To gauge the collateral impacts of fishing we must know where fishing boats operate and how much they fish. Although small-scale fisheries land approximately the same amount of fish for human consumption as industrial fleets globally, methods of estimating their fishing effort are comparatively poor. We present an accessible, spatial method of calculating the effort of small-scale fisheries based on two simple measures that are available, or at least easily estimated, in even the most data-poor fisheries: the number of boats and the local coastal human population. We illustrate the method using a small-scale fisheries case study from the Gulf of California, Mexico, and show that our measure of Predicted Fishing Effort (PFE), measured as the number of boats operating in a given area per day adjusted by the number of people in local coastal populations, can accurately predict fisheries landings in the Gulf. Comparing our values of PFE to commercial fishery landings throughout the Gulf also indicates that the current number of small-scale fishing boats in the Gulf is approximately double what is required to land theoretical maximum fish biomass. Our method is fishery-type independent and can be used to quantitatively evaluate the efficacy of growth in small-scale fisheries. This new method provides an important first step towards estimating the fishing effort of small-scale fleets globally.
This study aims to evaluate FAD use patterns, co-management arrangements and livelihoods of pelagic fisheries with particular emphasis on changes that have occurred in recent years, during the CARIFICO project. It also aims to assess the factors influencing the decision of fisheries to set and maintain public and private FADs.
Socio-economic development of small island fishing communities is greatly dependent on local coastal and marine resources. Illegal fishing and aggressive practices in insular ecosystems lead to overexploitation and environmental deterioration. Moreover, a lack of scientific data increases uncertainty and prevents adequate monitoring of marine resources. This paper focuses on the integration of a local fishing community into decision-making processes with the aim to potentiate artisanal fishing on the Island of Tenerife (the Canary Islands). The aim is to preserve both the marine ecosystem and promote the socio-economic development of traditional Cofradías (local fisher communities).
A qualitative methodological framework, based on participatory problem-solution trees and focus groups, was implemented to identify the main obstacles impeding the sustainable development of the artisanal fishing sector on the island. Collective proposals with policy implications are also discussed.
The community involved identified four main issues that are causing an unsustainable island fishery: 1) Overexploitation; 2) Poor self-management of Cofradías and commercialisation problems; 3) Fisher individualism and low co-management strategies, and 4) Illegal fishing increase vs. artisanal fishing decline. Results show the required policy enhancements to tackle those issues with, for instance, the creation of marine protected areas, the promotion of a common islander vision, and an increase in participatory research projects between scientists and fishers. Participants also revealed the necessity to adapt existing regulations to local specificity to reduce the gap between policy makers and local community.
Small-scale fisheries are important for the livelihoods of millions but are vulnerable to global and local stresses. Resilient households are able to maintain, and even grow their livelihoods, despite these stresses. Improving fishers’ resilience contributes to poverty prevention and alleviation. Effective intervention requires accurate evaluation of fisher resilience, but no quantitative tool currently exists. In this study, we propose the fisheries livelihoods resilience check (FLIRES check) as a widely applicable tool to evaluate fisher livelihood resilience. This new tool combines the principles of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach with the methodology of RAPFISH (a rapid assessment of fisheries sustainability). For the FLIRES check, 43 attributes were designed to quantify previously described qualitative factors that enable or constrain livelihoods in fishing communities in West Sumatra, Indonesia. These were grouped into six “capital” fields (financial, human, natural, institutional, physical and social) used in the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach. RAPFISH multidimensional scaling was applied to evaluate resilience in each of these fields on a scale from good (resilient) to bad (vulnerable). The FLIRES check was tested in two fishing communities in West Sumatra. The tool identified strengths and weaknesses in livelihood resilience at a household, fishing gear and village scale, for each field. The FLIRES assessment compared well with qualitative descriptions as assessed by interview. It facilitates quantitative temporal and spatial comparisons of livelihood resilience which has not previously been possible. We invite further testing, refining of the attributes and wider application of this methodology.
This paper examines factors influencing well-being among small-scale fishers in the Gulf of Thailand. 632 small-scale fishers were interviewed at 21 fish landing areas along the coast of Rayong Province. Data concerning respondents’ background information, perception of job satisfaction, resilience, conservation beliefs, environmental ethics, well-being and landing place context were collected. Multivariate statistical analyses of these variables are used to assess factors influencing perceptions of well-being (environmental and individual well-being components). The results demonstrate that two components of job satisfaction Basic Needs and Self-actualization are two significant variables affecting both Environmental and Individual well-being. Fishers living in areas with industrial pollution or in major urban communities are less satisfied with the environment. Similarly, fishers who are concerned about the importance of the environment and members of a fishery association at the province level have lower levels of Environmental well-being. The study also found that, fishers who feel they have the ability to get work elsewhere or who manifest a higher level of resilience are happier with their lives than those with lower resilience. An important aspect of fisheries social impact assessment concerning proposed changes, management or technological, is the impact on well-being. The findings of this study offer several practical findings that, if applied, will contribute to sustainability of fisheries in Thailand and similar locations.
The coasts hold great potential for ‘Blue Growth’, and major industrial and infrastructural developments are already happening there. Such growth, however, comes with risks to marine ecosystems and coastal communities. Competition for space and resources intensifies, turning the coast into an area of social and political conflict, including contestation about knowledge. I argue that there is a need for institutional innovation that allows knowledge integration and conflict resolution to be more interactive and synergistic. The paper critically analyses discourses and practices of interactive governance and co-management while visiting Foucault’s power/knowledge concept for investigating the normativity and effects of participation discourses and practices. This is followed by a discussion of multiple governance paths and their different combinations of resources and forms of expert and local social and ecological knowledge so as to see how they can help resolve conflicts, and enhance governability within maritime spatial planning (MSP) in a way that also serves to create a level playing field for all stakeholders. A particular focus will be on the small-scale fisheries sector, which is the lest powerful stakeholder and the most vulnerable to external pressures. Will MSP help to empower or further marginalize small-scale fishers and fisheries communities?
In the intertidal seagrass beds of Zostera noltii of Mira estuary (SW, Portugal) the harvesting practices are frequent. The traditional bivalve harvesting not only affects the target species as the remaining biological assemblages. The main aim of this study was to assess the disturbance caused by sediment digging in the recovery of the seagrass beds habitat, through an experimental fieldwork. The responses of the seagrass plant condition, the sediment microbial activity and the nematode assemblages were investigated after the digging activity in seagrass beds. A total of four experimental plots were randomly demarcated in situ, two plots were subjected to the disturbance - “Digging” - while other two were “Control”; the sampling occurred in five occasions, from May to October: T0–before digging; T1–14 days after digging; T2–45 days; T3–75 days; and T4–175 days. The environmental variables measured in the sediment and the photosynthetic efficiency (α) of the Z. noltii plants in each plot and sampling occasion registered similar values, throughout the experiment. The extracellular enzymatic activity (EEA) clearly presented a temporal pattern, although no significant differences were obtained between digging and control plots. Nematode assemblages registered high densities, revealing the absence of the digging effect: control plots maintained similar density and diversity throughout the experiment, while the density and diversity between digging plots was significantly different at T0 and T4; the trophic composition was similar for both control and digging plots, characterized mainly by non-selective deposit feeders (1B) and epigrowth feeders (2A).Organic matter, nitrate and mean grain size explain a significant amount of the variation in the nematode genera composition. This study demonstrated the capacity of the seagrass habitat to recover under low intensity physical disturbance associated to harvesting.
The goal of food security increasingly serves as an objective and justification for marine conservation in the global south. In the marine conservation literature this potential link is seldom based upon detailed analysis of the socioeconomic pathways between fish and food security, is often based on limited assumptions about increasing the availability of fish stocks, and downplays the role of trade. Yet, the relationship between fish and food security is multi-faceted and complex, with various local contextual factors that mediate between fish and food security. We use data from interviews and food security assessment methods to examine the relationship between fish and food security among fishing households in San Vicente, Palawan province, Philippines. We highlight the local role of income and trade, emphasising the sale of fish to purchase food not easily accessible for fishers, particularly staples. In particular, we show that because rice is the primary staple of food security for these households, fish must be traded with the intent of buying rice. Trade is therefore central to household food security. We argue that the relationship between fish and food security must be considered in greater depth if marine conservation is to engage with food security as an objective.
Antagonistic interaction between Mediterranean marine mammals, including the endangered monk seal (Monachus monachus), and small-scale fisheries is a growing problem in the Aegean Sea. Effective management measures are needed to ensure both the survival of the monk seal population, and its coexistence with the small-scale fisheries. In this study, data from 371 fishing journeys by 8 different boats was collected between March and November 2014. Evidence of depredation by monk seals was recorded in 19.1% of fishing journeys, by cetaceans in 5%, and by other predators in 16.5%. Analysis of landings data showed that gear and depth were the variables most likely to influence the occurrence of depredation. There was a significant decrease in the catch per unit effort (CPUE) of four of the nine targeted fish species when depredation by monk seals occurred. The total cost of monk seal depredation was estimated to be 21.33% of the mean annual income of fishermen in the Aegean Sea. We discuss how the implementation of marine protected areas and the use of specific fishing gear could reduce the frequency of interactions, and thus mitigate the loss experienced by the fisheries as well as contribute to the conservation of an endangered species.
On the Brazilian coast there are many conflicts between Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and fisher's communities. This research used institutional analysis to integrate studies of sustainable territorial development with coastal fishing in three Brazilian MPAs: the Canavieiras (Bahia) and Itaipu (Rio de Janeiro) Extractive Reserves and the Ecological Station of Tamoios (Rio de Janeiro). Ostrom's Principles (1990) - reviewed by Cox et al. (2010) - were contrasted with the situation of fishing in MPAs in the period of analysis and the fishers' demands for institutional changes. Principles analysis indicated structural weaknesses of the state to promote continuous actions of monitoring resources and users, as well as in the application of graduated sanctions. The design principles most closely associated with the construction of territorial development strategies were related to the rules of appropriation and provision, and nested enterprises. MPAs, as institutional innovations, can act on territorial development dynamics to provide systemic responses capable of preventing the degradation of fisheries resources and marginalisation of users. The sustainable territorial development approach introduces innovative issues for MPAs management, such as territorial identity, integrated production systems and innovation. The perspective on MPAs presented aims to contribute to a quality based fisheries management model, rather than the usual productivity focus.