Enhancing stewardship in Latin America and Caribbean small-scale fisheries: challenges and opportunities
This thematic series, entitled “Enhancing Stewardship in Latin America and Caribbean Small-Scale Fisheries”, emerged as part of a joint effort to bridge Latin-American scholars interested in networking on small-scale fisheries in the region. Built on results presented at two meetings (‘Too Big to Ignore’ (TBTI) Workshop in Curitiba, Brazil, and the 2nd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress in Merida, Mexico), this issue combines a unique collection of emergent and pressing issues related to small-scale fisheries in Latin America. It comprises of theoretical, methodological and policy-related aspects across a range of topics such as co-management, biodiversity conservation, governance challenges, and territorial tenure, in seven countries - predominantly from South America. In this Introduction, we provide some background to the similarities and diversity within the Latin America and Caribbean region, and their relevance to small-scale fisheries stewardship. Subsequently, we briefly introduce the contributions that range from cross-scale governance in Chile, cooperativism in Mexico, species introduction in Bolivia, interactive governance in the Galápagos and co-management in Uruguay, Brazil and Colombia, to territorial losses in Brazil. Multiple contexts and processes, theoretical and analytical perspectives (multi-stakeholders, socio-ecological systems, cross-scale issues, territorial approach) are highlighted, as well as the policy challenges to safeguard small-scale fisheries from numerous pressures such as urbanization, industrial expansion, tourism, pollution, and conservation policies. This series aims at inciting further consideration of innovative perspectives to bridge local communities, academics, practitioners and policy makers in joint efforts to promote priority action on issues that require immediate attention and transdisciplinary multidimensional outlooks on that important sector.