To construct more sustainable ways of using coastal resources, collaboration between society, decision makers, and scientists is highly advocated. Some social sectors consider that scientists do not adequately participate in the problems of society, and that although scientific knowledge continues to grow, socioecological problems are worsening. The generation of scientific knowledge, as well as its dissemination to address societal problems, should go beyond what traditionally has been done. The exchange of information among stakeholders is essential in the management of socioecological systems and the importance of understanding these flows is increasingly recognized. We investigated the role that scientific research has played in small-scale fisheries on the southern coast of Jalisco, Mexico. We used Social Network Analysis to visualize and understand the information flow between three sectors: fishers, academia, and government. Our findings suggest that the geographical distance between the actors plays an important role and defines many of the interactions between the sectors. In addition, distrust, language differences, lack of cooperation and leadership within the fishing organizations, and a lack of empathy between the actors, are all obstacles that actors face when discussing actions plans. The governmental sector has the ability to collect and disseminate information, yet it has not done enough to share the information in an effective way. While academia is a reliable and constant source of information, it has a peripheral role in the social network and there is a lack of communication strategies in place to enable the data generated to be utilized effectively. This study may provide an alternative pathway for research institutions to understand their role when examining issues in the regions where they work.