Distributional performance of a territorial use rights and co-managed small-scale fishery
This work reports on how benefits are distributed among the owners of fishing grounds in the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery of Punta Allen, Mexico. This MSC certified (2012) small-scale fishery, has been co-managed as a Territorial Use Rights Fishery (TURF) since 1969. Members of the local fishing cooperative, have exclusive access to individual fishing grounds. The fishery is based on the use of artificial shelters. These bottom devices provide refuges for lobsters, reduce predation mortality, and facilitate harvesting by free diving and the use of hand nets. Data from the fishing cooperative logbooks were used to calculate fishing incomes indicators per fisher (revenues, quasi-profits of the variable costs, profits, and resource rent) achieved in seven lobster fishing seasons (2007–2014). Distributions statistics (shape parameters and log transformations), and inequality metrics (Lorenz curve and Gini index G) were applied to the income indicators. The analysis was complemented with a fishers’ perceptions survey about the effectiveness of joint Government and cooperative regulations. The Gindex of the fishing revenues distributions showed low values (0.387 ± 0.017) and a stable trend in the seven lobster seasons analyzed. The calculated G values of the fishing income indicators increased from 0.387 to 0.490. There were no statistically significant differences in the resource rent earned by the age groups of campo owners. This finding could indicate intergenerational equity among current resource users. The results showed that in the lobster fishery of Punta Allen, the fishing incomes are spread more equally than most fisheries where distributional performance has been assessed.