From the Inside Out: Stories of Social Capital in Seafood

Created on Monday, 12 February 2018

A new mini-documentary, From the Inside Out: Stories of Social Capital in Seafood, explores the concept of social capital and the value it can bring to sustainable seafood production. Social capital is the value and quality of relationships and connections (human networks) within and across social groups. The documentary proposes that sufficient social capital is necessary for lasting stewardship of natural seafood resources.

The documentary explains social capital in seafood by presenting three types of human networks and examples of how the strengthening of those networks, an increase in social capital, leads to improved stewardship and management of seafood resources.  These networks and stories are:

  • Bonding Network – defined as the relationships among people that share a common identity, such as family members, neighbors, or community members. The corresponding story highlights how a small fishing community in La Paz, Mexico works together to resurrect their fishery and community.
  • Bridging Network – defined as connections across different social groups that provide a mechanism to share information, foster cooperation, and resolve conflict. The corresponding story highlights shrimp aquaculture in Southeast Asia where farmers across multiple countries worked together to create a collective framework to improve aquaculture practices.
  • Linking Network – defined as vertical relationships between people and groups with varying access to political and/or financial capital. The corresponding story highlights how fishermen in India increased the role their community-level fishing cooperatives have on fishery management decisions at the national level.

Social capital can be viewed as how relationships are managed. The documentary’s take-home message is that addressing improvements in seafood production requires investing in people so that they can invest in the fish. Ensuring that the right relationships are established and fostered enables fishing communities to better steward their natural seafood resources. Watch and share the movie to learn more and discuss with others.

The movie was produced by The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions Fellowship Cohort 2017 consisting of: Aurora Alifano (FishWise), Justin Boevers (FishChoice), Susanna Brian (Sustainable Fisheries Partnership), Kyle Foley (Gulf of Maine Research Institute), Simone Jones (Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch), and Joel Southall (New England Aquarium). Neither the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions or the respective organizations are directly responsible for the documentary and its contents.