Small-scale capture fisheries have a very important place globally, but unfortunately are still mostly unregulated. Typically, they are defined based on capture fisheries characteristics, technical attributes of fishing vessels, and socio-economic attributes of fishers. Indonesia uses the term ‘small-scale fisher’ (nelayan kecil), currently defined to include fishing boats of < 10 gross tons (GT), which previously covered only boats of < 5 GT. Because small-scale fishers are by law granted a privilege by government to be exempted from fisheries management measures (e.g. fisheries licensing system), its current definition jeopardizes fisheries sustainability and significantly increases the size of unregulated and unreported fisheries. It is also unfair, as it legitimizes the payment of government support to relatively well-off fishers. This paper aims to develop a functional definition of small-scale fisheries (perikanan skala kecil) to guide policy implementation to improve capture fisheries management in Indonesia. A definition of small-scale fisheries is proposed as a fisheries operation, managed at the household level, fishing with or without a fishing boat of < 5 GT, and using fishing gear that is operated by manpower alone. This definition combines attributes of the fishing vessel (GT), the fishing gear (mechanization), and the unit of business decision making (household) to minimize unregulated and unreported fishing and focus government aid on people who are truly poor and vulnerable to social and economic shocks. The terms small-scale fisheries and small-scale fishers must be legally differentiated as the former relates to fisheries management and the latter relates to empowerment of marginalized fishers.
In the Mediterranean Sea, the dominant type of fisheries is small-scale. Coastal communities remain dependent on fisheries for their income, some of them with limited potential for economic diversification. The top-down micro-management regime has proven ineffective to secure ecological and social sustainability as it lacks flexibility and adaptation to local and regional conditions. This paper explores the advantages of using a participatory approach and a bio-economic model to develop management scenarios in a high value small-scale shrimp trap fishery in Greece. Seeking active stakeholder involvement throughout the management process advanced the identification of management measures aiming at MSY, with high levels of acceptance from stakeholders. It also increased transparency and legitimacy of the proposed management measures and could be considered as a first step towards co-management and regionalization. The participatory approach undertaken could promote compliance and facilitate the transition to sustainable fishing, ensuring the viability of coastal communities and, thus, social sustainability.
An important step in fishery management is to classify fishing vessels by their technical, power, range and impact capacities. This allows management improvement for environmental, social and economic purposes. Technical features are commonly used to classify vessels, but are inadequately addressed for small-scale fisheries (SSF), especially in estuaries. This study analyzed 685 small fishing vessels in order to determine the best way to classify them and suggest how this can improve estuarine SSF management. Technical features, target species, and the degree of urbanization and income of the community were considered. Estuarine-dependent vessels differ from coastal vessels. Their simpler technology increases overlaps of target species and fishing gear. Technical features commonly used to classify vessels (length, engine power and tonnage) are inappropriate for those with low technology. Instead, the degree of technical homogeneity, the number of fishing gears, and the overlap of target species should be considered. We suggest the classification of vessels in management units for estuarine small-scale vessels: a group of vessels operating in the same area, with very low technology, similar fishing range and fishing capacity, a multi-gear pattern, and high target species overlap. Vessels with different main fishing gear may represent the same management unit, because the simple technology required by each gear allows the same vessel to uses several types. The multi-gear and multi-species strategy impairs the use of traditional gear-based management, yet enables low-income fishermen to continue fishing. Vessels with lower technology were observed in less-urbanized communities and had lower income, and therefore these fishermen depend more on the estuarine fishery. Financial capacity stimulates technology and increases fishing capacity, range and gear specialization. Simple technology may help to improve food security and alleviate poverty by maximizing catch diversity. This study identified management units through a novel use of the features of small-scale vessels. We discuss important issues that influence the technological development of small-scale vessels and how this method may improve SSF management.
Are coastal communities relevant in fisheries management? Starting from what Svein Jentoft has had to say about the topic, we explore the idea that viable fishing communities require viable fish stocks, and viable fish stocks require viable fishing communities. To elaborate and expand on Jentoft’s arguments, first, we discuss values as a key attribute of communities that confer the ability to manage coastal resources. Turning to power, next we explore why fishing communities need to be empowered by having the opportunity to self-manage or co-manage resources. Third, regarding community viability, we make the argument that (1) rebuilding or maintaining viable fishing communities and fish stocks cannot succeed without first dealing with vulnerabilities, and that (2) the dimensions of vulnerability involve increase/decrease in well-being, better/poorer access to capitals, and building/losing resilience. The idea that healthy fishing communities and healthy fish stocks require one another implies a viable system that contains both, a social-ecological system view. The values embedded in communities enable them to manage resources. Thus, managers and policy makers need to imagine healthy fishing communities who take care of resources, and this positive image of communities is more likely than present policies to lead to viable fishing communities as well as viable fish stocks.
Multifunctionality is characterized by two key elements: the existence of jointly produced multiple commodity and non-commodity outputs (NCOs), and that NCOs exhibit the characteristics of public goods externalities. The term “multifunctionality” is almost not used outside agriculture. However, several issues discussed in fishery literature and in international contexts clearly refer to public goods provision and joint production. The key point is to recognize if fisheries, similar to agriculture, provide other (public) benefits beyond their primary food supply function. The paper establishes a theoretical framework for the classification and valuation of multifunctionality in fisheries, and outlines policy options to increase (through multifunctionality) social welfare. NCOs include: ecosystem- and biodiversity-related NCOs, other environmental public goods/bads, cultural heritage and coastal viability, coastal employment externalities, food security, and strategic benefits. The main NCO characteristics to be analysed are the degree of jointness between commodity outputs and NCOs, and the distribution of property rights over fish stocks and NCOs. Policy options to increase social welfare include, among others, command and control schemes, market based instruments (e.g., payment for ecosystem services), and marine protected areas. Customary marine tenure institutions, or other modern fishery organizations, may represent a framework for the communitarian provision of NCOs. Fishery subsidies, which can because of overfishing, are justified if they allow increasing social benefits, given by the sum of catch and NCOs value. Particularly, incentives may be necessary to support small-scale fisheries or other less efficient technologies.
The history of oyster management in the Chesapeake Bay is replete with examples of conflict, including an era commonly referred to as the Oyster Wars. Yet, the community of people who work with and depend on oysters has some shared challenges and some stories of success. Using conceptual modeling methods (fuzzy cognitive mapping in particular), we explore whether some stakeholders support and others oppose management proposals because they have fundamentally different predictions for what the outcome of the management actions or other perturbations to the system will be. Stakeholders across the oyster community completed a conceptual mapping exercise as part of the Chesapeake Oyster Summit to describe their perception of how the ecosystem (including humans) functions. This analysis takes those conceptual maps, aggregated by stakeholder group, to model their predictions under currently proposed or frequently discussed management scenarios. Results show more unity than one might expect in how the ecosystem is expected to respond to management initiatives and predicted environmental perturbations. Feedback loops also emerge in some scenarios to either buffer or exacerbate the effects of the management on the ecosystem.
Small‐scale coastal fisheries (SSCF) in the Western region of Ghana are affected by a combination of climate and non‐climate stressors. Coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to these stressors because of their proximity to the sea and high dependence on small‐scale fisheries for their livelihoods. A better understanding of how fishing communities, particularly SSCF, respond to climate and non‐climate stressors is paramount to improve planning and implementation of effective adaptation action. Drawing on the capitals framework, this study examines the adaptive capacity of SSCF to the combined effects of climate‐related (increasing coastal erosion, and wave and storm frequency) and non‐climate‐related stressors (declining catches; scarcity and prohibitive cost of fuel; inconsiderate implementation of fisheries laws and policies; competition from the oil and gas industry; sand mining; and algal blooms). The findings show how fishers mobilise and use adaptive capacity through exploitation of various forms of capital, including cultural capital (e.g., local innovation); political capital (e.g., lobbying government and local authorities); social capital (e.g., collective action); human capital (e.g., local leadership); and natural capital (e.g., utilising beach sand) to respond to multiple stressors. Nevertheless, in many cases, fishers’ responses were reactive and led to negative (maladaptive) outcomes. Furthermore, this study underscores the importance of critically considering the interactive nature of capitals and how they collectively influence adaptive capacity in the planning and implementation of adaptation research, policy and practice.
This paper proposes an ‘exploratory mapping’ approach that can be employed in the early stages of a marine protected area planning process. While stakeholders' involvement in conservation has increased, it often only starts after the decision has been made about where the protected areas will be located. The lack of proper engagement with resource users raises questions about transparency and legitimacy of marine conservation initiatives, hampering their successful implementation. The proposed mapping approach offers a simple way to incorporate in the planning process what small-scale fishers consider to be important to conserve, what they value in their fishing livelihoods, and their perception about the likely impact that multiple uses of the area may cause. Conducted in a small group setting, the exploratory mapping approach is casual and conversational, using paper maps and markers to capture information and stories as they are told. The approach was tested with 14 small-scale fishers living near the Marine National Park of Currais Islands, Southern Brazil. The mapping results, based on the GIS analysis, show a high level of agreement among the study participants with respect to the ecological importance of the area under protection. The participants emphasized that, in addition to its ecological significance, the area is also important in economic and socio-cultural terms, aspects that should be considered in the planning. The study highlights how the exploratory mapping approach can provide decision makers with useful information about small-scale fishers' values and knowledge, which can help identify potential conflicts and enhance support for marine protected areas.
We combined different data sources to analyse key changes in the shellfisheries of Galicia (NW Spain). The shellfishing capacity of this region, a major fishing power in Europe, has been severely reduced in recent decades. The number of vessels has fallen by 13%, vessel length, capacity and engine power have decreased by 10%, 7% and 3%, respectively, while the number of on-foot shellfishers has halved. Landings and sale value of shellfish species have declined in the last decade by 16% and by 13%, respectively. This decline follows a period of recovery from the mid-1980s, when coastal fishery management were transferred from the Spanish to the regional government. Production of local clam species has been progressively abandoned in favour of the foreign Japanese carpet shell Ruditapes philippinarum, leading to losses in sales value and increasing market risks. Overfishing, poaching, degradation of habitats, pollution, disease outbreaks and ocean warming may be responsible for the drop in landings and sales value of key species like edible cockle Cerastoderma edule and Atlantic goose barnacle Pollicipes pollicipes. Despite the development of new fisheries, e.g. algae, anemone and polychaete harvesting, the overall declining trend has important socioecological implications for Galician society, because of the traditional link between shellfishing and coastal communities. The socioecological sustainability of this sector requires policies to be developed by the regional government regarding the support of multidisciplinary research and surveillance, increase control over pollution and poaching, a greater focus on the production of native species and the strengthening of co-management frameworks.
Women play an important role within small-scale fishing communities in the South Pacific, contributing to food security and income. Yet, decisions on the management of coastal fisheries are mostly taken by male community leaders. Given that women and men interact with marine spaces differently, there is a need to further analyze women’s and men’s differentiated roles and participation in marine resource use and governance. This study does so by drawing on qualitative data from a case study in Solomon Islands. In the fishing community studied here, women had crucial and differentiated effects on social, economic, and ecological sustainability. Our study reveals that women provided significant social and economic benefits to their families and the broader community. At the same time, we find that some women were inclined towards breaking local marine management rules (i.e., potentially lowering positive ecological effects of the conservation efforts) because (1) women had been little involved in the decision-making with regard to local marine management; (2) women had partly lost trust in the local male leadership due to a perceived misuse of money; and (3) women were more constrained in their fishing activities because a marine closure was located where mainly women used to fish. Our study highlights the importance of paying attention to women’s needs and actions in the governance of the fishery—including both the positive as well as potentially negative consequences thereof. Furthermore, our study shows that, besides gender, other socio-cultural variables (i.e., religious denomination and place of birth) shaped a person’s role and interactions in the fishery. It thus adds weight to intersectional approaches to gender.