MANAGING SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES Alternative Directions and Methods

Fikret Berkes, Robin Mahon, Patrick McConney, Richard Pollnac, and Robert Pomeroy
320 pgs.

Human dependence on marine and coastal resources is increasing. Today, small-scale fisheries employ 50 of the world’s 51 million fishers, practically all of whom are from developing countries. And together, they produce more than half of the world’s annual marine fish catch of 98 million tonnes, supplying most of the fish consumed in the developing world.

At the same time, increased fishery overexploitation and habitat degradation are threatening the Earth’s coastal and marine resources. Most small-scale fisheries have not been well managed, if they have been managed at all. Existing approaches have failed to constrain fishing capacity or to manage conflict. They have not kept pace with technology or with the driving forces of economics, population growth, demand for food, and poverty. Worldwide, the management and governance of small-scale fisheries is in urgent need of reform.

Managing Small-scale Fisheries looks beyond the scope of conventional fishery management to alternative concepts, tools, methods, and conservation strategies. There is, for example, broader emphasis on ecosystem management and participatory decision-making. Interested readers will include fishery managers, both governmental and nongovernmental; instructors and students in fishery management; development organizations and practitioners working on small-scale fisheries; and fishers and fishing communities that wish to take responsibility for managing their own resources.


Fikret Berkes is Professor of Natural Resources at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. Robin Mahon is a fisheries consultant from Barbados. Patrick McConney is the Chief Fisheries Officer in the Government Fisheries Division in Barbados. Richard Pollnac is a Professor of Anthropology and Marine Affairs in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA. Robert Pomeroy is a Senior Associate, Coastal and Marine Projects, in the Biological Resources Program of the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC, USA.