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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Institutional arrangements for artisanal shrimp fishery in the Gulf of California Rodriguez-Maynez, Liliana


It is widely known in Mexico that there is a strong tendency to centralize governing functions, although the present government has shown interest in modifying this historic characteristic through the Programa de Decentralization or "Decentralization Program". However, this program has not reached the fisheries sector, which remains mostly controlled by the federal government, excepting the management of a few fisheries of secondary importance. The purpose of this study is to show the manner in which formal institutional arrangements, established by the central government for the purpose of managing the fishery, are "modified" or "adapted" to specific community needs. For this purpose 32 people were interviewed including fishers, fishers' wives, and federal and state government officials to discover their opinions about the following themes: trust, communication, knowledge of the fishing laws/policies/regulations, effectiveness of fishers as resource managers and effectiveness of government as resource managers. Accordingly, the initial suspicion was that given the strong centralization of power in the fisheries office in Mexico, fishers, in order to adapt national policies to local circumstances, had to modify these formal arrangements. However, it was found that government representatives living in the community perform this function more significantly than the fishers. The results show a degree of harmony between government and community, partly owing to informal arrangements that involve both fishers and government officials. Government officials living in EGSC are an important policy filter adapting national policies to local circumstances so as to improve the economic and social situation of fishers. While this arrangement has worked well, other arrangements will be required to address the increasing number of skip-boats and the trawling boats in the area of the Biosphere Reserve. These two factors, if ignored, could produce a critical situation in the community.

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