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Supporting Enhancement of Stewardship in Small-Scale Fisheries: Perceptions of Governance Among Caribbean Coral Reef Fishers

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Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE,volume 19)

Abstract

Small-scale fishing livelihoods dependent on Caribbean coral reefs face an uncertain future with global climate change and mounting anthropogenic pressures threatening ecosystem integrity and resilience. In the context of future threats to coral reefs, improved governance is critical to enhance the efficacy of coral reef management. Recent research places increasing emphasis on identifying governance arrangements that enable participation and engagement, with the improved ‘social fit’ of institutions expected to engender stewardship among fishers. However, few studies have examined the perspectives of resource users in relation to a wide range of articulated principles for good governance processes. This study contributes to an improved understanding of how fisher perceptions relate to diverse governance arrangements in the Wider Caribbean Region. We quantify perceptions among 498 reef-dependent fishers in relation to principles of ‘good governance’ in 12 communities across four Caribbean countries: Barbados, Belize, Honduras, and St. Kitts and Nevis. We describe perceptions relating to two underlying governance themes – institutional acceptance (reflecting principles of legitimacy, transparency, fairness, and connectivity) and engagement in reef governance (reflecting principles of accountability and inclusiveness). In addition, we identify socio-demographic factors associated with each set of perceptions and explore the implications for future governance of small-scale Caribbean reef fisheries. The findings suggest that an understanding of heterogeneous perceptions within small-scale fisheries can inform more targeted interventions to improve the fit of governance arrangements for different groups. Governance may be more effective if perceptions are used to identify areas in which to pursue greater engagement of resource users in stewardship.

Keywords

  • Stewardship
  • Governance
  • Institutional acceptance
  • Engagement
  • Coral reef fisheries

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Turner, R.A. et al. (2019). Supporting Enhancement of Stewardship in Small-Scale Fisheries: Perceptions of Governance Among Caribbean Coral Reef Fishers. In: Salas, S., Barragán-Paladines, M., Chuenpagdee, R. (eds) Viability and Sustainability of Small-Scale Fisheries in Latin America and The Caribbean. MARE Publication Series, vol 19. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76078-0_20

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