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Assessing the social wellbeing of Northern Ireland's fishing society using a three-dimensional approach

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sarah Coulthard


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The concept of 'wellbeing' has received growing interest in policy domains in the UK, and internationally, as a multi-dimensional approach to understanding and measuring social progress and development. Policy makers and scientists alike are debating the potential of wellbeing to deliver a people-centred, and holistic, analysis of what matters to people in terms of the quality of life people pursue and are able to achieve. There is also growing interest in how the concept of wellbeing might be applied to fisheries, especially in terms of deepening assessment of the ways in which decline in the fisheries sector is affecting fishing-dependent families, and the wider community. This paper applies a three-dimensional wellbeing framework and methodology to gain insight into the wellbeing of fishing society in Northern Ireland, a region that has faced substantial decline in its fisheries over the past 100 years. A three-dimensional approach considers material, relational and cognitive dimensions; putting resources, relationships and subjective reflections on life satisfaction together as a whole assessment. All three dimensions are important for a full assessment of wellbeing. Following an overview of the methodology used and data collected, the paper then assesses the extent to which a three-dimensional well-being approach can provide useful insights for sustainable fisheries policy in Northern Ireland. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Britton E, Coulthard S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Marine Policy

Year: 2013

Volume: 37

Issue: 1

Pages: 28-36

Print publication date: 01/01/2013

Online publication date: 25/04/2012

ISSN (print): 0308-597X

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2012.04.011


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