In Latin America the small-scale fishery ofmarine benthic invertebrates is based onhigh-value species. It represents a source offood and employment and generates importantincomes to fishers and, in some cases, exportearnings for the countries. In the review, wedefine 2 key concepts: small-scale fishery andco-management. We address the temporalextractive phases which Latin Americanshellfish resources have experienced, and thecorresponding socio-economic and managerialscenarios. We include 3 study cases in whichco-management and field experimentation havebeen used on different temporal and spatialscales: (a) the muricid gastropod (Concholepas concholepas) in Chile; (b) theyellow clam (Mesodesma mactroides) inUruguay; and (c) the spiny lobster (Panulirusargus) in Mexico. We demonstratethat co-management constitutes an effectiveinstitutional arrangement by which fishers,scientists and managers interact to improve thequality of the regulatory process and may serveto sustain Latin American shellfisheries overtime. The main factors supporting co-managementare: (a) a comparatively reduced scale offishing operations and well-defined boundariesfor the management unit; (b) the allocation ofinstitutionalized co-ownership authority tofishers; (c) the voluntary participation of thefishers in enforcing regulations; (d) theimprovement of scientific information(including data from fishers) to consolidatethe management schemes; (e) the incorporation ofcommunity traditions and idiosyncrasies; and (f)the allocation of territorial use rights forfisheries under a collaborative/voluntarycommunity framework. Chile is identified as anexample in which basic ecological and fisheryconcepts have been institutionalized throughmanagement practices and incorporated into theLaw. Several factors have precludedshellfishery management success in most of theLatin American countries: (a) the social andpolitical instability, (b) the underestimationof the role of fisheries science in managementadvice, (c) the inadequacy of data collectionand information systems, (d) the poorimplementation and enforcement of managementpractices and (e) the uncertainty in short-termeconomic issues.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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