Herron, Pilar, Kluger, Lotta, Castellanos-Galindo, Gustavo, Wolff, Matthias and Glaser, Marion (2020) Understanding gear choices and identifying leverage points for sustainable tropical small-scale marine fisheries. Ocean & Coastal Management, 188 . p. 105074. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.105074.

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Abstract

In rural coastal areas of most countries of the Global South, small-scale fisheries (SSF) are the main source of food and income, and a key driver of local economies. Ensuring sustainability of SSF requires an understanding of socio-economic and cultural contexts and consideration of the drivers of fishers' behaviour, in particular in terms of spatial and temporal fishing patterns and gear choice. In this study, we assess the contribution of SSF to local fish consumption, explore drivers behind fishers' gear choice and compare the profitability of different fishing gears used in the Colombian Pacific coast, providing context to a discussion on SSF management strategies. We estimated a mean annual fish consumption of 237 kg per capita in the study area, which is higher than most estimates from coastal communities worldwide. Bottom trawls, a gear type banned by the fishing authority, had appealing characteristics for fishers with limited income opportunities: low investment and maintenance costs, low operational risks, high value of target species and high profitability. Users of gillnets of small mesh size (≤2.75”) targeted the most valuable species in the market, white shrimp (Penaeus occidentalis), but their catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) and associated profit varied between villages, likely related to spatial patterns of resource abundance and fishing effort. Longlines were used by a small percentage of fishers who had a higher perception of theft risks than other gear user groups. Commonly used leverage points for SSF sustainability, such as an economic compensation to fishers or redistribution of fishing effort from illegal to legal gears, could also be combined with more impactful ones, such as facilitating fishers’ organizational capacities and empowerment for co-management schemes. Our results provide an essential - and often overlooked - socio-economic perspective for managers in tropical SSF that aim to pursue a holistic approach to fisheries management, based on an improved understanding of the incentives and constraints that influence fishing behaviour.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area (enter as: PA1/PA2/PA3/PA4/PA5): PA1, PA2
Research affiliation: Theoretical Ecology and Modelling > Resource Management
Social Sciences > Social-Ecological Systems Analysis
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.105074
ISSN: 09645691
Date Deposited: 11 May 2020 13:29
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2021 15:23
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/3713

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