Recently an action plan has been put in place off southeastern Portugal, consisting in an offshore aquaculture area off the Armona sandy barrier island, Armona Pilot Production Aquaculture Area (APPAA). The infrastructure was created after the initiative of the Portuguese Government aiming to stimulate local employment opportunities related to seafood production. The APPAA aims to improve resilience of finfish and shellfish production for the future. However, the delimited infrastructure is located nearby some fishery-dependent communities. Therefore, such proximity may cause friction with some fishermen due to the limitations post APPAA development (e.g. may feel their jobs are threatened). In this study, we queried the reasoning rules elicited by local fishing communities and their perceived impact of the APPAA implementation. In that scope, a fuzzy logic expert system approach was used to investigate the interaction between three input variables (namely, ‘availability of fishable area’, ‘navigational disturbance’, and ‘catch variation’) and the output variable (i.e., overall ‘fishing community satisfaction’). The results from the fuzzy logic expert system showed that ‘catch variation’ was the input that most affected ‘fishing community satisfaction’ and seemed to be the one that suffered most changes. The results also show that, for the analyzed years, where the catch was higher, the degree of satisfaction tended to follow the trend, independently of the fishing community. The other two input variables were more conditioned by governmental arrangement (‘availability of fishable area’) and by small-scale fishermen reaction (‘navigational disturbance’). The fuzzy logic expert system proved to be a valuable tool, facilitating the analysis of governance arrangements, particularly those dealing with the interaction between the fisheries–offshore aquaculture system as a whole.
Species introduction, combined with changing access rules, increasing demand, and new road and dam infrastructure, are contributing to remarkable changes in Bolivian Amazon fisheries. This paper examines community responses to the appearance of a commercially valuable introduced fish species, Arapaima cf. gigas (“paiche”) in the Bolivian Amazon. Until the end of the 20th century, fisheries in this region were relatively low intensity, focused in rivers on a small number of native large-sized species by an urban-based commercial fishing fleet, and in floodplain lakes on a high diversity of native medium-sized species for subsistence by rural indigenous communities. In the seventies, Arapaima cf. gigas was introduced from Peru and has since invaded a significant portion of the Madre de Dios and Beni basins in northern Bolivia. This species now represents up to 80 % of commercial catches for the region. Occupying primarily floodplain lakes, many of which are located within indigenous territories, it has created economic opportunities and stimulated conflicts. The evolution of fisheries in one indigenous Tacana community is described, and the perspectives of local fishers are explored. Results suggest that while the new resource has strengthened incipient community-level organization, the current capture strategies and management mechanisms may not be conducive to sustainability or equitable distribution of returns. Commercial fisheries targeting a set of native species have been replaced by a single-species fishery in this community, raising questions about how the changes both in the resource-base and associated livelihood strategies are impacting system resilience. Ecosystem impacts of the introduction remain unclear. Paiche is viewed both as a potential threat and an opportunity by indigenous fishers. The management of this introduced species for a maximum social benefit and minimal environmental damage are topical concerns for communities and government actors and should be treated carefully considering local and broader, regional-scale implications.
We present an institutional ethnography and historical case study of the Vigía Chico fishing cooperative, located in the community of Punta Allen within the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an, México. The top producer of spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) in the state of Quintana Roo for over 30 years, this cooperative has been claimed as an example of a sustainable artisanal fishery. To better understand and assess this success story, we performed an in-depth study of multiple factors to analyze their influence on the cooperative’s success. The indicators selected were level and form of social organization, resilience to socio-environmental perturbations, changes in fishing gear, and the fishing concession as avenue to cementing institutional success. We conducted ethnographic fieldwork over five months, complemented by an in-depth analysis of the cooperative assembly’s minutes. We found that the knowledge the cooperative acquired of the functioning of Mexican public policies was a factor in their success. Cooperative leaders were able to translate that knowledge in ways that benefitted the cooperative, enabling them to build a set of policy-responsive operational rules that could be effectively applied to artisanal fisheries more broadly. The isolated conditions of the area and the presence of natural perturbations such as hurricanes forced the community to increase their willingness to cooperate, and improved their capacity to respond as a group to perturbations. These successes in turn demonstrated the value of cooperative approaches to achieve individual and collective livelihood goals, within and beyond fishing. Such approaches have been further enhanced by the incorporation of academic knowledge and scientific techniques. We conclude that Punta Allen is a successful example of a community that has managed to creatively engage public policy instruments and translate them into effective local practices, enabling organizational persistence despite repeated changes in policies governing fisheries in Mexico.
The common dentex, Dentex dentex (L.), is an iconic marine coastal fish in the Mediterranean Sea. This study was performed in the Bonifacio Strait Natural Reserve (BSNR), (NW Mediterranean Sea). The aims were to: (1) evaluate temporal variation of the artisanal fishing of common dentex (2000–2012); (2) compare and quantify catch rates, fishing techniques and catch composition for artisanal and recreational fisheries, and determine the influence of management measures by both activities; and (3) estimate the production of both artisanal and recreational fisheries. Fishery data were collected from different artisanal fishing surveys (onboard fishing vessels and landings) and recreational fishing surveys (roving). The gears with the highest rates of exploitation were longline (3554 g per 100 hooks) and Trolling (351 g boat−1 h−1 ±SE), respectively, for artisanal and recreational fishing. This study showed that catches by both activities were quantitatively higher in partially protected areas than outside them. Production estimations suggest that the recreational fishery contributes significantly to fishing mortality and that it can magnify the negative effects of artisanal fisheries. Specific measures are needed for the sustainable fishery management of common dentex.
The governability of small-scale fisheries located adjacent to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in South Africa has increasingly come under scrutiny as communities, social science researchers, NGOs and human rights activists challenge current governance approaches that disregard the socio-cultural rights and livelihood needs of fishing communities living within or adjacent to MPAs. Drawing on research conducted in seven case studies in South Africa, this chapter explores the current mismatch between the realities facing fishing communities impacted by MPAs and the state-centric and natural science-based approach to governance adopted by South Africa’s fisheries management and conservation authorities. This approach to MPA governance persists despite a suite of policy reforms and political rhetoric that indicates the embrace of a more people-centred approach to natural resource governance. The key focus of this chapter is to gain a deeper understanding as to why this mismatch persists despite almost 20 years of democracy and policy reforms. While the devastating impact of South Africa’s political history is evident in all cases, other factors that inhibit meaningful change and formation of robust governance systems, are highlighted. These include the persistence of a natural-science paradigm; the divergent principles, values, worldviews and images amongst governance actors; institutional shortcomings; failure to recognize and respect local and customary forms of governance; and the lack of attention to implementation mechanisms that are informed by all governance actors.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are promoted as an effective model for the management of marine areas worldwide. They are not only a technical management measure but also a social institution that interacts with existing use rights. In the Canary Islands, several marine reserves have already been created, while others have been proposed. Some of the already created protected areas were promoted and supported by small-scale fisher organizations. Newly proposed areas are to be backed by different institutions and small-scale fishers. For small-scale fishers marine reserves have some advantages in terms of co-governance and increased involvement in rule making and surveillance. However, increasingly, other stakeholders like recreational fishers are demanding inclusion in the governing process. It is recreational fishers who are usually the most unsupportive of MPAs and thus pose governability challenges. Involving them, therefore, in discussion about MPAs may help improve governability although it will require institution building on their side. We conclude that MPAs’ inception processes are both a challenge and an opportunity for governability, as they promote new patterns of interactions between stakeholder groups.
This chapter investigates governing interactions at the Baleia Franca Environmental Protection Area (Santa Catarina state, South Brazil) as an example of new opportunities and challenges to scale-up small-scale fisheries governability through Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Previous studies on MPAs in Brazil highlight the innovative aspects of these governing systems such as their well-functioning, active, and progressive management councils. We describe the increasing response of the governing system to fisheries issues that are largely aligned with governance paradigms of collaboration and social learning. Despite all efforts and some notable accomplishments in responsiveness and performance, we point out the challenges related to the mismatch between the governing system and the systems-to-be-governed that hinders fishers’ political agency and limits small-scale fisheries governability at broader territorial levels. We identify and analyse the wicked problems faced by actors engaged in processes of transformation in coastal-marine governance and provide suggestions for improving governability.
Background. Marine protected areas (MPAs) with partial fishing restrictions are socially more acceptable, but their ecological effectiveness has largely not been assessed. The effects of establishing partial reserves on a target species, forkbeard, Phycis phycis (Linnaeus, 1766), were assessed in MPAs in the Mediterranean: Cap de Creus (Spain) and Lastovo (Croatia).
Materials and Methods. In this study, we performed separate statistical analyses based on measurements of length and age for 381 forkbeard from Cap de Creus (2008– 2011) and 739 forkbeard from Lastovo Islands (2010– 2012) as indicators of fishing effects on target fish populations.
Results. The establishment of partial reserves in both MPAs, with different regulations imposed on professional and recreational fishing has not proven successful in achieving benefits for a sedentary, relatively long-lived target species such as Phycis phycis. Results of multi-annual research indicate no significant difference in the abundance, mean size, or age of P. phycis between the fishing zones of different protection levels in either of the studied MPAs.
Conclusion. In order to achieve the desired benefits for coastal fisheries resources, we recommend that partial fishing reserves are supplemented with integrated networks of no-take zones.
An integrated fisheries management tool based on a bio-economic model was applied to the small pelagics (sardine) fishery in central Algeria (Mediterranean Sea). The basic bio-economic conditions of the fishery were established and relevant biological and economic indicators were analysed under different management scenarios defined by changes on fleet capacity and daily fishing time. The results show that the fishery is subject to high fishing pressure (1,548 units in 1990 and 4,445 units in 2007) (Maouel 2003, Medrous2013) and current government policies aiming to increase fishing capacity (1,493 new unit sare projected for 2025) (MPRH 2008) would likely worsen the conservation status of the resource, without contributing toa significant volume of catches or economic profits. Instead, a reduction of daily fishing time would allow decreasing the fishing mortality, without significantly reducing the total production or profits of the fishery to the current fleet. However, the short-term loss faced by the industry is a major constraint towards the acceptability of this type of management measures by the fishing sector.
In this paper, we examine the extent, range, and diversity of noncommercial wild ocean seafood subsistence harvests among commercial operators in Washington and California, USA and test the relationship between subsistence drivers and market behavior. Analyzing data from Pacific Fisheries Information Network between 1990 and 2010, we show that over 17 million kg of fish and shellfish were kept for personal use. We used general additive models to examine patterns in proportion of personal use versus price for the top 10 species retained over the 20-year period for each of the three population groups: Washington commercial tribal (indigenous) fishing operators, Washington commercial nontribal operators, and California commercial fishing operators. Out of the 26 species-price relationships tested, only one fits the market relationship with statistical significance and the model failed to predict personal use patterns for any of the other species. We conclude that market sensitivity is not a reliable predictor for subsistence behavior. Although a nominal figure in the overall seafood catch, the presence of subsistence practices among 21st century market-based commercial fishing operators reveals a more diverse array of economic systems than previously imagined. We suggest that alternative economies, including subsistence and associated community share systems, function to improve human wellbeing and strengthen community resilience by increasing food security and community food systems, engaging in a quality of life practice, and supporting social networks through seafood gifting and sharing.