Beyond the Basics: Improving Information About Small-Scale Fisheries

  • Melinda AgapitoEmail author
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
  • Rodolphe Devillers
  • Jennifer Gee
  • Andrew F. Johnson
  • Graham J. Pierce
  • Brice Trouillet
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 21)


Small-scale fisheries require knowledge in decision-making, particularly as they face many of the same issues affecting large-scale, industrial fisheries, such as declining fish stocks, marine habitats degradation, resource use competition, and climate change. There are other characteristics of small-scale fisheries, however, that cause additional challenges. For example, small-scale fisheries target many species that are not usually exploited by their large-scale counterpart. The export values from small-scale fisheries catches are also generally lower than those from large-scale, due partly to the subsistence nature of small-scale fisheries and the relatively high proportion of use directly for household consumption in local communities. Systematic data collection and information systems drawing data from multiple sources, through on-board sampling and market sampling, have been focused mostly on large-scale fisheries and the economic contribution of small-scale fisheries may not justify investment in the ‘machinery’ of modern fishery science. In this chapter, we briefly review approaches and models used in assessing large-scale fisheries as part of the modern fisheries management and discuss their applicability to small-scale fisheries. Next, we present four examples of initiatives that aim to improve information about small-scale fisheries through: (i) national-level fisheries statistics; (ii) information crowdsourcing; (iii) effort estimation; and, (iv) integration of fishers’ knowledge in marine spatial planning. The chapter concludes with recommendations about ways forward.


Information system ISSF FAO statistics Crowdsourcing Fishing effort Transdisciplinarity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melinda Agapito
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
    • 1
  • Rodolphe Devillers
    • 1
  • Jennifer Gee
    • 2
  • Andrew F. Johnson
    • 3
  • Graham J. Pierce
    • 4
  • Brice Trouillet
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of GeographyMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada
  2. 2.Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United NationsRomeItaly
  3. 3.Marine Biology Research DivisionScripps Institution of OceanographySan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Marinos, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (CSIC)VigoSpain
  5. 5.Université de Nantes, CNRS, UMR LETGNantesFrance

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