Developed by NOAA’s Oregon Sea Grant Program in 2002, the Scientists and Fishermen Exchange (SAFE) continues to be a powerful resource today, including in Hawaiʻi. SAFE is a process for developing relationships and trust among fisheries stakeholders throughout the state. Since its conception, SAFE has assisted Oregon’s stakeholders in finding common ground on issues, developing partnerships, avoiding and solving large problems, and developing a more collaborative approach ocean research. In 2009, the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office took a cue from the SAFE framework developed by Oregon Sea Grant by building upon their successes and launching a SAFE program for Hawaiʻi.
The mission of SAFE is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for a genuine exchange of information, helping to improve communication and collaboration, build positive relationships, encourage understanding, and foster respect and trust among scientists, managers, and fishermen.
- Provide regular opportunities for discussion and exchange of accurate information among scientists, managers, and fishermen
- Increase awareness and knowledge about nearshore fisheries
- Provide a place to listen to, understand, and learn from diverse viewpoints, while getting to know, respect, and understand other stakeholders
- Create opportunities for collaboration among scientists, managers, and fishermen
- Recommendation of participants to continue with meetings
- Increase of communication and trust among participants outside of meetings
- Increase in knowledge, understanding, and point of views about nearshore fisheries among participants
- Reduction of mis/disinformation about issues
- Increase in collaboration among stakeholders