National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401
Social ties explain patterns of small-scale fishing in the Caribbean
Seminar presented by Phillip Staniczenko, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at SESYNC.
Small-scale fishing is low-technology, low-capital fishing by individual households, as distinct from fishing by large commercial companies. The island of Jamaica in the Caribbean has over 1000km of coastline, and small-scale fishing contributes to the livelihoods of upwards of 75% of households in some communities, providing an important source of protein in many rural areas. In this talk, I present mathematical models that describe why fishers target particular fish species in a local resource pool. Using a modelling approach based on belief propagation networks, I show that social ties can explain recorded patterns of small-scale fishing at Bluefields Bay, a conservation area in Jamaica. This result suggests that fishers do not behave independently of one another but rather they share information that influences individual fishing decisions. The institutional landscape around small-scale fishing is changing rapidly in Jamaica, with increasing mandates for co-management of resources in fishery conservation areas. Therefore, understanding the role of social ties in fisher decision-making will be important for developing effective co-management strategies and policies.
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The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at www.sesync.org and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.