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Sustaining small-scale fisheries: Investigating the consequences of decreased access to fish /Food security and the oceans (sustainable fisheries and aquaculture)

Room: Lomond Auditorium     2014-08-16; 11:00 - 13:00

NB: Unless specified otherwise, presentations are 15 minutes in length, and speed presentations are 5 mins in length.

SY44.1  11:00  Implications of local management on ecosystem service flows and distribution: A case study of the Velondriake locally managed marine area, Madagascar. Oleson, KLL *, UH Manoa, Blue Ventures Conservation;

Abstract: Spanning 50 km of Madagascar’s southwest coast, the Velondriake locally managed marine area (LMMA) is the largest LMMA in the Indian Ocean. The area is co-managed by an international NGO and 7,500 inhabitants (in 24 villages) via a democratically elected committee. A national law passed in 1996 set up the framework to transfer resource rights to local communities, and facilitated Velondriake’s legal formation in 2006 and ratification in 2009. Management activities to-date have included periodic fisheries closures, permanent reserves, destructive fishing practices bans, and environmental education. Development activities have included programs for family planning services and alternative livelihoods. This paper explores how changes in access, property rights, and governance brought about by the LMMA may impact the level and distribution of ecosystem service benefits, such as fisheries, social cohesion, and cultural heritage. To do so, I map out the ecosystem service benefit flows, then identify and analyze the mechanisms involved in gaining, controlling, and maintaining the benefit flows and distributions. As these communities’ welfare is directly tied to the natural resource base, changes in ecosystem service flows could have important implications for human well-being, distributional justice, and, ultimately, the sustainability of the resource system and community based management institution.

SY44.2  11:15  Exploring futures for small-scale reef fisheries: Caribbean community visions and governance implications. Fitzsimmons, C *, Newcastle University, UK; Turner, RA University of the West Indies, Barbados; Forster, J Newcastle University, UK; Young, SE Newcastle University, UK; Peterson, A University of the West Indies, Barbados; Gill, D University of the West Indies, Barbados; Mahon, R University of the West Indies, Barbados; Stead, SM , Newcastle University, UK;

Abstract: Fishing livelihoods dependent on Caribbean coral reefs face uncertain futures. Climate change threats to reef integrity are exacerbated by growing populations, exploitation and habitat degradation. Predictions of future population, climate and environment are relatively well developed in global and regional models. In contrast, limited studies identify corresponding future behaviours in threatened societies as ecosystem services are lost. We use alternative scenarios to explore social implications of future challenges, reporting on workshops with fishers in 14 communities across seven Caribbean countries and territories. Four divergent scenarios are described around two critical future uncertainties; whether local reefs are a) subject to community or top-down management and b) relatively healthy or unhealthy, on a regional scale. Community scenario matrices are compared. Results highlight differences in communities’ abilities to see and shape their own futures. Varying adaptive and participatory capacities and visions of viable future governance are apparent. Scenario work generated unique comparative data and a participatory process that anticipates responses to predicted future changes. Sustainable management requires communities’ participation now, and their engagement with futures in which reefs and fishing remain important. Supporting community visualisation of diverse futures is an important step towards such locally engaged, adaptive management for sustainable use.

SY44.3  11:30  On Access and Adaptive Capacity: lessons from small-scale fishing cooperatives in Baja California Sur, Mexico . Finkbeiner, Elena , Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University; Crowder, Larry *Stanford University;

Abstract: Maintaining productivity and diversity in marine ecosystems is critical in conferring direct and indirect benefits to small-scale fishing communities. In this context, ecosystem health can increase adaptive capacity of fishing communities in a changing environment. However, ecosystem health is a necessary but not sufficient condition for human adaptive capacity; if communities or individuals do not have effective access to these resources then benefits will not be conferred. This study explores the link between access to marine resources in small-scale fisheries and the ability for fishers to adapt and respond in a changing environment. A comparative case study approach was used to explore this research objective across fishers’ and fishing cooperatives in Bahia Ulloa, Baja California Sur, Mexico, using diverse techniques, such as participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and the collection of fisheries catch and economic data. Results show that diverse and flexible access to marine resources minimizes fluctuations in fishers’ inter-annual income, given frequent biophysical and market changes that fishers in this region experience. This study provides empirical evidence that access plays a critical role in food and livelihood security and in strengthening adaptive capacity in a variable and changing environment.

SY44.4  11:45  Assessing the economic viability of small-scale fisheries - a global study. Anna Schuhbauer , Fisheries Economic Research Unit, Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia; Rashid Sumaila Fisheries Economic Research Unit, Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia; Ratana Chuenpagdee Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Dana Miller *Fisheries Economics Research Unit (FERU), The University of British Columbia;

Abstract: Small-scale fisheries, which employ about 90% of all fishers globally, are known to be tied to their local communities. In addition, they are often marginalized and suffer from high levels of poverty, climate change and low economic performance. This study focusses on how to improve the economic viability (EV) of these fisheries to decrease their vulnerability to large-scale processes of change. With a multi-entry perspective that includes economic, social, governance and ecological aspects, we develop a framework to assess EV on a global scale. While maintaining a comprehensive view, we identify a set of key attributes that impact EV of small-scale fisheries. Measuring these attributes will help us understand how small-scale fishers can maintain or improve access to the resources. For example, ‘access to finance’, which directly affects the fisher’s ability to fish, is one attribute that is being assessed as part of this framework. The results propose solutions that could improve EV of small-scale fisheries, which is a key component for marine biodiversity conservation.

SY44.5  12:00  Local Fish, Global Fish: Small scale-industrial competition and the impacts for food security and sustainability in West Africa. Seto, KS *, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California at Berkeley;

Abstract: Marine fisheries play a critical role in providing employment, nutrition, and income to local populations in West Africa and throughout the developing world. However, while most of these individuals are employed in small-scale fisheries, the dominant presence in global fishing law, policy, and economics is the large, often foreign owned and operated, industrial sector. Over the past 50 years, this sector has grown and expanded fishing effort in the waters of many coastal developing nations. While the implementation of property rights mechanisms through Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Inshore Exclusion Zones (IEZs) have attempted to preserve local access, these rights-based mechanisms have shown limited success. In contrast, structural and relational mechanisms such as technology, market access, capital, and knowledge have more often determined actual resource access for fishers in various sectors. This research uses a 30-year dataset on conflict between small-scale and industrial vessels in Ghana to explore how inter-sectoral competition mediates access to fish. The research further explores the implications of those access fluctuations for local food security, livelihoods, sustainability, and resource governance.

SY44.6  12:15  The emergence of co-management governance and challenges of controlling access in Hawaiian coral reef fisheries. Ayers, Adam L. , Department of Urban & Regional Planning, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; Kittinger, John N. *Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University & Conservation International\\\\\\\'s Hawaiʻi Fish Trust;

Abstract: Governance failures associated with top-down management have spawned a myriad of institutional arrangements to engage resource users in decision-making through co-management. Recent research on co-management of small-scale fisheries has used comparative approaches to test factors associated with success. Less is known however, about how co-management arrangements (1) emerge and persist in the face of change, and (2) effectively devolve specific rights to local resource users, including access rights. Here, we examine the emergence of co-management governance and the challenges associated with access controls, using a case study from Hawaiian coral reef fisheries. We describe a set of linked drivers and social responses, which together comprise the emergence phase for the evolution of co-management in this case study. We also compare property rights as they existed historically under Hawaii’s customary marine tenure regime, and under current co-management systems, revealing key discrepancies that may limit the effectiveness of collaborative management. Specifically, co-management is currently unable to grant users rights of exclusion, which was historically a key attribute of customary marine tenure that limited use and protected resources. We conclude by discussing relevance for policy and planning in practice, including understanding the limitations of co-management systems that exclude important property rights.

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