Is stock enhancement the best option to manage fisheries? A case study from Taiarapu (French Polynesia)

Taiarui, Marguerite, Foale, Simon, Bambridge, Tamatoa, and Sheaves, Marcus (2019) Is stock enhancement the best option to manage fisheries? A case study from Taiarapu (French Polynesia). Marine Policy, 104.

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Stock enhancements are commonly advocated as a solution to declining fish populations. They consist of releasing hatchery individuals in the wild, to increase stock abundance and provide socio-economic benefits. Some argue that stock enhancement science focusses too narrowly on technical and economic aspects, with insufficient investigations of the social impacts (positive and negative) on local communities. The present study investigated the potential impacts the planned Marava (Siganus argenteus) stock enhancement could have on local fishers from Taiarapu (French Polynesia). Ninety-six local fishers were interviewed, using semi-structured questionnaires, to gather information on the data-poor coastal fishery, the importance of Marava as a target species, and the fishers' perceptions of stock enhancement and of the fisheries management regime. Fishers reported overall finfish abundance to have declined and attributed this mainly to overfishing caused by the growing number of fishers, undersized fish being caught, and pollution. Results suggested that wild Marava was insignificant within this coastal fishery, as it was rarely caught. Although 90.6% of the interviewees approved of enhancing Marava stocks, this intervention was thought unlikely to enhance fishers' livelihoods through mitigating overharvesting (particularly due to certain fishing practices including night spearfishing and harvesting juveniles). Our results also showed that coastal fishers were more concerned with inequalities between different stakeholders of the fishery, especially offshore fishers, under the current management regime than the state of the fishery and suggest that the local fisheries agency should attempt to address these existing inequalities before engaging in stock enhancement.

Item ID: 58413
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9460
Keywords: stock enhancement, coastal fisheries management, overfishing, fishers' perceptions, South Pacific region
Copyright Information: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: 10th European Development Fund, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Projects and Grants: INTEGRE project, Australian Awards Scholarship
Date Deposited: 29 May 2019 07:36
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440101 Anthropology of development @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440704 Environment policy @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 50%
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