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The total economic value of small-scale fisheries with a characterization of post-landing trends: An application in Madagascar with global relevance

  • Monday, 22 July 2013 13:59
Barnes-Mauthe, M., Oleson, K.L.L and Zafindrasilivonona, B. 2013. Fisheries Research, 147 pp 175-185

Abstract

Small-scale fisheries make key contributions to food security, sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduc-tion, yet to date the economic value of small-scale fisheries has been poorly quantified. In this study,we take a novel approach by characterizing post-landing trends of small-scale fisheries resources andestimating their total economic value, including both commercial and subsistence values, in a remoterural region in Madagascar. We construct annual landings and characterize gear and habitat use, post-landing trends, fishing revenue, total market value, costs and net income, profitability, employment anddependence on small-scale fisheries. Our results show that the small-scale fisheries sector employs 87%of the adult population, generates an average of 82% of all household income, and provides the soleprotein source in 99% of all household meals with protein. In 2010 an estimated 5524 metric tons (t) offish and invertebrates were extracted annually by small-scale fishers in the region, primarily from coralreef ecosystems, of which 83% was sold commercially, generating fishing revenues of nearly $6.0 million(PPP, 2010). When accounting for subsistence catch, total annual landings had an estimated value of $6.9million (PPP, 2010). Our results demonstrate the importance of small-scale fisheries for food security,livelihoods, and wealth generation for coastal communities, and highlight the need for long-term man-agement strategies that aim to enhance their ecological and economic sustainability. Our findings shouldcatalyze national and regional policy makers to re-examine existing fisheries policies that neglect thissector, and spur researchers to better quantify small-scale fisheries globally.