A transdisciplinary approach is needed to properly frame and fully engage with the complexities of fisheries systems. The TBTI transdisciplinary fisheries cluster was created to address this need. During the 2014 World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress in Merida, a transdisciplinary workshop was held to explore the transdisciplinary principles that should be applied to fisheries, and to create some preliminary thoughts about what should be included in a transdisciplinary fisheries course for a diverse audience.
Since the workshop in Merida the TBTI transdisciplinary fisheries cluster has brought together a diversity of researchers to collaboratively develop elements of the transdisciplinary fisheries course. From February – April 2015 TBTI facilitated a collaborative project among 28 participants to build off the work from the Merida conference and create the groundwork necessary to develop transdisciplinary learning materials that could be openly available and easily adapted to diverse contexts and audiences. A report on the collaboration can be downloaded here.
In 2016, the TBTI Connect Publication Series ‘Developing a transdisciplinary fisheries course through collaboration’ portrayed the TBTI transdisciplinary approach and the collaborative process of developing a transdisciplinary fisheries course. On March 7th to 10th of that same year, a ‘Transdisciplinary Course Development Workshop‘ was held in Mérida, Mexico. The workshop was done within the Transdisciplinary cluster as part of the activities focused on developing content for the transdisciplinary training program. On December 7th to 10th, TBTI organized a course on ‘Transdisciplinary Research for Natural Resources Sustainability‘ in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Drawing from TBTI ‘Transdisciplinary Fisheries’ research cluster, the objective was to expose participants to the underlying principles of transdisciplinary research, through lectures on ‘wicked problems’, holistic thinking, and interactive governance, supported by group activities on the field that allowed the participants to gain a better grasp of the theoretical background.
In 2017, TBTI held a course on ‘Transdisciplinary Policy and Practices for Natural Resource Sustainability‘ in Trat province, Thailand, from July 31st to August 3rd. The objective was to introduce the theory of interactive governance as a tool for conducting transdisciplinary research to systematically identify problems, understand relevant systems, and create possible solutions for natural resource sustainability. Also in 2017, TBTI launched a report developed through the ‘Transdisciplinary Fisheries’ research cluster on ‘Towards Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries: Key Considerations for Transdisciplinary Teaching and Training‘, which aims to stimulate interest in transdisciplinary research, teaching and training, particularly where sustainability of small-scale fisheries is concerned.