Most artisanal fisheries have a large number of small boats which creates a unique challenge in the three key areas of fishery management:
- Organization – it’s difficult to gain consensus on the needs of all stakeholders
- Regulation – it’s harder to regulate a fleet of 10,000 independent fishing boats than it is to manage a fleet of 100 industrial fishing boats
- Reporting – it’s harder to collect and verify the catch data needed to model and manage a fishery when there are so many different sources
Unless the community comes together for shared management of the local resources, tragedy of the commons is inevitable.
To properly manage small-scale fisheries we need to understand them first.
- What is the value they provide to the community (economically and socially)?
- What does a sustainable fishery look like in this particular region (every fishery is different)
- What’s the economic value it can provide?
After understanding the fishery and corresponding supply chain, stakeholders can come to a consensus on ways to monitor and manage their shared resource for long-term value for all parties.