ISSF: State-of-the-Art in SSF Research - ICES Journal of Marine Science; Incorporating spatial dynamics greatly increases estimates of long-term fishing effort: a participatory mapping approach

State-of-the-Art in SSF Research

Jennifer C. Selgrath, Sarah E. Gergel, and Amanda C. J. Vincent | ICES Journal of Marine Science
Author(s) Jennifer C. Selgrath, Sarah E. Gergel, and Amanda C. J. Vincent,
Journal/book/report/newsletter/conference title ICES Journal of Marine Science
Article/chapter/item title (if applicable) Incorporating spatial dynamics greatly increases estimates of long-term fishing effort: a participatory mapping approach
Year 2017
Publication type Peer-reviewed Paper
Contributor mirella.deoliveiraleis (Mirella de Oliveira Leis)
Contribution date 08/31/2017
Geographic scope
Local Danajon Bank Ecosystem ( Central Visayas) Unspecified Philippines
Ecological Environmental condition (inc. climate change)
Habitat (inc. status, interactions)
Anthropogenic impacts/threats
Traditional/local/scientific ecological knowledge
Social/Cultural Fishing practices (inc. technology)
SSF type(s):
Ecosystem type(s): Marine
Ecosystem detailed type(s): Coastal
Coral reef
Term(s) used to refer to SSF: Small-scale
Main gear type(s): Gillnets and entangling nets
Gleaning (collected by hand)
Hooks and lines
Poisons and explosives
Other: Blast fishing
Other: Fish corrals
Other: Skin diving
SSF market and distribution channel(s):
Governance mode(s) in SSF: Co-management/co-governance
Key rules, regulations, instruments and measures used to manage SSF: Area closure
Gear restriction
Marine protected areas
Additional details
Demographic factors age, gender,
Demographic details Women comprise 42% of all small-scale fishers in the Danajon Bank, and catch about one-quarter of the total production in the area. Interviews focused on fishers who were born before 1981 because the authors estimated that most of this age group would have fished for at least 15 years.
Employment status of fishers full-time, part-time, seasonal,
Stage(s) of fishery chain addressed harvest,
SSF defined Not explicitly
SSF definition Small-scale fishers are regarded as important for livelihoods, employment, and food security, as well often poorly documented and neglected by management. There is also mention to small-scale fisheries as a dynamic activity, and decentralized (i.e. occurring in different areas along the coastline).
Large-scale Fisheries considered No
Research method Participatory mapping, semi-structured interviews
Overall aim/purpose or research question In this study, the authors quantify spatial and temporal changes in small-scale fishing over 50 years (1960–2010) and evaluate implications of these changes. Using a coral reef ecosystem in the central Philippines as a case study, they address three research questions: First, do estimates of long-term fishing effort vary when using nonspatial and spatial measures? Second, what are the spatial characteristics of fishing and how do they change over time? Third, how can maps quantifying historic fishing effort be used to strengthen conservation and management?
Solutions offered Yes
Solution details - Do estimates vary between spatial and non-spatial measures? The non-spatial estimate indicated that fishing increased 2.5 fold, reaching 1.3 million fishing days per year in 2010. Yet, spatial estimates showed fishing effort increased >20 fold, with the highest effort in 1990. - Do spatial characteristics of fishing change over time? By 2000, fishing extent grew 50% and small-scale fisheries affected over 90% of the coastal ocean. The expanded fishing area coincided with a greater spatial overlap among fishing gears and a proliferation of intensive fishing gears (destructive, active, non-selective). - Can maps be used to quantify historic fishing effort? The expansion and intensification of fishing shown in the paper emphasize the need for spatial approaches to management that focus on intensive, and often illegal, fishing gears. Such approaches are critical in targeting conservation actions (e.g. gear restrictions) in the most vulnerable areas.
Explicit research implications and/or policy recommendations Yes
Implication/recommendation details From this approach, the authors identified five mechanisms through which fishing has changed: effort, extent, diversity, intensity, and overlap. Armed with these mechanisms—and supported by 2015 revision to the Philippine Fisheries Code (RA 10654)—managers can work to scale back fishing activity in this overfished ecosystem. However, outcomes will depend on community support and will depend on complementary strategies to address the poverty and overpopulation underlying fishing transformations.
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