Destructive gear use in a tropical fishery: Institutional factors influencing the willingness-and capacity to change

Author(s): Wallner-Hahn, S., F. Molander, G. Gallardo, S. Villasante, J.S. Eklöf, N.S. Jiddawi, M. de la Torre-Castro
In: Marine Policy 72: 199 – 210
Year: 2016
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Marine
Full reference: Wallner-Hahn, S., F. Molander, G. Gallardo, S. Villasante, J.S. Eklöf, N.S. Jiddawi, M. de la Torre-Castro. 2016. Destructive gear use in a tropical fishery: Institutional factors influencing the willingness-and capacity to change. Marine Policy 72: 199 – 210.

Summary

The aim of this study was to empirically assess institutional aspects shaping fishers’ behavior leading to unsustainable resource use, by using the example of destructive drag-net fishing in Zanzibar, Tanzania. A broad institutional approach was used to specifically assess institutional factors influencing the fishers’ reasons for the current use of destructive drag-nets as well as their willingness- and economic capacity to change to less destructive gears. Different regulative, normative, cultural-cognitive and economic factors (tradition, group-belonging, social acceptance, common practice, identity of drag-net users and weak economic capacity) were identified as critical elements influencing the current use of destructive gears, as well as obstructing changes to other gears. Hence, the importance of addressing all of these factors, matching to the different contexts, rather than focusing on fast-moving regulative measures, is emphasized to increase chances of management success. More promising approaches would be resource allocations to more sustainable fishing gears, well-managed gear exchange programs, as well as alterations of slow-moving normative and cultural factors, e.g. awareness raising on the advantages of more sustainable fishing gears, their traditional and cultural values, information on the actual income they generate, as well as education and an exchange of traditional knowledge on how to use them.

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