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.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) – or sections of the ocean set aside where human activities such as fishing are restricted – have been growing in popularity as a marine conservation tool. As a result, it is important to examine the socioeconomic consequences of MPAs and how they may affect nearby communities. This study explores social and equity issues surrounding the designation of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, an MPA that includes protections around the three most northern islands in the US territory of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). We gathered oral history interviews with 40 individuals from CMNI and Guam who had connections to the waters in the newly-designated MPA and reviewed key documents in order to (1) document historical and current use of the waters in the MPA and (2) consider the implications that proposed fishing regulations in the MPA may have for the local communities. Our study documented 129 trips to visit the waters in the MPA in living memory. We found that due to distance, trips to the MPA waters were rare but culturally significant events that provided residents from CNMI and Guam with connections to their indigenous roots. Regulation of fishing in the new MPA has the potential to directly and indirectly restrict local access to these culturally important waters. This research highlights the importance of better collaboration with local partners and better consideration of social and equity concerns in the siting and regulation of MPAs.
There is limited information about Colombian fisheries available from government sources. In consequence, as is the case for many artisanal or subsistence fisheries, fishermen, local leaders, and fisheries experts become a primary source of data for identifying priority issues for management attention. This study describes the problems that currently affect small-scale fishing activity and fishery resources in Colombia, based upon data collected from these main stakeholders. Data from extensive interviews and community meetings were carefully coded to produce a quantitative picture of the conflicts in these artisanal fisheries. Identified issues applied in three ways; across all communities, germane to one coastal area, or peculiar to individual communities. The results present the opportunity to focus management attention on key issues that can be addressed with co-management by communities in cooperation with government.
Southern Bering Sea fishermen are vulnerable to losing access to key fisheries due largely to policy changes, permit loss, and the expense of fishing operations. Local residents generally do not have fishing rights in many of the high value commercial fisheries. They must continuously shape policy and explore alternative economies in order to stay fishermen. We were contracted by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to study the role of subsistence and commercial fisheries, land use, socioeconomics, and sharing networks in Alutiiq and Aleut/Unangan villages. Through an exploration of these data using innovative social network analysis that presents relationships, social stratification, commercialisation, and other dependencies in the maintenance of fisheries, sharing, trading, and revenue streams, this paper shows that in two of the most socioeconomically valuable fisheries, king crab (Paralithodes sp. and Lithodes sp) and cod (Gadidae), local peoples have had to gain access to these foods by using means outside of what are academically perceived as their traditional subsistence and commercial allocation, resulting in adaptive networks of distribution. This work shows the range of networks surrounding these key foods and their associated vulnerabilities and resilience. Those sharing networks that demonstrate greater interconnectedness are much more stable and resilient.
These Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication have been developed as a complement to the 1995 FAO Code
of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (the Code). They were developed to provide complementary guidance with respect to small-scale fisheries in support of the overall principles and provisions of the Code. Accordingly, the Guidelines are intended to support the visibility, recognition and enhancement of the already important role of small-scale fisheries and to contribute to global and national efforts towards the eradication of hunger and poverty. The Guidelines support responsible fisheries and sustainable social and economic development for the benefit of current and future generations, with an emphasis on small- scale fishers and fish workers and related activities and including vulnerable and marginalized people, promoting a human rights- based approach.
It is emphasized that these Guidelines are voluntary, global in scope and with a focus on the needs of developing countries.
We engaged in collaborative research with two small-scale fishing communities inside the Upper Gulf of California Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, San Felipe (SF) and El Golfo de Santa Clara (GSC), to test how well the geographic heterogeneity of fishing activities within the reserve coincided with current regulations. We compared the two communities in terms of catch composition, fishing effort, ex-vessel prices and revenues, seasonal patterns in fishing activities in relation to the reproductive seasons of target species, and spatial patterns of fishing in relation to managed zones within the reserve. The top four species (Cynoscion othonopterus, Micropogonias megalops, Scomberomorus concolor, Litopenaeus stylirostris) in terms of relative effort, catch, and revenues were the same for both communities but overall fisheries production, effort, and revenues were higher in GSC than SF for these species. Fishing activities in GSC followed a predictable annual cycle that began with L. stylirostris and were followed sequentially by the harvesting of C. othonopterus, M. megalops, and S. concolor during their respective spawning seasons, which were associated with seasonal variations in ex-vessel prices. Conversely, catch and revenues in SF were more diversified, less dependent on those four species, less seasonal, and did not show seasonal variations in prices. Interactions between fisheries and managed zones also differed such that SF interacted mainly with the southwest portion of the vaquita (Phocoena sinus) refuge, whereas GSC fished over a larger area and interacted mainly with the northeast portion of the vaquita refuge and the no-take zone. Our results indicate the two communities differ markedly in their socio-economic dependence on fisheries, their spatio-temporal patterns of fishing, their use of and impacts on species, coastal ecosystems and managed areas, and how different regulations may affect livelihoods. Regional management and conservation efforts should account for these differences to ensure the protection of endangered species and to sustain ecosystem services that maintain livelihoods and healthy coastal ecosystems. This study provides further evidence of the ability of collaborative research between scientists and fishers to produce robust and fine-scale fisheries and biological information that improves the collective knowledge and management of small-scale fisheries within marine protected areas.
This paper integrates institutional theories of the commons with insights from geography and human behavioral ecology to explore the spatial and temporal dynamics of artisanal fishing in Ecuador's coastal mangrove swamps. The focus is on the cockle fishery commons characterized by a mixture of formal institutional arrangements and an informal division of fishing space that partially influences fisher decisions about where and when to fish. Individual decisions are further explained to a certain degree by the patch choice model since fishers often move on to new grounds when their catch rates fall below average. These optimizing strategies requiring rotation within a socially produced fishing space may contribute to resource renewal, perceived reliable returns for individuals, and a relative stability in fishing effort, potentially mitigating against resource depletion in open-access areas not managed as a common property regime. This study of the interaction between shellfish harvesters, cultural institutions, and the environment contributes to a spatially explicit theory of the commons and points to the crucial role of resource user mobility and dynamic cultural institutions for the ecological sustainability of shellfish fisheries. A better understanding of feedback between individual decision-making and the self-organization of a social-ecological system has critical implications for policy design and fisheries management at similar scales.