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An interdisciplinary assessment of tropical small scale fisheries using multivariate statistics Preikshot, David Ben

Abstract

Interdisciplinary fisheries information pertaining to sustainability were analysed with the multivariate techniques of multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis to determine how information from outside biology might help augment biological fisheries analyses or warn when more in depth biological assessments might be needed for a fishery. Tropical small-scale fisheries were used as a test model for collecting this data set as a high percentage are subject to overfishing. Defining the nature and causes of overfishing in these fisheries may help in the development of appropriate solutions to maintaining sustainability of associated fisheries, ecosystems, and communities of fishers using these resources. Measuring the sustainability of tropical small-scale fisheries was examined from the perspective of'Malthusian overfishing', that is, overfishing due to populations increasing at a rate beyond the capacity of the resource base to supply. The mechanism of Malthusian overfishing contains three processes; increased populations, increased competition, and increased use of destructive gears. In order to identify fisheries subject to Malthusian overfishing, 54 tropical small scale fisheries were described using sustainability attributes from four fisheries disciplines; biology, economics, sociology, and technology. While information from economics seemed to be disjointed from the biological indicators of sustainability, the sociological and technological results proved complementary to those from biology. The reasons for these different congruencies are discussed. The implication of this work is that non biological information may be helpful to amplify biological warnings of overfishing as well as identify fisheries in need of greater scrutiny.

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