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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Small but mighty : a global reconsideration of small-scale fisheries. Govender, Rhona


Small-scale (SS) fisheries have sustained people for millennia and are pervasive in coastal communities across the globe. Now, the future of what was once believed to be an endless supply of resources remains uncertain given current conditions. The small-scale fisheries sector employs over 34 million fishers, which is at least 24 times more than industrial fisheries. The vast majority of these small-scale fishers reside in developing countries, and strongly rely on these resources for food security and poverty alleviation. Despite their significance, global marine fisheries have been deeply troubled in recent history due to overfishing and inadequate management practices. It is imperative that policy makers base their decisions on reliable data in order to adequately manage this troubling situation, however, current information regarding the small-scale fisheries sector is dubious at best. After compiling data as to what constitutes a small-scale fishery and the associated catch, by country, a multiple linear regression was used to predict data for countries where none was obtained. Human development index (HDI), inshore fishing area (IFA), and whether or not the data came from the FAO, can be used to explain the variance in catch, and predict catch where countries are missing data. The multiple linear regression in Chapter 3 provided the global SS fisheries catch estimate of 25 million tonnes, which is 19% higher than the previous estimates. It is crucial to note that this catch is almost equivalent to the estimated 29 million tonnes bound for human consumption from the industrial sector. In addition, it was seen that data originating from the FAO underestimates the catch in this sector, which is congruent with qualitative information obtained from the literature search in Chapter 1. Lastly, countries with a low HDI were found to catch more (5.29 t∙km²) per unit area than those that are highly developed (1.76 t∙km²).

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