Sociocultural values and governance

Sociocultural values related to salmon and herring and their linkages to fisheries governance are explored in a comparative study. The aim is to understand why and how salmon and herring are important for different stakeholder groups, and to investigate how these values could inform the development of governance practices that are both sustainable and legitimate.


The cultural importance of Baltic salmon is strong in the Baltic Sea region, especially in its Northern parts. Salmon fishing is a constant topic of political debates, and public spending is targeted to salmon habitat restoration. By contrast, the value of Baltic herring seems to be mostly economic. Human consumption of herring has decreased especially in the Northern parts of the Baltic Sea, but it still has more nutritional importance in the Eastern parts. In BONUS GOHERR project, the social and cultural values affecting these trends will be identified and compared by interviewing stakeholders from Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia. Further, possibilities to take these values into account in the development of ecosystem-based governance will be examined. Also the political, legal and organizational prerequisites for integrated governance will be assessed.



1. Understand the sociocultural value and use of Baltic salmon and herring;

2. Apply these understandings to assess the political prerequisites for successful integrated fisheries governance; and

3. Explicate what kind of institutional and attitudinal flexibility is needed for integrated governance.

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