UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

What's the catch : uncovering the catch volume and value of Fiji's coral reef-based artisanal and subsistence fisheries Starkhouse, Benjamin A.


Coral reef-based fisheries, which have long provided food, income and livelihoods to millions of coastal inhabitants in tropical developing countries around the world, are regularly overlooked and underappreciated in regard to their economic and social values. Despite their importance, there is limited formal information that can be used to help guide the sustainable development and management of these small-scale fisheries. In this thesis, I use Excel-based models to estimate catch volume, catch value, costs and benefits, and the number of fishers, middlemen and vendors, in regard to the coral reef-based artisanal and subsistence fisheries of the Republic of the Fiji Islands. For the artisanal fisheries, I conduct a more detailed economic analysis, which includes an in depth look at individuals’ costs and benefits. Results suggest that the artisanal and subsistence fisheries, together, deliver an annual catch of over 17,000 tonnes of reef-associated finfish, invertebrates and marine plants, which have a gross value of approximately US$ 54 million per year. In addition, it is estimated that there are more than 28,000 fishers that rely on Fiji’s coral reefs for food and/or income. The results from this study will help raise the profile of Fiji’s reef-fisheries, in the eyes of government decision-makers, and may contribute to the development and implementation of resource use strategies that are sustainable, profitable and equitable. Lastly, I make recommendations for the direction and content of future reef fisheries research and monitoring activities.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International