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Setting the record straight: assessing the reliability of retrospective accounts of change

Thurstan, Ruth H., Buckley, Sarah M., Ortiz, Juan C. and Pandolfi, John M. 2015, Setting the record straight: assessing the reliability of retrospective accounts of change, Conservation letters, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 98-105, doi: 10.1111/conl.12184.

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Title Setting the record straight: assessing the reliability of retrospective accounts of change
Author(s) Thurstan, Ruth H.ORCID iD for Thurstan, Ruth H. orcid.org/0000-0002-8045-1631
Buckley, Sarah M.
Ortiz, Juan C.
Pandolfi, John M.
Journal name Conservation letters
Volume number 9
Issue number 2
Start page 98
End page 105
Total pages 8
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-06-09
ISSN 1755-263X
Keyword(s) Australian fisheries;
historical ecology
local ecological knowledge;
marine conservation
shifting baselines.
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biodiversity Conservation
Biodiversity & Conservation
Australian fisheries
local ecological knowledge
shifting baselines
GULF-OF-CALIFORNIA
BASE-LINE SYNDROME
CONSERVATION
INTERVIEWS
FISHERS
ANECDOTES
TRENDS
MEMORY
Summary Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Ecological degradation is accelerating, reducing our ability to detect and reverse declines. Resource user accounts have the potential to provide critical information on past change but their reliability can rarely be tested, hence they are often perceived as less valid than other forms of scientific data. We compared individual fishers' catch records, recorded 1-50 years ago, with their memories of past good, typical and poor catches for the corresponding time period. Good and poor catches were recalled with reasonable accuracy, matching variability in recorded catch with no significant change observed over time. Typical recalled catches were overestimated and became significantly more exaggerated over time, but were more comparable to mean than median recorded values. While accuracy of resource users' memory varied with the type of information recalled, our results suggest that carefully structured interview questions can produce reliable quantitative data to inform resource management, even after several decades have elapsed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/conl.12184
Field of Research 050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30082252

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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