Resource perception, livelihood choices and fishery exit in a Coastal Resource Management area


Slater MJ, Napigkit FA & Stead SM (2013) Resource perception, livelihood choices and fishery exit in a Coastal Resource Management area. Ocean and Coastal Management, 71, pp. 326-333.

Effective measures to reduce fishing pressure require understanding of livelihood strategies and fishers' decisions to exit or stay in a fishery. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 85 municipal and small-scale commercial fishers within the Bayawan Coastal Resource Management (CRM) area in the Philippines. Fishers rated management measures, perceived changes in overall catch and finfish abundance, and were asked their expectations regarding future changes in finfish abundance. They also estimated their likelihood of exiting the fishery under theoretical catch reduction scenarios. Less than half of fishers would exit the fishery if catch halved. Binary logistic regression showed that negative perceptions of future finfish abundance significantly explained increased likelihood of exiting the fishery (z = -2.606, df 1, p < 0.05) and that increased livelihood diversity weakly supported staying in the fishery (z = 1.818, df 1, p = 0.069). Although stock management measures enjoy strong support in the studied area, fishers are most likely to exit fisheries when they consider stocks to be in continuing decline rather than sustainably managed. Increasing livelihood diversity reduced fishery exit likelihood as alternative livelihoods supplement and complement otherwise non-viable fishing. Results indicate incorrectly targeted livelihood diversification measures aimed at reducing fishing effort may achieve the opposite of their intended effect. If alternative livelihood options are to be viable and effective in reducing fishing pressure these must be attractive to fishers identified as willing to exit the fishery, and by their nature or conditions pre-require foregoing of fishing activities.

Ocean and Coastal Management: Volume 71

FundersThe Leverhulme Trust
Publication date31/01/2013
Publication date online23/11/2012
Date accepted by journal23/11/2012