Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Christopher B. Jones


Small island developing states, especially those within the Caribbean community, are faced with the challenges of overfishing and illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing activities. Despite global legal reforms, enforcement continues to be ineffective. In the policymaking process, the perspectives of those critically impacted are rarely taken into consideration The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the issues leading to the lack of inclusion of fisherfolk knowledge in the policymaking process and policies that promote SDG 14. The goal was to explore the importance of fisherfolk involvement in the policymaking process. The research question focused on identifying the direct effects that overfishing and IUU activities have on the fishing community and the perceived reasons why policies are not effectively implemented. The theoretical framework for this study was the advocacy coalition framework. A qualitative phenomenological study design was used, employing a purposeful semi structured interview process with 14 registered fisherfolk. Data obtained from the interviews were coded and categorized for thematic analysis and comparison. Findings showed that participants lacked proper training and sufficient knowledge of current fishing policies. Also, interaction with government officials was scarce, leaving most fisherfolk with limited knowledge in their understanding of IUU fishing and overfishing. The implications for positive social change may include bringing awareness to SIDS policymakers on the importance of inclusion of the fishing community as a means for efficacious long-term sustainable fishing policies, and economic and social independence for fisherfolk.