Assessing fisheries – using an ethical matrix in a participatory process

The Norwegian National Committee for Research Ethics inScience and Technology (NENT), collaborating with The NorwegianFisherman''s Association and The Research Council of Norway,started in 1999 a project aiming at an ethical assessment of Norwegian fisheries for the year 2020. The project was to preparethe ground for ethical debate in and of the fishery sector inview of pending important decisions on long term strategies. Thispaper has its focus on the method used for achieving these aims,rather than the substantive results concerning the fisheries. Amethod was developed for this purpose, called the ethicalscenario process. This included the construction of scenarios forthe future of Norwegian fisheries, using an ethical matrix for evaluating strategies, and organizing a ``value workshop'''' whereparticipants from different stakeholder groups came together todo ethical evaluations. The positive achievements and theshortcomings of this method are discussed in this paper. The useof an ethical matrix was meant to combine a participatory approachwith insights from theoretical ethics. The project revealedinherent tensions between these two objectives. Possible ways ofdealing with this tension are indicated, but in general a goodgrasp of the socio-political context might be the best guardianagainst the possible pitfalls involved in such an approach.
Keywords ethical matrix  ethics  fisheries  participation  value assessment
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DOI 10.1023/A:1011300811590
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Ellen-Marie Forsberg (2007). Value Pluralism and Coherentist Justification of Ethical Advice. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20 (1):81-97.
Kriton Grigorakis (2010). Ethical Issues in Aquaculture Production. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (4):345-370.
Ellen-Marie Forsberg (2007). Pluralism, the Ethical Matrix, and Coming to Conclusions. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20 (5):455-468.

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