Sustainable development outcomes of livelihood diversification in small-scale fisheries

Roscher, Matthew B., Allison, Edward H., Mills, David J., Eriksson, Hampus, Hellebrandt, Denis, and Andrew, Neil L. (2022) Sustainable development outcomes of livelihood diversification in small-scale fisheries. Fish and Fisheries, 23 (4). pp. 910-925.

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Livelihood diversification is increasingly central to policy advice and investments in rural development and fisheries management. For small-scale fishing communities in low- to middle-income countries, more diverse livelihoods are generally hypothesized to reduce fishing pressure and vulnerabilities to external shocks and adverse trends while enabling people to construct routes out of poverty. Yet, evidence of impacts from livelihood diversification in small-scale fisheries remains sparse. Our examination of the peer-reviewed literature found substantial differences in how livelihood diversification is pursued, and in the realized outcomes from the process of diversification. Studies describing diversified livelihoods were almost as likely to report that livelihoods were not improved or that outcomes were mixed (54% combined) as they were to report improved livelihood outcomes (45%). Furthermore, one of the main theoretical drivers behind the support for diversified livelihoods—ecological conservation benefits—was unexplored in over 70% of studies. Of the minority of studies that did explore ecological outcomes, most reported that ecological conditions had not improved. These findings indicate conceptual ambiguity around livelihood diversification and a lack of empirical evidence supporting its theoretical underpinnings. There remain important questions about the impacts of diversification on multidimensional poverty and ecological conservation. Future research on and investment in diversification should be both more deliberate of what diversification means and more rigorous in the evaluation of its impacts.

Item ID: 73782
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-2979
Keywords: aquatic food systems, diversity, poverty, rural development, social-ecological systems, sustainability
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Fish and Fisheries published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 11 May 2022 08:45
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 40%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300210 Sustainable agricultural development @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440407 Socio-economic development @ 30%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1001 Environmentally sustainable animal production > 100199 Environmentally sustainable animal production not elsewhere classified @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180502 Assessment and management of pelagic marine ecosystems @ 50%
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