The Emergence of Cooperative and Non-cooperative Self-governance in Small-scale Fisheries
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Small-scale ﬁsheries (SSF) in developing countries are expected to play a signiﬁcant role for poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods in the decades to come. Whether this comes true depends on an in-depth understanding of the existing informal self-governing arrangements, an issue surprisingly overlooked in current literature. The goal of this paper is to develop a more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms and factors in SSF that can explain the emergence of two most common forms of self-governance arrangements: hierarchical non-cooperative structures between fishers and fishbuyers, such as patron-client relationships (PCs), versus more egalitarian cooperative structures amongst fishers, such as fishing cooperatives. To this end, we developed an agent-based model of an archetypical SSF that captures key hypotheses from in-depth field research on SSF in Mexico. Our results indicate that high heterogeneity of fishers, and low initial levels of trust between members of a cooperative, make it difficult for fishing cooperatives to establish, and subsequently PCs are more likely to emerge. However, if cooperatives are able to establish, they cope better with seasonal resource variability and provide for more long-term security in fishers’ fishing and trading operations, compared to PCs. Finally, we argue that existing levels of trust and heterogeneity among fishers matter for the opportunities of different self-governance arrangements to establish and persist, and should ideally be accounted for to attain sustainable development in SSF.
Fishing cooperatives, Agent-based modeling, Environmental Variability, Mexico; Patron-client relationships, Social-ecological systems, co-evolution, collective action
Ecology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject Sustainability Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128600OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-128600DiVA: diva2:915871
FunderMistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research