Bridging diverse knowledges for improved salmon management: Linking cultural and biophysical dimensions (SALCUL)

Description

SALCUL is a multidisciplinary and partnership-based research project investigating and comparing different practices, knowledge and values related to Atlantic salmon. Furthermore, this project will develop processes for sharing and co-producing indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) and scientific knowledge based on social science traditions as well the natural sciences.

By broadening the knowledge base of Norwegian salmon management, emphasizing the interlinkages between natural and cultural environments, the project will establish a biocultural basis from which more legitimate and robust management processes can be developed.
Geographically, the project focuses on the Deatnu-Tana River in Sápmi, Northern Norway/Finland, and the Namsen River in Trøndelag, Central Norway, as well as these rivers’ adjacent fjords. These rivers are among the most productive Atlantic salmon rivers in Norway, as well as internationally. They are further included in the National Salmon Fjords and Rivers scheme for protection of Norway’s most important salmon populations. In both areas, the salmon has been of fundamental importance for the first people to make a living in these river valleys. For people living along these rivers and fjords, the salmon is still highly valued, forming a central part of the communities’ culture, identity, diet, economy, social relations and/or spiritual practices. By exploring and comparing the salmon cultural histories, practices and knowledges related to these different areas and their complexities, we will develop more nuanced understandings of various human-salmon coexistences and multiple ways of “knowing salmon.”

Grounded in local communities and with close cooperation between various knowledge holders and institutions, the project will facilitate individual, interdisciplinary and institutional learning between holders of indigenous and local knowledge, social and natural scientists and salmon management institutions. SALCUL will further our understanding of how knowledges develop and advance and identify practical and institutional barriers and opportunities for including indigenous and local knowledge in Norwegian salmon management. Our focus on expanding management processes to also include other knowledge types than the natural sciences will provide insights applicable also to other sectors of natural resource management, both nationally and internationally.



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