Disparities in the impacts of co-management on fishers’ livelihoods

Ruano-Chamorro, Cristina, Gurney, Georgina G., Barnes, Michele L., Gelcich, Stefan, and Cinner, Joshua E. (2023) Disparities in the impacts of co-management on fishers’ livelihoods. Sustainability Science, 18. pp. 2723-2733.

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Abstract

Natural resources are widely managed through collaborative governance arrangements (e.g., co-management) which often result in the uneven distribution of costs and benefits among fishers. Discrepancies in how a fisher is impacted by co-management relative to other fishers or others in the community (i.e., disparity) can negatively affect fishers’ wellbeing, their support for management, and subsequently, ecological outcomes. Yet, disparities in the distribution of social impacts from co-management have rarely been assessed. We address this gap by examining disparities (losses and gains) in perceived livelihood impacts from co-management. Losses (or gains) occur when a fisher experiences a more negative (or positive) impact on their livelihood relative to other fishers or others in the community. We used data from interviews with 1191 fishers associated with 48 coral reef co-management arrangements across Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea to examine how socioeconomic and institutional characteristics were associated with losses and gains from co-management. Overall, we found that more fishers perceived equality than disparities in the distribution of co-management impacts. Of those that perceived disparities, more fishers perceived losses than gains. We also found that disparities could be predicted by a range of socioeconomic characteristics, including distance to markets and wealth, and institutional characteristics of the co-management regime, such as gear, access, and area restrictions. This study provides insights on potential entry points that could be used by managers and policy-makers to promote equitable co-management of small-scale fisheries, such as the reduction of losses by increasing participation in decision-making processes, fostering conflict resolution mechanisms, prioritizing gear restrictions over area restrictions, and reducing poverty.

Item ID: 79548
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1862-4057
Keywords: Equity, Fisheries livelihoods, Inequality, Institutional design principles, Natural resource management, Socioeconomic impacts
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Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2023 00:14
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 40%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441012 Sociology of inequalities @ 30%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1003 Fisheries - wild caught > 100399 Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180599 Marine systems and management not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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