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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Socio-economic contribution of small-scale and large-scale fisheries in British Columbia Gibson, Darah


Small-scale fisheries have been the focus of much fisheries research in the last decades, as they were often overlooked in the past. Small-scale fisheries can be a challenge to study due to lack of landings and economic data or vague definitions of what and who are involved in this fishing sector. In this study, 17 features of small-scale fisheries that can apply globally have been collated through intensive literature review. All commercial fisheries and Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) fisheries in British Columbia are analysed qualitatively for the presence or absence of these features. Qualitative assessment suggests that FSC fisheries and Aboriginal commercial fisheries exhibit the greatest number of small-scale fishery features. These fisheries represent important cultural and economic opportunities for groups that often live in more isolated communities along the coast. Sablefish fisheries have the fewest small-scale fishery features due to the large capital investment required to purchase a licence and quota to participate, and most vessels operating on offshore fishing grounds. Further quantitative assessment of small-scale and large-scale was carried out using three methods: (1) cumulative percent distribution; (2) vessel length split, and (3) point-based framework. All three of these approaches identify the Aboriginal commercially licensed fisheries, salmon gillnetters, salmon trollers, crab, shrimp and prawn trappers and trawlers, urchin and rockfish hook and line fisheries as small-scale. Therefore, these are regarded as constituting the small-scale fisheries sector in British Columbia. These fisheries caught 25% of the landings by weight, which corresponds to 46% of the landed value, underscoring the high prices their catches command in the market relative to those of LSF for the 2013 fishing season. In terms of ownership, individuals own 68% of the small-scale vessels in BC as opposed to 98% corporate ownership in the large-scale sector. In terms of geographical ownership, parties or individuals outside of Vancouver and its surrounding areas own 64% of the small-scale sector.

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