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Managing at Maximum Sustainable Yield does not ensure economic well-being for artisanal fishers

TitleManaging at Maximum Sustainable Yield does not ensure economic well-being for artisanal fishers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGiron-Nava A., Johnson A.F, Cisneros-Montemayor A.M, Aburto-Oropeza O
JournalFish and Fisheries
Date Published2019/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1467-2960
Accession NumberWOS:000459829100002
Keywordsbaja-california; catch; coastal communities; economic diversification; Fisheries; Fisheries management; lessons; Malthusian overfishing; management; poverty; reduction; sur; sustainable fishing

Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) is a common target for fisheries aiming to achieve long-term ecological sustainability. Although achieving MSY may ensure the long-term sustainability of fish populations, we ask whether it will provide economic security for fishers. Here we use 16 years of daily landing records to estimate potential catches and revenues per capita if fisheries were exploited at MSY in 11 subregions across Mexico. We then compare fishers' estimated revenues per capita against national poverty limits at the household level. Our results show that even if MSY is reached in artisanal fisheries, the overcapacity of fleets and the dissipation of rents threatens the economic well-being of fishers and their families, pushing revenues per capita below poverty levels. Our work demonstrates the importance of resolving the trade-offs between achieving economic, social and environmental objectives when managing for the long-term sustainable use of natural resources.

Short TitleFish. Fish.
Student Publication: