and attempted to model these (Veneroni, 2021b), as well as organized a much appreciated seminar on masculinities at the SRC. We hope to have her back again soon and wish her the best of luck in her next internship at the FAO fisheries division in the gender team– and with finishing her master’s program and thesis (maybe with us!).

We also shared our work in the SES-LINK research group of which Maja, Emilie, Liz are members as well as Jineth and Benedetta during their time with OctoPINTS. Benedetta led a fun session on her learning experiences from the internship and had all participants reflect and take a trip down memory lane into our own struggles starting out on our science careers – what have you overcome? What are you still working on?

The fieldwork: analysis & paper

Data analysis and paper writing have been ongoing for a year but now the paper is finally taking shape. The paper “Compliance, complexity and cephalopods–Contested responses to collaborative marine natural resource management” focuses on breaking out the social complexity of communities as a key feature of difference in how environmental and governance changes are experienced by the various types of people involved or impacted. We aim to showcase the diverse understandings of compliance as a major influencer of participatory or collaborative marine conservation interventions, exemplifying the complexity inherent to the process and the types of experiences that can emerge. Non-compliance or rule-breaking is taken as a focus as it arose from grounded qualitative methods as pertinent to many research participants. Compliance behaviour is central to the efficacy of natural resource management while at the same time provides us a chance to better understand the wide variety of contested interests involved in interventions like protected areas or fishery closures. Through the presentation of a narrative combining data from three interpretive methods we depict the heterogeneity and conflict ingrained in understandings and experiences of community-based fishery closures across six participant types in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Periodic octopus closures are taken as a case study intervention due to their rapid uptake across the WIO but also history in traditional marine resource management in Zanzibar. Our discussion looks at responses to rules, rule breaking and rulebreakers in this context through topics of inequality, motivationsorjustificationsofnon-complianceandnotionsofmasculinity, among others. Such a focus enabled us to expose tensions between resource user groups within the process and access a multiplicity of responses to the intervention and its perceived impacts. Through continuous sorting and discussions of different ideas the final working paper from the field is “Compliance, complexity and cephalopods–Contested responses to collaborative marine natural resource management” and is planned for submission before the end of the year.

The agent-based model

During the year the agent-based modeling has developed into at least a beta version! The model is published at CoMSES, The Network for Computational Modeling in Social and Ecological Sciences (CoMSES, 2019), and goes under the name “The OctoSim Model: Compliance and periodic fisheries closures (Beta) (version 1.0.0)”.

The purpose of the model is to explore how processes associated with compliance across different fishery actors’ social groups interplay with their acceptance of a fishery intervention, herein periodic closures of a small-scale octopus fishery. The model agents, entities (Figure 1) and processes (Figure 2) are designed based on stylized facts from literature and expert workshops on periodic closures in the Western Indian Ocean region, as well as fieldwork from Zanzibari villages that have implemented periodic octopus closures. The model is designed for scientists and decision-makers that are interested in understanding the complex interplay between fishers from different social groups, herein foot fisher men, foot fisher women and male skin divers or free divers within the periodic closure of an octopus species. Including various actions resulting from the restrictions, i.e., opportunities, temptation, or needs to poach as a consequence from restricting fishing in certain areas and during certain times. For the next steps we will continue sharing the model with experts for more feedback and explore scenarios for a publication associated with the model.

The OctoSim model visual interface. Free reefs in green and closure reefs in orange. Deeper reefs in darker colors where only divers can hunt octopus. The little gray dots are octopus of different sizes. Foot fishing women in orange, foot fishing men in blue, and divers in brown.
Model flowcharts. The left represents the processes when the closure is open and the right when the closure is closed.

Future outlook – 2022 The Final Year!

Our project is in its final year and we have until the end of June 2022 before our 3 years have passed. In our upcoming activities we hope to revisiting our sites in Zanzibar, perform some follow-up fieldwork and hosting a final stakeholder and expert workshop. We are very excited about upcoming Master’s Thesis and internship results and publications related to our work. We also want to take the opportunity to congratulate Liz who will continue with her own project after OctoPINTS. For the next four years she has been granted a mobility grant from The Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (Formas) titled “Patrons of the Seas: Rethinking patron-client relationships in small-scale fisheries” . We look forward to engaging and to sharing our work with you all through the final year. Best wishes, the OctoPINTS team.

See ya next year! Workshop lunch at Santa Salsa Stockholm, Benni, Emilie, Tim, Torbjörn (Emilie’s dad), Liz, and Jineth

List of Outputs

References

CoMSES, 2019. The Network for Computational Modeling in Social and Ecological Sciences [WWW Document]. URL https://www.comses.net/ (accessed 2.13.16).

Drury O’Neill, E., 2021a. Nuru’s Story. OctoPINTS. URL https://octopints.wordpress.com/2021/09/01/nurus-story/ (accessed 10.27.21).

Drury O’Neill, E., 2021b. Story: The End. OctoPINTS. URL https://octopints.wordpress.com/2021/10/02/the-end/ (accessed 10.27.21).

Drury O’Neill, E., 2021c. Introduction à la série d’histoires “personnages des fermetures de zone à la pêche : expériences humaines des projets de gestion et de conservation marine.” OctoPINTS. URL https://octopints.wordpress.com/2021/10/27/introduction-a-la-serie-dhistoires-personnages-des-fermetures-de-zone-a-la-peche-experiences-humaines-des-projets-de-gestion-et-de-conservation-marine/ (accessed 10.27.21).

Drury O’Neill, E., 2021d. L’histoire de Nuru. OctoPINTS. URL https://octopints.wordpress.com/2021/10/27/lhistoire-de-nuru/ (accessed 10.27.21).

Drury O’Neill, E., 2021e. La Fin. OctoPINTS. URL https://octopints.wordpress.com/2021/11/04/la-fin/ (accessed 11.13.21).

Drury O’Neill, E., Lindkvist, E., Daw, T., Mwaipopo, R., Wamukota, A., Schlüter, M., Veneroni, B., In Preparation. Compliance, complexity and cephalopods–Contested responses to collaborative marine natural resource management.

Drury O’Neill, E., Lindkvist, E., Daw, T.M., 2021. Stories and simulations of octopus closures in the Western Indian Ocean. Small-Scale Fisheries Openhouse with the TBTI (Too Big To Ignore) Research Partnership- In celebration of World Oceans Week 2021. URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqW8XT8yu2s&list=PLMwWC8hfI8PsDQ3_O4bNX0QMsZpv-8gbt&index=27

Garre, A., 2021. Intersectionality – of growing interest to social-ecological systems research. Social-ecological systems Scholars. URL https://sesscholars.wordpress.com/2021/09/15/intersectionality-of-growing-interest-to-social-ecological-systems-research/ (accessed 11.17.21).

Lindkvist, E., 2021. The OctoSim Model: Compliance and periodic fisheries closures (Beta).

Lindkvist, E., Veneroni, B., Daw, T.M., Drury O’Neill, E., Berrío-Martínez, J., 2021. Stories and Simulations: Compliance and Periodic Octopus Closures in the WIO region. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden, https://octopints.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/lindkvist_et_al_stories_and_simulations_workshop_report_octopints_2021.pdf.

Veneroni, B., 2021a. FOCUS-MODEL-ENGAGE: An Intern’s Experience of Complexity (in) Research. OctoPINTS. URL https://octopints.wordpress.com/2021/11/03/focus-model-engage-an-interns-experience-of-complexity-in-research/ (accessed 11.13.21).

Veneroni, B., 2021b. Gender Beyond Women: Exploring Zanzibari Masculinities for Octopus Closures’ Compliance. OctoPINTS. URL https://octopints.wordpress.com/2021/11/11/gender-beyond-women-exploring-zanzibari-masculinities-for-octopus-closures-compliance/ (accessed 11.11.21).

Stories and Simulations: Compliance and Periodic Octopus Closures in the WIO region

The amazing experts that joined our workshop September 2021.

In September 2021 we hosted a three hour online workshop to present our work and get feedback and discuss together with experts around temporal octopus closure models in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. The objectives of this meeting were to:

  1. Reconnect and build on the network established at Wiomsa 2019 and facilitate discussions between expert participants.
  2. Share and discuss findings from our empirical work on perceptions of closures and compliance in Zanzibar.
  3. Share and invite comments on the scope and behaviour of our octopus closure agent-based model.

The workshop demonstrated how a combined fieldwork, modelling and expert consultation process helps to develop systems understanding. The sharing of the fieldwork results through storytelling, painted a deep and rich description of how local fishery actors perceived the closure model’s intricate dilemmas around compliance. The sharing of the agent based model’s design, such as fishery actors and processes around compliance and patrolling, sparked discussions around interactions of the different components in the closure model. These two approaches of studying and presenting the issues around interventions herein the closure model in turn lead to deeper discussions around the social and ecological dynamics embedded in the closure model. 

This blog contains the first part of the Workshop Report, but you can download the full report here.

What experiences and knowledge was shared by participants?

Despite the variety of geographical, cultural and historical realities in which participants situated their work, the social mechanisms of compliance characteristics in Zanzibar were jointly experienced by workshop participants. They highlighted a plethora of factors shaping compliance in their local contexts, such as weather conditions, seasonality of closures and supporting livelihoods and food security. Social consensus was particularly regarded as a key attribute of compliance, the former being influenced by factors such as community consensus prior to starting a closure project, engaging actors such as commercial buyers,the presence of strong leaders and feelings of trust and pride towards closures. On the contrary, participants stated elements like intrusion of outsiders, and kinship relations impeding rule enforcement while blame towards other social groups’ activities also damaged compliance. Participants shared their experiences concerning the technicalities of closures. Here, closure entering schemes (who could enter at what point in time), levies, and income distribution at openings were mentioned, and the importance of allowing for appropriate placement of closures e.g. avoiding coincidence with other protected areas. A learning-by-doing approach for conservation’s success was emphasised,  one considering the geography and history of usage in the chosen closure area. This approach was regarded as an important tool to ensure flexibility and facilitate the achievement of community consensus over closures.

What outstanding questions, concerns & ideas emerged?

On Biological Dynamics: The biological dynamics characteristic of octopus closures were deeply discussed during the workshop, in light of the current quite simple representation of the octopus population model. Depending on the purpose of the current OctoPINTS model (or the usefulness of other future models) the need for including biological and ecological mechanisms were mentioned as these aspects may contribute to a better understanding of these interventions. Notably these mechanisms are not yet fully investigated empirically.

Participants proposed a plethora of dynamics to potentially integrate into the OctoPINTS model, such as growth and replacement rates, spawning potential, habitat preferences, seasonal variability and age-dependent mobility. Climate change was also mentioned as a threat to reef health, leading to higher uncertainty of the above parameters. After considering the various biological factors adding complexity to the current OctoPINTS model, participants asked themselves how much of such complexity was needed if the purpose is looking at compliance and fishery actors’ perceptions of the closure. As adding too much complexity might instead compromise the efficacy of the model. 

On Social Dynamics: Thoughts and questions on social dynamics flourished during the discussion, leaving us with various inspirations for future research and future models. Topics such as community’s heterogeneity and inequality were analysed. Here, questions were raised on the potential for measuring community cohesion levels and their effects on compliance in reality but also how to formalize into the model. Furthermore, individuals’ interaction to closures was examined as uniquely shaping compliance and acceptance. The example of women gleaners was proposed, describing the negative effects that the mismatching of tides and openings might have on their access, income, and ultimately on their acceptance of the closure model. Solutions to tackle intrinsic heterogeneity of communities were advanced away from blaming certain non-compliant groups of people, to promoting the distribution of “disproportional benefits” to those individuals who were the most “disproportionately disadvantaged” (e.g. fisherwomen or octopus dependent skin divers). The diversity of issues across communities was also mentioned. Examples include communities struggling with outsiders entering the fishery, but also positive examples where communities experienced successful projects, e.g. when combined with government funded alternative livelihoods, or previous experience of programmes or interventions helped communities better organize to implement the closure model. To have all different groups in a community involved and have consensus on a new project project, and the question of how to get there was also raised.

Ethical considerations on the contextual setting of non-compliance were raised, highlighting the need to consider global-to-local structures of power, ultimately shaping in some part illegal activities in closures. From here, there was a call for NGOs to take sensitive action at the local scale, specifically the continuous consultations with communities from a project’s start. The question of bottom-up was raised, are these interventions really so if it is often fishery managers and officers who drive and implement the project, in this way closures are still top down, however the top is closer to the bottom. Finally, the use of the OctoPINTS model was proposed as a way to allow managers to better understand and experiment with the complexities of adaptively managing fisheries

What will the OctoPINTS project do next with workshop results?

Model development

This workshop held two aims for the model, firstly to share the current model and get feedback on its current design with particular focus on key mechanisms and processes such as compliance and acceptance. Second, we are complexifying the biological and ecological components of the model, partly through a master’s thesis within the OctoPINTS project, so we intentionally focused the workshop on getting input for that part of the model. 

The current OctoPINTS model will be updated with smaller fishing grounds for the deep reefs and the divers. The growth model will likely be a choice of the Herwig et al. (2012) who worked with free octopus, rather than van Heukelem (1973) who had them in captivity. Include the individual economic benefits from one opening to another. Foot fishers fishing in the free area will be in relation to tides, however noting we are really only concerned with the closure dynamics so this is primarily to include some more realism. We will look into fishers moving to favourite areas versus moving random. 

The scenarios we explore with the model, will be informed by the diversity of context that we have learned from this workshop. This means looking at different contexts that represent different community characteristics to see based on the included model processes, which community type has higher or lower probability to develop or maintain high acceptability of closures and make them successful.

Empirical investigations

As a result of our workshop we summarize questions that came up during the workshop as potential future investigations. Can we rethink and reevaluate what really contributes to increased or decreased acceptance? And the same for compliance. Is individual compliance more affected by a) individual acceptance, or b) the acceptance of the community as a whole (representing social pressure), or the c) acceptance in their peer groups (e.g., fellow skin divers). How does the issue of pride and identity contribute to compliance and acceptance? How does trust in compliance play a role? As an example – I trust my peers completely, but do I trust that others comply? What is the influence of that on acceptance of the closure model? What is the role of market dynamics with regards to export of the octopus, and how does it link to compliance and the acceptance of the closure model? However, we are not sure to what degree we will be able to explore these questions within our project timeline. 

Summary of future dream outputs

Just before closing the workshop we asked participants to dream away and Tim asked what they would like to see as next steps. Everyone had a go at this question! “I would be interested to see how the model and/or fieldwork can represent ____”. 

  • The model should take into consideration the biological, ecological, fishery related characteristics – to be able to propose management measures for the species.
  • More biological influences in the model. How do we measure social cohesion and how does it affect the model?
  • Interesting to have a model to ensure adaptive management. Is there potential for a real-time model that could be applied at the local community level? Interesting question that we’d love to discuss in a future conversation.
  • The wider impacts on biodiversity that the octopus fishery has (e.g. the reef, bycatch, biological diversity)
  • There is potentially so much that could be added to the model. Global warming and how it affects growth parameters. Although there is only so much to be added in order not to compromise the efficacy of the model.
  • My lens now is responding to the critiques of community cohesion and homogeneity and learning to live with the disensus, discussing the critiques laid against Ostrom and CBNRM in failing to grapply with heterogeneity and conflict. 
  • How does the NGO consult with the community at the start of the project? There will be more emphasis in making sure that procedures such as FPIC (Free, Prior and Informed Consent) are used. Having a focus on compliance pre-conservation projects and wondering if that could be a factor that could be added to the model. How thorough was the consultation process? Also, does it make a difference who breaks the rules? Is it a woman gleaner, a village leader, are they going to have different influences on the level of compliance? And then apply different fines to different people.
  • Great, interesting model! a need or question: how to include additional biological components? And how much do biological components influence compliance beyond the financial benefits? Are we adding (unnecessary) complexity by adding all this detail? 
  • Fascinating to continue with the discussion and summarise complexity and agree on some objectives. The model could be used for discussion. Market dynamics are not considered much, but could be enriching the model.

We, the OctoPINTS team, are truly grateful for the deep engagement of the participants in the workshop and are keen to continue collaboration within this network to further develop the model, disseminate knowledge on closure dynamics and explore how the OctoPINTS project can contribute to sustainable collaborative fishery management in the region. Warm wishes, the OctoPINTS participants Emilie, Tim, Liz, Andrew, Benedetta, and Jineth and OctoPINTS members Rosemarie Mwaipopo and Maja Schlüter who were not able to participate.

Organizers

The OctoPINTS research project (https://octopints.wordpress.com/), a transdisci- plinary research project based at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden and funded by the Swedish Research Council Dnr 2018-05862.

Contributors

Workshop prepared by Emilie Lindkvist, Elizabeth (Liz) Drury O’Neill, Tim Daw, Benedetta Veneroni, and Jineth Berrío-Martínez. Contributions of all the participants of the session as listed at the end of this report.

Keywords

Fishery Closures, Collaborative Conservation, Closure models, WIO region, Story telling, Agent-based modeling, Octopus, Small-scale fisheries.

Suggested Citation

Lindkvist, E, Veneroni, B., Daw, T., Drury O’Neill, L., Berrío-Martínez, J. (2021). Stories and Simulations: Compliance and Periodic Octopus Closures in the WIO region. Workshop Report. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Stories and Simulations of Octopus Closures in the WIO – Welcome to join us @ TBTI – SSF Open House, June 7th 2.30pm GMT.

Dear All, we are approaching our final year of the OctoPINTS project, and next up we are sharing our first reflections and insight from our research at the Small-scale Fisheries Open House on the day dedicated to Justice and Equity.

Our hour-long session will focus on methodologies for understanding how small-scale fishery interventions are experienced, understood and simulated by stakeholders and researchers. We spotlight the rapidly spreading periodic octopus closure in the Western Indian Ocean. The session will reflect on multiple understandings and explorations of what ‘success’ means for this intervention process, particularly in the long term. We start by introducing our project, team and cases. Next, a storytelling exercise presents and prioritizes stakeholders’ ideas of closure activities and outcomes while an agent-based model helps to investigate phenomena they identified as important. We end on reflections and discussions from the team and audience on our approach.

Flyer prepared by TBTI!

We hope to see you there! Warmly Welcome, the OctoPINTS team

Online event: OctoPINTS @ TBTI – SSF Open House (14:30 GMT)
June 7th 2021 at 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Zoom link June 7: Justice & Equity
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87443043812

Full schedule and links to the event

OctoPINTS first year!

Our OctoPINTS project has officially been running for one whole year! This is a summary of our activities and milestones for the first project year June 2019-June 2020.

OctoPINTS background

The OctoPINTS project is based on the belief that the intersection between participatory empirical research and agent-based modeling is a useful way to understand critical aspects of sustainability in small-scale fisheries. In collaboration with researchers from Sweden (Emilie Lindkvist, Liz Drury O’Neill, Tim Daw, Maja Schlüter), Kenya (Andrew Wamukota), Tanzania (Rosemarie Mwaipopo) and the local NGO MWAMBAO in Zanzibar (Represented by Lorna Slade) we took our first small steps in Stockholm during a few sunny spring days before the official start of the project.

Throughout the year we have combined face-to-face workshops and online meetings to progress on our project and its key activities, such as fieldwork, workshop, conference sessions, and designing the agent-based model. We have had in-depth discussions to refine our research questions, aims, goals and developed a theory of change for the project. This document summarizes the key activities and outputs that we have accomplished so far within OctoPINTS.

Overarching Project Aims

  1. Untangle what defines success of Octopus closures for different stakeholders in Zanzibar and across the WIO.
  2. Identify the mechanisms leading to successful outcomes in Zanzibar and across the WIO
  3. Reveal the trade-offs between short- and long-term outcomes and between different social groups within fishing communities in Zanzibar.
  4. Understand fishers and fish workers perceptions of closures in Zanzibar in different points in time and how that affects fishers’ motivations and actions.

We take a gendered perspective, thus include gender, and gender processes, in our understanding of success, mechanisms and trade-offs as well as in the models we develop.

Activities

OctoPINTS kick-off Workshop (April 2019)

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Co-developing our research questions by clustering individual research questions, walk and talk in Bergianska botanical gardens, and flower watching in Kungsträdgården.

Just after Easter we met in Stockholm to continue to develop the ideas and research questions that we together wanted to explore during these next three years. We had the opportunity to learn from Rose about gendered research, Andrew about Octopus value chains, Lorna about their thinking and development of closure models in the local context of Zanzibar, from Maja and Emilie about agent-based modeling and social-ecological systems thinking, and from Tim and Liz about their earlier experiences from small-scale fisheries in East Africa. To make sure that all participants wishes and expectations were incorporated into OctoPINTS we redesigned our research questions. We let each participant formulate their personal questions on post-its to refine a new set of questions within the broader scope of our project. These questions directly informed our fieldwork and workshops later on in the year. During the course of the project different emphasis will be given to different questions.

 Co-developed research questions

  1. Which factors influence the closure model design, compliance and outcomes under different conditions? Such as community relations, neighbours & migrant fishers, history of conservation, tourism, national policies, power relations and roles (by gender, age, class/wealth), enforcement agencies or NGOs.
  2. How does the closure model design process influence compliance and outcomes? For example, with respect to participation, equity, agency, communication and information sharing, design of closure.
  3. How do different fishery actors perceive the process and outcomes? AND How are different social groups affected by the closures?
  4. How do outcome dynamics reinforce or change factors and future process?
    • How do perceptions of process and outcomes affect relationships between fishery actors?
    • How do process and outcomes affect agency and capacity?
    • How do process and outcomes affect institutional dynamics?

In subsequent discussions we also developed our common theory of change as a way to uncover our different understanding and visions of our project, from the different activities we will undertake, the outputs we will produce, the outcomes and impacts we strive for.

Figure_ Theory of change (5)

Figure 1: OctoPINTS theory of change. Impacts: we hope to contribute one small piece of the puzzle in this direction. Outcomes: local effects within Zanzibar/Pemba, knowledge outcomes, and methodological outcomes. Outputs are project deliverables. Purple = empirical domain. Pink=Academic domain. Blue=influences both empirical and academic domain.

Outputs from the Kick-off and our follow up discussions during the first months

  • Refined operational model of MWAMBAO closure model by Lorna.
  • Project directive document including refined goals, aims, objectives, and research questions.
  • Project stakeholder list.
  • Draft MoU within our team and between OctoPINTS and MWAMBAO
  • OctoPINTS theory of change
  • Blog (Lindkvist, 2019a)

April 2019 Start-up workshop for grantees of our research program

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Closing panel of the workshop with both Rose and Lorna sharing their knowledge and reflections on the workshop.

Immediately after the OctoPINTS inception workshop Emilie Lindkvist, Liz Drury O’Neill, Tim Daw and María Mancilla organized a workshop for all grantees of ”Sustainability and resilience – Tackling consequences of climate and environmental changes”, which all of the OctoPINTS team had the opportunity to participate in. We had two days of in-depth discussions on north–south collaborations with around 50 participants from the project and representatives from the funders; The Swedish Research Council and SIDA. We have summarized our insights and workshop material in the report “Challenges and Solutions for Fair and Productive International Collaborative Research Projects” (Drury O’Neill et al., 2020).

Outputs

July 2019 Special Session at WIOMSA

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Poster from our WIOMSA session.

In preparation with the whole OctoPINTS team and Tanguy Nicholas from Flora & Fauna International we held a full day workshop in conjunction with the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) symposium at the University of Mauritius, Mauritius. With stakeholders representing the whole WIO region we had a well visited workshop to explore three topics as a part of our first and second aim:

Objective 1 – Investigate how success in Octopus closures was defined by different participants, and why successful outcomes are achieved across different cases.

We found that academics and practitioners identified similar outcomes as constituting success in closures. The factors raised by participants related to Economic success included improved incomes, economic conditions and trade opportunities. Ecological success included increases in stocks, individual sizes, and catch per unit effort of target species, as well as positive impacts on other marine organisms. Social success related to acceptance of management by local communities, reduced conflict, and improved governance capacity.

Objective 2 – Explore commonalities and context specific factors across different cases, thinking about mechanisms – i.e. trying to get at common factors and processes across the cases in different situations of the closure model planning and implementation.

We discussed the importance of exchange visits, gender analysis and capacity building for women’s associations, prior to closure implementation as well as location and timing of closures (patrolling practicalities, reef productivity), cultural, biological and market dynamics, engagement with traders to minimize poaching and collectively to increase their bargaining power. During implementation the enforcement, neighboring fishers and post the opening distributions of benefits, attracting “outsiders”.

Objective 3 – Together summarize the most urgent research and management questions for octopus management are in the region.

The questions we identified spanned from social to ecological, from detailed planning issues to how to include women in the decision-making processes (from the community level up to the national level), and what is really defining success of closures.

Outputs

  • Workshop Report (Lindkvist et al., 2019) with first answers to our research questions from people representing closures around the whole WIO region.
  • Blog  (Lindkvist, 2019b)

Oct-Nov 2019 Fieldwork, Zanzibar

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Liz organizing a photo elicitation dialogue.

After meticulous planning we finally set in motion our first fieldwork trip. Our aim was to collect the views and opinions of all the different types of people that are or were involved in, or affected by closures. We were aiming for a grounded understanding how different groups of people view the “success” of closures. We also wanted to unpack what people directly involved see as success and how they feel they have been affected by this fishery intervention process over time- from its introduction to where they are today.

Octopus Closures as part of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) toolbox have been deemed a success by different academic groups, social enterprises or practitioners, so one important aim for us during the field season was to use a gender lens, thus embracing intersectionality and the diversity in types and identities of people, to know how the many different stakeholder groups felt they were impacted and their willingness to adopt or repeat the process.

Liz, Fatma from MWAMBAO, and Shariff (independent enumerator) visited 3 sites. In each site they carried out three types of dialogues with each stakeholder group. They met with village leaders and the fishing committee, octopus fisherwomen, octopus fishermen of different types (divers and/or footfishers), octopus tradermen and octopus traderwomen. They also divided the groups by age when possible and met all the groups separately. The method combined Story circles (session 1), photo elicitation (session 2), and finally a focus group discussion (session 3). We will share the results from this first round over the next year.

Outputs

  • Qualitative and quantitative field data from sites and experts
  • Blog (Drury O’Neill, 2019)

Nov 2019 Workshop #2, & Field trip Zanzibar

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Liz presenting initial reflections from the field together with Fatma.

Finally we in the OctoPINTS team met with our MWAMBAO and Blue Ventures (BV) collaborators at the end of the rainy season in Zanzibar. This was an exciting workshop that brought together the wide experience of MWAMBAO and Blue Ventures in supporting Octopus Closures and community development in Zanzibar with the conceptual and modeling approaches of the Stockholm team and the academic expertise on East African societies and fisheries of Rosemarie (Rose) Mwaipopo and Andrew Wamukota.

To kick off Tim started us with a high-energy opening playing a fishery game for us to get a chance to know one another. After a short reflection on the game (which is in itself a type of fishery ‘model’) we launched into breakout groups to discuss the focus of the modeling effort in OctoPINTS, and exploring the key social-ecological dynamics of Octopus Closures. Although the OctoPINTS project is focused on temporary octopus closures, for NGOs working on the ground, the long-term aim is to develop the capacity of coastal communities and their local institutions to self-organize and implement sustainable development initiatives. This capacity needs to be reflected in our conceptual model and is in any case, a critical determinant of how Octopus Closures play out. We also discussed the modeling approach, sharing insights into the agent-based modeling methodology and how the project aims to build understanding through reciprocal relationship between empirical field research, expert knowledge and iterations of agent-based modeling. Rose also led an insightful discussion of the role of gender relations in environmental governance in coastal Tanzania and Andrew fed back on the WIOMSA special session outcomes. Liz and Fatma shared initial reflections on fieldwork for the team and our MWAMBAO colleagues to discuss. We also had a visit from Andrew Gordon, Marine Stewardship Council, and the Southwest Indian Ocean Octopus Project (SWIOCeph).

We also embarked on a fieldtrip to Kizimkazi where we participated in Octopus hunting, observed local octopus trade, as well as having a unique meeting with the SFC (Shehia Fisheries Committee; a local management committee) to better know their struggles and positive experiences of the closures they have implemented.

The workshop and fieldtrip gave the non-Zanzibari team members much deeper familiarity with the system, allowed us to build a common understanding, and friendships across the team and sharing our perspectives on the road-map for the OctoPINTS project. MWAMBAO served as exemplary facilitators, and give us such a rewarding meeting and participating with so much commitment.

Outputs

  • Co-develop a conceptual model of the closure divided into pre, during and post closure processes combining a SES perspective and knowledge of MWAMBAO & BV (Report from WS shared between participants only)
  • Blog, refined conceptual closure model with focus on processes (Daw, 2019)

The Agent-based Model

The modeling permeates our research by inspiring the way we ask our research questions, and is embedded in our fieldwork, workshops and our special session at WIOMSA. Each of the events so far has led to a better understanding of the entities and activities to include in the modeling component of OctoPINTS which is detailed in Figure 2. Each of the processes or activities are further detailed in our modeling documents.

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Figure 2. Conceptual draft model. The top row represents the entities in the model. Under each entity you can see which activity they are involved in. The activities are color coded as follows; activities in yellow occur continuously, purple activities occur during closing, blue activities occur during opening, red happens before or after a closure implementation and opening.

Outreach

We have engaged in different outreach activities. Emilie and Liz presented the OctoPINTS project to Swedbio and their director Henrik Brundin and Hanna Wetterstrand who is leading Swedbio’s marine related work. Emilie presented OctoPINTS to the MAREA research project in Mexico, and to the CauSES research project where the OctoPINTS case may be part of the ongoing work on causality in social-ecological systems research. We also presented the project to the SES-LINK research group at Stockholm Resilience Centre to introduce the project but also to get feedback on our fieldwork plans. We have been active on twitter to share links to our blogs and reports. MWAMBAO has featured selected OctoPINTS events on their website, as well as the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s news section on their website, face book and twitter.

We have regular conversation with Blue Ventures (BV), a key actor on Octopus closures in the WIO. BV have also been participating in our workshops on Zanzibar and Mauritius. We also have had conversations with other key actors in the WIO region and broader, such as Shauna Maharajan and Morena Mills at the Alliance for Conservation Evidence and Sustainability (ACES).

Education

During the year we have had two master students working with us. Michael Bohlin from Stockholm Resilience Centre investigated the demand for Octopus from Zanzibari hotels. He quantified the scale of the demand as well as looking at hotels’ preferences for fresh vs frozen, and size. He did his fieldwork around Unguja and was supervised by OctoPINTS’ Tim Daw, Liz Drury O’Neill, and Lorna Slade. Link to thesis Link to thesis (Bohlin, 2020).

Visiting Stockholm Resilience Centre was master student Clara Larissa Wreissnegger from Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany. She made a thorough investigation on how to build ecological models of small-scale fisheries with medium complexity and used OctoPINTS as a case to test her findings. She was co-supervised by Emilie Lindkvist. Link to thesis (Wreissnegger, 2020).

The Coming Year

June 2020 – June 2021 we aim to have a first version of the agent-based model, where our work so far will come together to detail model processes, hypothesis, and observed structural patterns that the model can be validated against. When Liz is back from parental leave (late 2020), she will lead and start writing up the fieldwork results together with a core subgroup of OctoPINTS. We will plan the next round of fieldwork and around mid 2021 in conjunction we will also have our annual OctoPINTS workshop (corona permitting). We hope to involve a master student from the University of Dar es Salaam Development Studies through Rose. In the fall of 2020, we plan to start on our first joint publication, potentially focused around our results from our Special Session at WIOMSA. Due to time constraints MWAMBAO will be less involved in the coming year.

References

Bohlin, M., 2020.Tourism and marine resource conservation tentacle in tentacle? Zanzibari hotels as biosphere stewards in support of octopus closures (Master’s Thesis). Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

Daw, T.M., 2019. OctoPINTS website. OctoPINTS workshop #2, Zanzibar.

Drury O’Neill, E., 2019. OctoPINTS website. Fieldwork part 1 – Reflections from the field.

Drury O’Neill, E., Daw, T.M., Mancilla García, M., Lindkvist, E., 2020. Challenges and solutions for fair and productive international collaborative research projects (Workshop Report). Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

Lindkvist, E., 2019a. OctoPINTS website. OctoPINTS kicks off @SRC. 

Lindkvist, E., 2019b. OctoPINTS website. Reporting back: Octopus Closure session @WIOMSA 2019.

Lindkvist, E., 2019c. OctoPINTS: Octopus & People In Novel Transdisciplinary Simulations. (the website)

Lindkvist, E., Drury O’Neill, L., Wamukota, A., Nicolas, T., 2019. Gathering Experiences of Octopus Closures in the WIO region: Towards a synthesis of actors, interactions and outcomes. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.

Lindkvist, E., Wijermans, N., Daw, T.M., Gonzalez-Mon, B., Giron-Nava, A., Johnson, A.F., van Putten, I., Basurto, X., Schlüter, M., 2020. Navigating Complexities: Agent-Based Modeling to Support Research, Governance, and Management in Small-Scale Fisheries.Frontiers in Marine Science 6, 733.

Wreissnegger, C.L., 2020. How to formalise complex population dynamics for a stylised ecological model of small-scale fisheries?(Masters Thesis). Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg.

Reporting back: Octopus Closure session @WIOMSA 2019

Written by Emilie Lindkvist. 

In July 5th, 2019, we held a special session on at the 11th WIOMSA Scientific Symposium, Mauritius. After an intense week with excellent presentations from WIOMSA attendants, it was finally time for our full-day session “Gathering Experiences of Octopus Closures in the WIO region: Towards a synthesis of actors, interactions and outcomes”. About 20 people joined with experience of octopus closures from Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.

The aim of the session was to:

  1. Investigate how success in Octopus closures was defined by different participants, and why successful outcomes are achieved across different cases.
  2. Explore commonalities and context specific factors across different cases, thinking about mechanisms – i.e. trying to get at common factors and processes across the cases in different situations of the closure model planning and implementation.
  3. Together summarize what the most urgent research and management questions for octopus management are in the region.

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Weighting octopus in Kizimkazi, Unguja, Zanzibar.

For our first point we found that academics and practitioners identified similar outcomes as constituting success in closures. The factors raised by participants related to Economic success included improved incomes, economic conditions and trade opportunities. Ecological success included increases in stocks, individual sizes, and catch per unit effort of target species, as well as positive impacts on other marine organisms. Social success related to acceptance of management by local communities, reduced conflict, and improved governance capacity.

The results of our second point we were able to identify som mechanisms influencing outcomes of closures by building off four different cases in Tanzania mainland, Zanzibar, and Kenya. This was a difficult part of our session, yet some interesting commonalities emerged. We discussed the following “measurements” in place for solving a set of issues that case up. First, at the initial stage, exchange visits to other sites where octopus closures had been successfully introduced helped to facilitated learning and support for the closure model. To improve women’s voice in decision-making a focused gender analysis and capacity building for women’s associations helped . The eventual location and timing of closures incorporated patrolling practicalities, reef productivity, differential effects on men and women as well as cultural, biological and market dynamics. For instance, an engagement with traders was in place in some communities which helped to minimize poaching as traders were not offering to buy from closed areas, but also to allow communities to sell collectively to increase their bargaining power.

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Organizers Liz Drury O’Neill & Emilie Lindkvist.

Enforcement during closures was particularly challenging in the face of poachers from outside the local community particularly for longer closures. Paid guards could lead to jealousy relative to voluntary patrols managed by local institutions. At the opening, catches increased, however issues around distribution of benefits, the attraction of opportunistic fishers from within or outside the community, and making agreements with traders were prevalent. Each case dealt with these issues in collaboration with  community representatives and the NGOs to continuously improve a closure model that is increasingly suitable for the context, as well as adapting to new contexts.

Our third point on future urgent questions for Octopus Closures in WIO spanned from social to ecological, from detailed planning issues to how to include women in the decision-making processes (from the community level up to the national level), and what is really defining success of closures. Although our session began to talk about some of these questions through experiences of experts across the WIO.

The OctoPINTS project aims to support synthesis through a combined process of case-study, expert consultation and agent-based modeling. We encourage other projects and NGOs to draw on this workshop and get in touch if interested to collaborate.

We are very grateful for all the participants taking their time to engage with us throughout the day, thank you all!!

Emilie, Liz, Andrew, Tanguy on behalf of the organizing team (OctoPINTS research project in collaboration with MWAMBAO Coastal Community Network, Flora and Fauna International, with input from Blue Ventures)

Report: Here is the link to the the full report, it provides a summary of the discussions and insights as well as detailed notes and a participant list from the session.

Suggested Citation: Lindkvist, E., Drury O’Neill, L., Wamukota, A., Nicolas, T., Huet, J., and Maina, G., Daw, T. (2019). Gathering Experiences of Octopus Closures in the WIO region: Towards a synthesis of actors, interactions and outcomes. Report on WIOMSA special session, Mauritius.

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University of Mauritius, Port Luis, Mauritius, where we hosted the session.

OctoPINTS hosting special session @WIOMSA 2019

Written by Emilie Lindkvist. 

This year at the WIOMSA conference OctoPINTS will have 3 oral presentations by Liz, Andrew and Emilie and will also host one full day special session. We are very excited about these events and hope you will join us!

Special session Friday July 5th 11:30-18:00 WIOMSA

Session title: Gathering Experiences of Octopus Closures in the WIO: Towards a Synthesis of Actors, Interactions and Outcomes

Session background and objectives: Periodic octopus closures are increasingly implemented across the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. In only ten years after pilots in 2004, this intervention has been replicated more than 200 times. These closures are of particular interest to fishery researchers and managers as they are locally led, can act as catalysts for co-management, and directly engage gender dynamics. Whether a closure is perceived as successful, depends on the diverse expectations and interests of different stakeholders, including managers, conservationists, fishers, local communities, exporters and traders. The OctoPINTS project aims to collaboratively understand and make sense of short- and long term outcomes of octopus closures, and why they occur by collating experiences of octopus closures, and synthesising knowledge of how they best can contribute to sustainable and equitable outcomes. We do this by combining expert knowledge and participatory empirical research with agent-based modelling to understand the mechanisms and processes at play. The objectives of this special session are to provide a facilitated space to discuss the following questions:

Q1. What defines successful outcomes (e.g., sustainable food production, increased income, a healthier environment, addressing gendered power-relationships, improved community cohesion and human wellbeing) in the context of octopus closures according to different stakeholders?

Q2: Why have particular outcomes emerged in different cases? What processes have occurred (e.g., poaching, changes in livelihoods, investments) and what factors (e.g. external support, societal cohesion, gendered roles, geographical remoteness) seem to determine outcomes? Are there common patterns between these cases, or do the outcomes depend on the context and history of particular sites?

Q3: What are the most urgent questions and issues in octopus closures for research and management?

Target audience: Actors that are working with or interested to learn from the implementations and outcomes of octopus closures as fishery interventions. We will invite representatives from e.g., Blue Ventures, WWF, Mozambique, ZSL OSOL, OIKOS PESCA project, CORDIO East Africa, MSC, Relevant WIO Fishery Departments/ Directorates/ Commissions, KMFRI, SmartFish, Indian Ocean Commission.

Session outcomes: Through the session process we will provide a structured cross-case analysis of key variables, processes and outcomes for octopus closures. We aim to generate the following outcomes:

  1. A session report to be shared with WIOMSA, and beyond through email, blog posts and other social media channels, which synthesizes participants’ perspectives and knowledge of 1) what defines success of octopus closures. 2) the key actors, dynamics, and interactions that explain outcomes in octopus closures 3) the research frontiers of octopus closures.
  2. Reconnect actors working on periodic closures in the WIO. Building off the 2014 initiatives “Smartfish Regional Symposium on Octopus Fisheries Management” and “Scaling success in octopus fisheries management in the WIO” and to contribute to future networking initiatives.
  3. An informed future research path for the OctoPINTS project and convening of partner organisations interested to collaborate with the project over the next three years.

Special Session Structure: Operational session goal: To harvest stories and narratives of octopus closure experiences in different contexts and settings building a timeline of factors and their interactions from pre-closure, into the closure, and identify outcomes of closures, and to discuss research frontiers with regards to periodic octopus closures.

11:30 SESSION I (90min)

15 min Intro: Set the scene, what is the OctoPINTS project and why are we here.

10 min Round of introductions: Who is in the room? names, affiliation, and link to octopus closures.

10 min Icebreaker: Ice breaking exercise to create sharing space amongst participants.

15 min Outcomes exercise: Positive and negative outcomes collated from the different participants, highlighting their roles in the system i.e. academic, practice, policy. Post-its (different colours according to role) posted onto a sheet by individuals, individual thought exercise.

30 min Case introductions: Invited guests (∼4) familiar with WIO octopus closures make succinct and structured presentations about their cases.

10 min Round table: Initial reflections on hearing about the cases, the theme and objectives of session.

13:00 LUNCH

14:00 SESSION II (120min)

10 min ARDI Framework introduction: ARDI Actors, Resources, Dynamics, and Interactions: a model building method used in a participatory workshop setting to harvest multi-stakeholder knowledge in complex case settings. We will specifically collect outcomes of closures and unpack the why.

30 min ARDI Framework implemented: Identification of key actors, processes (interactions) and dynamics of octopus closures. Participants break into pairs and interview each other based on the key variables identified by the framework, write variables on post-its.

20 min Themed presentations: Two facilitators present on key themes of interest to the overall project as a means to stimulate discussions in the workshop and model conceptualization.

Speaker 1: A gendered approach to looking at octopus closures in the WIO: What is a gender lens and why apply it?

Speaker 2: Global Octopus Value Chains: What does the landscape of global octopus trade look like today? What are the main dynamics on the international market with regards octopus?

20 min ARDI Framework iteration: Participants survey the collected post-it variables, swap working pairs and discuss what is missing, what is most important. Start sketching figure of how variables interact.

16:00 COFFEE BREAK

16:30 SESSION III (90min)

30 min Cross case synthesis of key actors, resources, dynamics, and interactions: Breakout group discussion on the selection of the most important variables (from the post-its). Facilitators score post-its.

20 min Synthesis table construction: Group builds a synthesized table which demarcates the importance of the final variables (actors/dynamics/interactions) by cases to understand the generalizability, prevalence or uniqueness of different octopus models across WIO, update the conceptual figure.

20 min Octopus Frontiers Break out groups: What’s next for WIO closure models? Participants break out to share their ideas on what the research, policy and practice-related frontiers, feedback in plenary.

20 min Octopus Frontiers plenary: Open plenary discussion about the revealed frontiers. Each group presents their poster and then open plenary takes place.

OctoPINTS kicks off @SRC

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Tim, Andrew, Rose, Liz and Emilie kicking off the workshop by hanami (flower viewing, commonly cherry blossom viewing) of the blooming cherry trees in Kungsträdgården, Stockholm on Easter Monday.

Written by Emilie Lindkvist. 

Until now I had not met all members of our OctoPINTS team, so it was with great curiosity and in all modesty I finally met Rose, Andrew, and Lorna – the East African node of our team.

With quite diverse backgrounds in marine biology, computer science, political sciences, social sciences, anthropology, environmental economics and sustainability sciences and being a mix of researchers and a practitioner – the questions of “how at all is this going to work?” was surfacing my mind quite often since the project was granted back in December. But there was no need to worry. It was an intriguing group of people to share ideas and have dialogues with. Each and every one shined in their different domains of knowledge, were actively engaging in discussions, eager to learn, and with amazing personalities on top of it all!

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Lorna, Andrew, Maja, Rose and Tim in the classic workshop room: post-its, whiteboards, flip charts, and discussions of how to best cluster and synthesize those post-its!

We discussed intensely during the days and had dinners together in the evenings visiting both mine and Tim’s houses, met our families, as well as dined out at Hemma Vasastan and Molly Malone’s – Liz’s local hangout!

During our two days we learned about the exciting work of MWAMBAO and closures, gender dynamics, and value chains in Octopus fisheries, we mapped stakeholders in the fisheries of Pemba, Zanzibar, we identified stakeholders relevant for our research and developed communication strategies with those stakeholders, we were agents in an agent-based model (!), got quizzed on the outcomes of the classic agent-based segregation model, we talked about fears and risks within our project, project dream goals, and in a final exercise we developed research questions from the bottom up through collecting them post-its and then synthesizing them into a set of four overarching questions for our project. However, we are still left with deciding on which of all those questions to pursue in detail!

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Tim, Rose and Lorna in a well deserved workshop break in the court yard of SRC.

After the intense kick-off I feel very excited about the future of OctoPINTS and inspired to tackle our goals over the next three years. I hope that we as individuals and organizations keep learning from each other, and get one small step closer to understanding the dynamics around interventions in small-scale fisheries through our collaborative work on periodic (Octopus) closures in the Western Indian Ocean.

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A final afternoon in the beautiful Botanical Gardens next to Stockholm Resilience Centre with Lorna, Rose, Emilie and Andrew while the others moved on to the next workshop.

OctoPINTS gets granted!

Written by Emilie Lindkvist. 

December 11th 2018 was the day VR revealed the receivers of the grant “Sustainability and resilience – Tackling consequences of climate and environmental changes”. That day I was desperately working to meet a deadline for a special issue on the manuscript on the usefulness of agent-based modeling for small-scale fisheries research, governance and management. One of the reasons for writing the paper was to make agent-based modeling more accessible to potential funders and collaborators. Apparently the I had already convinced funders that the intersection of agent-based modeling and participatory empirical observation would be an excellent methodological approach to meet the aims of the Sustainability and Resilience grant – because it got granted! After receiving a cryptic whatsApp message from my colleague and friend who also received the grant, it took me and my co-applicant Liz many iterations into the funding system and online list of grantees to check if this really could be true. The attempt to submit this “practice application” by me and Liz because more than a practice and we really got the grant. The novel approach of methods, the combination of the teams in-field expertize, modeling skills, and in-depth knowledge about gender especially in octopus fisheries was probably some of the reasons this became such a compelling proposal.

I am extremely excited to be able to perform this research with the excellent team of researchers and NGOs both in Sweden, Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, and Kenya. More to come!

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Brainstorming session at Stockholm Resilience Centre with Liz and Emilie. We were in desperate need of a group name and for some initial planning to prepare for our first team meeting.