What is happening around small scale fisheries in Latin American and the Caribbean?

Lay summary by ReneĀ Zambrano


The search for income, and the difficulty in sustaining fishing is part of life for many coastal fishers. Scientists are searching for concrete and practical solutions to fisheries problems, as it has become more evident that knowledge about small-scale fisheries (SSF) is limited. The application of traditional methods (such as growth and mortality models) in the fisheries assessment has shown limitations when used for defining management tools. It is necessary to go beyond analysis of information from the landings and incorporate an ecosystem approach that includes humans. The resource assessment is fundamental for formulating fishery management and therefore it is very important to increase the effectiveness of their implementation. Some associated problems with SSF are technical and financial support for research, development and implementation fisheries assessment and management. An appropriate framework to manage the fisheries resources must integrate an ecosystem approach, spatial scales, socio-economic and cultural topics of the fishers. To achieve sustainable fisheries it is necessary to create processes interconnected between management plans and fisheries assessment, as well as an effective policy framework. This includes the co-management approaches, fishing rights, and involving fishers during whole the process. The principle challenges for the management of SSF are to generate a local capacity for self-regulation and self-organization to achieve the goals based on strategies established. There are topics such as the equitable access and rights to fisheries resources, explicit considerations of socio-economic conditions and culture of the fishers that should be considered. Moreover, globalisation should be taken into account because it affects fisheries resources.

For further information

Read the Fisheries Research original research article which this summary is based on Challenges in the assessment and management of small-scale fisheries in Latin America and the Caribbean (October 2007).

Visit the profile of the research ambassador, Rene Zambrano, who wrote this summary.

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