Mbachi Ruth Msomphora

Country: Norway

Doctor of Science Mbachi Ruth Msomphora has a PhD in fisheries science from UiT, the Arctic University of Norway. She holds a Master of Science in Fisheries Management and a Master of Science in Public Health with specialization in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from UiT. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a bias in Aquaculture from University of Malawi. Msomphora is a reviewer in international journals and currently working at UiT. Through such a profound diverse knowledge-background, Msomphora has acquired and mastered multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research skills. She has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research as exemplified in her publications.
In addition to her everyday work as a senior academic information specialist, responsible for the education and research in Dentistry at the University in Tromsø, she is currently, together with Prof. Emeritus Svein Jentoft, working on a project about stakeholder participation in coastal zone management plans, with special focus where Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture coexist in Norway (Coastal fisheries). They are also in the process of writing a paper on a project on ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBM) in Lake Malawi in collaboration with Dr. Friday Jack Njaya at the Fisheries Department in Malawi. More so, she is  in the progress of publishing an article about open access publication and improvement of self-archiving in institutional repositories, which she hopes will soon be published.
Q: What are you currently working on within the context of small-scale fisheries?
As indicated above, I am working on small-scale fisheries and aquaculture management in the coastal zone of Norway, but also on fresh water fisheries management of Lake Malawi with special focus on EBM in relation to 'Malawi Principles'. I have recently made a short video/film to give a test of issues about Blue Justice, based on the Small Scale Fisheries in Norway (Coastal fisheries), which I hope soon will be published through one of the publication channels of our TBTI project.
Q: If you could single out one or two most significant factors for securing sustainability of small-scale fisheries, what would these factors be?
1. Transdisciplinary (TD) approach to small-scale fisheries management. I recommend TD approach because, as already known, the sustainability of small-scale fisheries do not only requires single field entity approach to its management. For instance, I think scientific fields such as Biology, Environmental or Social science and others, including non-scientific fields/stakeholders, should not be deployed individually, as has been the tradition in managing fisheries. As such, if all involved could work together with a TD approach, I think we could do wonders, when it comes to the success of  'small-scale fisheries sustainability'.
2. Social license to operate (SLO) concept should be applied if small-scale fisheries in the area exist in coexistence with other larger industries, such as, Aquaculture Industy. I also believe that the application of SLO with good governance will help to empower the locals over their territories, such that the involved industry will be forced to run the industry as per locals' wishes. Since without the acceptance of the industry by the locals, the industry will have problems for its success. So SLO will secure not only the benefit of the industry, but also for the locals; and that means securing also the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in the area, given that small-scale fishery is among the list for the locals "wants". Thus, good governance embedded with 'social license to operate' concept, with a transdisciplinary science approach is required; because small-scale fisheries industry is part of the marine system where there are also other activities/actors operating.

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