Aspects of Small-Scale Fisheries Development
Small-scale fisheries development is a complex process. It involves consideration of everything from the availability of the resource to consumer acceptance of the product. The present volume reflects this complexity in that consideration is given to the areas of stock assessment, fisheries capture technology, social and cultural aspects of fishermen, fishery resource economics, marketing, food science, and fisheries management. The first paper in the volume by Erzini and Saila examines relationships between reproductive value and optimal harvesting strategies in four species with different life history characteristics. Implications for the management of different species groups are discussed. Castro and DeAlteris investigate the feasibility of different technologies for developing a swimming crab fishery for the country of Ecuador. Turning to sociocultural factors, Poggie examines differences in perceptions of the occupation of fishing between open ocean and gulf fishermen in Costa Rica. He suggests that development programs that require fishermen to change their mode of fishing may involve resistance and recruitment problems. In Pollnac's paper, relationships among income variability, uncertainty, and investment orientations among small-scale fishermen in Costa Rica are investigated. He finds that situational constraints affect the relationships between investment orientations and other variables examined in the paper. Brainerd's paper presents an economic evaluation of several artisanal fisheries projects which were implemented in Senegal over the past decade, and Morrissey discusses options for developing new markets for Latin American small-scale fishermen. Microbiological and fish quality assessment in Guatemala and Costa Rica are presented in the paper by Arias et al. They clearly demonstrate the need for improved quality control to reduce postharvest losses and provide a better product for the consumer. The final paper by Sutinen discusses factors involved in determining the cost-effectiveness of information for fisheries management, an important factor that especially needs attention in developing countries where only limited funds are available for management purposes. Overall, the papers in the volume reflect the holistic approach taken by ICMRD toward fisheries development. The best technology is worthless without a resource to capture, fishermen who are willing and able to deploy the gear, and a system to deliver an affordable and acceptable product to the consumer. (Author abstract).