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J Environ Manage. 2012 Dec 30;113:407-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.09.022. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

Active non-participation among local natural resource-dependent communities: the case of North Carolina fisheries governance.

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Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, B 254 Clark Building, Fort Collins, CO 80525-1784, USA. Candace.May@Colostate.Edu


The great emphasis placed on the democratic participation of local user groups as necessary for sustainable natural resource and environmental governance by scholars, advocates, and practitioners of collaborative natural resource management demands a greater focus on who is and who is not participating in governance processes, why, and the potential consequences. This project examines a case where commercial fishers in North Carolina practice active non-participation regarding the governance of sea turtles, spotted seatrout and gill nets. Active non-participation is a choice to not participate in formal political activities. Data was collected through observations, interviews and document and policy review. An important finding from this study is that the active non-participation of commercial fishers is contributing to their displacement from, as well as the mismanagement of, the fisheries they depend upon for a living.

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