The voice of the fishermen of the Gulf of Honduras: Improving regional fisheries management through fisher participation

Heyman, William D. and Granados-Dieseldorff, Pablo (2012) The voice of the fishermen of the Gulf of Honduras: Improving regional fisheries management through fisher participation. Fisheries Research. pp. 129-148.

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    Small-scale fisheries contribute to economies and food security of most of the world’s rural-poor coastal communities but are poorly documented in national and regional catch statistics. As a result, management of marine commons is inherently biased towards short-term interests of industrial fleets, rather than the long-term maintenance of coastal ecosystem health. Artisanal fishers’ knowledge can provide practical information for management, and when shared, can help build trust between fishers and managers. However, until recently, very few studies designed to support fisheries management have incorporated fishers’ knowledge. This study was designed to characterize the geography of fishing in the Gulf of Honduras (GOH), shared by Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, from the perspective of artisanal fishers. Data were compiled from semi-formal interviews with key informants, community meetings, mapping exercises, workshops with fishers in the GOH during 1998–1999, and participant observations through July 2011. Data were used to document fishery landings, status and trends in marine resources, the spatial and the temporal dynamic geography of fishing, and fishers’ suggestions for improved conservation and management. Many of these suggestions have been implemented in the GOH between 1999 and 2011. This study offers a practical methodology that can be used in other artisanal, data-sparse fishing areas to document the geography of fishing, increase the participation of fishers in management, and lead to better participatory, ecosystem-based management.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
      Unique ID or DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2012.02.016
      Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
      Keywords: Fishers’ knowledge Fishing geography Ecosystem-based fisheries management Small-scale fisheries Caribbean
      Subjects: (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3D) Other or Unspecified
      Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2013 10:31
      Last Modified: 30 Sep 2013 10:31

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