Several factors influence catches and the sustainability of fisheries, and such factors might be different depending on the scale on which fisheries work. We investigated the existence of possible subdivisions within small-scale fisheries (SSF) themselves, regarding their economic performance and relative social and environmental impacts to understand which categories of these two types of fleets are best positioned to support sustainability. By doing so, we investigated if it is a good strategy for SSF to aim to grow towards larger scales. We obtained economic and ecological data from landing samplings and information on technological efficiency of this fleet, using a northeastern Brazilian state as a case study. We defined a cut-off point to separate the SSF into two categories of boats, according to their size and gear. We compared their cpue and the factors affecting it within each category; we also compared economic (number of boats, number of landings, jobs, gears, catch, travel time and total time of the fishery, revenues, costs, profits, revenue per unit of effort, and profit per unit of effort) and ecological factors (vulnerability of species caught) between the two categories. We found that small boats spent less time fishing and employed comparatively more people per landed value and catch. The cpue and profits of small boats were also higher. Both large and small boats exploit species with the same overall vulnerability. Therefore, being smaller, even within the SSF category, seems to be a more advantageous social and economic strategy for guaranteeing higher catches and more employment opportunities per catch. These findings need to be taken into account when defining new policies, such as the distribution of subsidies that support or not the sustainable use of fishery resources.
A major difficulty in managing wildlife trade is the reliance on trade data (rather than capture data) to monitor exploitation of wild populations. Collected organisms that die or are rejected before a point of sale often go unreported. For the global marine aquarium trade, identifying the loss of collected fish from rejection, prior to export, is a first step in assessing true collection levels. This study takes a detailed look at fish rejections by buyers before export using the Papua New Guinea marine aquarium fishery as a case study. Utilizing collection invoices detailing the species and quantity of fish (Actinopteri and Elasmobranchii) accepted or rejected by the exporting company it was determined that, over a six month period, 24.2% of the total fish catch reported (n = 13,886) was rejected. Of the ten most collected fish families, rejection frequency was highest for the Apogonidae (54.2%), Chaetodontidae (26.3%), and Acanthuridae (18.2%) and lowest for Labridae (6.6%) and Hemiscylliidae (0.7%). The most frequently cited reasons for rejection were fin damage (45.6% of cases), undersized fish (21.8%), and fish deemed too thin (11.1%). Despite fishers receiving feedback on invoices explaining rejections, there was no improvement in rejection frequencies over time (r = -0.33, P = 0.15) with weekly rejection frequencies being highly inconsistent (range: 2.8% to 79.4%; s = 16.3%). These findings suggest that export/import statistics can greatly underestimate collection for the marine aquarium trade as additional factors such as fisher discards, escapees, post-collection mortalities, and unregulated domestic trade would further contribute to this disparity.
Given limited funds for research and widespread degradation of ecosystems, environmental scientists should geographically target their studies where they will be most effective. However, in academic areas such as conservation and natural resource management there is often a mismatch between the geographic foci of research effort/funding and research needs. The former frequently being focused in the developed world while the latter is greater in the biodiverse countries of the Global South. Here, we adopt a bibliometric approach to test this hypothesis using research on artisanal fisheries. Such fisheries occur throughout the world, but are especially prominent in developing countries where they are important for supporting local livelihoods, food security and poverty alleviation. Moreover, most artisanal fisheries in the Global South are unregulated and unmonitored and are in urgent need of science-based management to ensure future sustainability. Our results indicate that, as predicted, global research networks and centres of knowledge production are predominantly located in developed countries, indicating a global mismatch between research needs and capacity.
Effective enforcement can reduce the impacts of illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, resulting in numerous economic, ecological, and social benefits. However, resource managers in small-scale fisheries often lack the expertise and financial resources required to design and implement an effective enforcement system. Here, a bio-economic model is developed to investigate optimal levels of fishery enforcement and financing mechanisms available to recover costs of enforcement. The model is parameterized to represent a small-scale Caribbean lobster fishery, and optimal fishery enforcement levels for three different stakeholder archetypes are considered: (1) a fishing industry only; (2) a dive tourism industry only; and (3) fishing and dive tourism industries. For the illustrative small-scale fishery presented, the optimal level of fishery enforcement decreases with increasing levels of biomass, and is higher when a dive tourism industry is present. Results also indicate that costs of fisheries enforcement can be recovered through a suite of financing mechanisms. However, the timescale over which financing becomes sustainable will depend largely on the current status of the fishery resource. This study may serve as a framework that can be used by resource managers to help design and finance economically optimal fisheries enforcement systems.
Fish escaping from net pens have always been considered a major source of socioeconomic and ecological issues entitling high economic loses for farmers. Local artisanal fisheries have proved the ability to mitigate escape events by recapturing escapees, but its effectiveness has always been questioned. However, the knowledge regarding the interaction of large scale escape events and local fisheries remains scant. The recapture dynamics of a massive escape of nearly 100 tones taking place in Western Mediterranean was analysed. The artisanal fishery showed efficient in recapturing escaped fish as 64.7% of the escaped biomass was recovered. The spatial distribution of escaped gilthead seabream along the shore was studied as well as the efficiency of the fishing fleet distinguishing between fishing gears. The recapture of escaped fish showed well correlated with the distance to the escape point. Moreover, a high recapture success (64.7%) was registered being fish traps (53.8%) more efficient in recovering escapees than nets (10.9%). Concluding, management implications and data-based measures to be implemented on further regulations of escape events are discussed.
The expanse of ocean designated as marine protected areas (MPAs) has increased considerably, particularly since the 1990s. Most MPAs are situated close to shore where small-scale fishermen access resources for nutritional and economic security, which may potentially create adverse effects on local livelihoods. This paper draws from the results of fourteen-months of fieldwork conducted on the Caribbean islands of Providencia and Santa Catalina, Colombia, focused on identifying fishermen’s livelihood approaches and determining the variables that influence their decision to accept or reject conservation programs. Findings suggest that fishermen deliberately diversify their livelihoods, ensuring resiliency when faced with fluctuations in marine resources and, more recently, resource management policies. In addition, it finds that trust in local government institutions is the variable that most shapes fishermen’s acceptance of MPAs.
Studies have demonstrated ways in which climate-related shifts in the distributions and relative abundances of marine species are expected to alter the dynamics and catch potential of global fisheries. While these studies assess impacts on large-scale commercial fisheries, few efforts have been made to quantitatively project impacts on small-scale subsistence and commercial fisheries that are economically, socially and culturally important to many coastal communities. This study uses a dynamic bioclimate envelope model to project scenarios of climate-related changes in the relative abundance, distribution and richness of 98 exploited marine fishes and invertebrates of commercial and cultural importance to First Nations in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Declines in abundance are projected for most of the sampled species under both the lower (Representative Concentration Pathway [RCP] 2.6) and higher (RCP 8.5) emission scenarios (-15.0% to -20.8%, respectively), with poleward range shifts occurring at a median rate of 10.3 to 18.0 km decade-1 by 2050 relative to 2000. While a cumulative decline in catch potential is projected coastwide (-4.5 to -10.7%), estimates suggest a strong positive correlation between the change in relative catch potential and latitude, with First Nations’ territories along the northern and central coasts of British Columbia likely to experience less severe declines than those to the south. Furthermore, a strong negative correlation is projected between latitude and the number of species exhibiting declining abundance. These trends are shown to be robust to alternative species distribution models. This study concludes by discussing corresponding management challenges that are likely to be encountered under climate change, and by highlighting the value of joint-management frameworks and traditional fisheries management approaches that could aid in offsetting impacts and developing site-specific mitigation and adaptation strategies derived from local fishers’ knowledge.
Subsistence (or food) fisheries are under-studied, and the interaction between subsistence and commercial fisheries have not been studied systematically. Addressing this gap is the main contribution of the present paper, which focuses on how to deal with the challenge of overlapping commercial and subsistence fisheries. The study was conducted in Norway House Cree Nation, with qualitative data collection and questionnaire surveys. Commercial fishing in Norway House takes place during spring/summer and fall seasons, whereas subsistence fishing takes place throughout the year. Commercial fishing mostly occurs in the open waters of Lake Winnipeg; subsistence fishing in rivers adjacent to the reserve and in smaller lakes inland. How do fishers and the community deal with overlaps and potential conflicts between the two kinds of fisheries? The main mechanism is the separation of the two temporally and spatially. In the remaining overlap areas, conflict resolution relies on monitoring of net ownership and informal communication. The first mechanism is regulatory but really de facto co-management in the way it is implemented. The second is consistent with Cree cultural values of respect, reciprocity and tolerance.
In many lower-income countries, the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) involves significant opportunity costs for artisanal fishers, reflected in changes in how they allocate their labor in response to the MPA. The resource economics literature rarely addresses such labor allocation decisions of artisanal fishers and how, in turn, these contribute to the impact of MPAs on fish stocks, yield, and income. This paper develops a spatial bio-economic model of a fishery adjacent to a village of people who allocate their labor between fishing and on-shore wage opportunities to establish a spatial Nash equilibrium at a steady state fish stock in response to various locations for no-take zone MPAs and managed access MPAs. Villagers’ fishing location decisions are based on distance costs, fishing returns, and wages. Here, the MPA location determines its impact on fish stocks, fish yield, and villager income due to distance costs, congestion, and fish dispersal. Incorporating wage labor opportunities into the framework allows examination of the MPA’s impact on rural incomes, with results determining that win-wins between yield and stocks occur in very different MPA locations than do win-wins between income and stocks. Similarly, villagers in a high-wage setting face a lower burden from MPAs than do those in low-wage settings. Motivated by issues of central importance in Tanzania and Costa Rica, we impose various policies on this fishery – location specific no-take zones, increasing on-shore wages, and restricting MPA access to a subset of villagers – to analyze the impact of an MPA on fish stocks and rural incomes in such settings.
This paper demonstrates the variety of institutional arrangements affecting small-scale fishing in southern Sri Lanka, highlighting legal pluralism and focusing particularly on its consequences for livelihoods and resource conservation. Evidence derives from two landing centres in Hambantota District, and is grouped according to three institutional types: norms, community working rules and state working rules. The authors argue that these institutions play differential roles in providing access to fishing, preventing conflict, structuring fishing operations, reducing risks and conserving resources. Interactions between state and community legal systems consist of four types - indifference, competition, accommodation and mutual support. Institutional effectiveness is threatened most where implementation is poor or rules are in direct competition.