Sustainable Fishing? Ecological Footprint Analysis of an Artisanal Fishing Organization
Small-scale fisheries are an important economic sector in terms of employment, national food security, enterprise development and foreign exchange earnings. Overfishing is one of the main impacts directly affecting fisheries. However, there are other kinds of global impacts not frequently considered. The ecological footprint indicator is not new but has been mostly overlooked by scholars in the artisanal fishing sector. The aim of this study was to evaluate the corporate ecological footprint of small-scale fisheries through a fishing cooperative at La Cruz de Loreto in Mexico, and determine its eco-efficiency as non-direct global impacts.
The Compound Method Based on Financial Accounts (MC3.V.2 for its acronym in Spanish, version 2) was used. It includes the categories of emissions, materials, resources, services and contracts, land use and waste.
Eco-efficiency, determined by the organization´s ecological footprint, was 0.6 t/ha and its carbon footprint was 0.2 t/tCO2 per year, a low one when compared to others. The consumption category that contributed most to the footprint was indirect emissions and the ecosystem’s fossil energy, which could be explained by the characteristics of the fishing cooperative analyzed.
The corporate ecological footprint for La Cruz de Loreto fishing cooperative is low when compared to others, but it indicates that they should improve in the category of indirect emission (reduce the consumption of electricity generated by fossil fuel and use of alternative energy) and should invest in the “forest” type of ecosystem to increase carbon sinks and mitigate the impacts.