, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 265-283

More than One Bag for the World Fishery Crisis and Keys for Co-management Successes in Selected Artisanal Latin American Shellfisheries

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Global concerns about the depletion of marine stocks have been widely documented in industrial fisheries. However, small-scale artisanal fisheries constitute a second component for the world fishery crisis, normally ignored or erroneously lumped into the industrial component. In this paper we first present a brief comparison between industrial and artisanal fisheries, highlighting the differences between them and the differential feasibility for implementing management options. We propose that industrial and artisanal fishery problems have to be treated separately and thus cannot be lumped into a single “fishing bag”. Among artisanal fisheries, we focus on coastal benthic shellfisheries, highlighting that their sedentary or sessile nature make them amenable to implement spatially-explicit management tools such as rotation of areas and territorial user rights (TURFs). Then, using long-term catch trends and selected examples, we demonstrate the power and validity of co-management for some Latin American shellfisheries, notably in Chile and Mexico, and stress the need to institutionalize the existent fishery knowledge. Several idiosyncratic properties of co-management in our Latin American examples have been useful to sustain the resources over time, including: (a) allocations of TURFs, (b) Community Fishery Quotas, which may be sub-allocated to families, (c) community-based and family-oriented sociological and organizational context of co-management, which may drive short and long-term market forces.