A fisheries learning exchange is a facilitation method that brings together representatives from different communities to share knowledge and expertise in fisheries management and marine conservation. Contexts and precise definitions vary, but a learning exchange generally has two central components: travel and knowledge exchange. A typical exchange, so far as one exists, would see fishers, leaders and other members of one community (the visiting community) travel to another (the host community) to learn about a successful fisheries management approach. Through a programme of field visits, workshops, practical activities and one-to-one dialogue, fishers from the visiting community learn the benefits, drawbacks and enabling conditions of the approach, with a view to adopting it upon their return home. To date, most learning exchanges have been organized by conservation organizations and networks of fishing communities, but other actors also initiate learning exchanges. They are sometimes known as look-and-learn visits, study tours, cross-visits or South–South exchanges.
This handbook provides guidance on developing, implementing, evaluating and sustaining fisheries learning exchanges.