The total economic value of small-scale fisheries with a characterization of post-landing trends: An application in Madagascar with global relevance


Barnes-Mauthe, M., K.L.L. Oleson and B. Zafindrasilivonona

Journal or Book Title: Fisheries Research

Keywords: Small-scale fisheries; Total economic value; Post-landing trends; Food security; Poverty alleviation; Madagascar

Volume/Issue: 147

Page Number(s): 175-185

Year Published: 2013


Small-scale fisheries make key contributions to food security, sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction, yet to date the economic value of small-scale fisheries has been poorly quantified. In this study, we take a novel approach by characterizing post-landing trends of small-scale fisheries resources and estimating their total economic value, including both commercial and subsistence values, in a remote rural region in Madagascar. We construct annual landings and characterize gear and habitat use, post-landing trends, fishing revenue, total market value, costs and net income, profitability, employment and dependence on small-scale fisheries. Our results show that the small-scale fisheries sector employs 87% of the adult population, generates an average of 82% of all household income, and provides the sole protein source in 99% of all household meals with protein. In 2010 an estimated 5524 metric tons (t) of fish and invertebrates were extracted annually by small-scale fishers in the region, primarily from coral reef ecosystems, of which 83% was sold commercially, generating fishing revenues of nearly $6.0 million (PPP, 2010). When accounting for subsistence catch, total annual landings had an estimated value of $6.9 million (PPP, 2010). Our results demonstrate the importance of small-scale fisheries for food security, livelihoods, and wealth generation for coastal communities, and highlight the need for long-term management strategies that aim to enhance their ecological and economic sustainability. Our findings should catalyze national and regional policy makers to re-examine existing fisheries policies that neglect this sector, and spur researchers to better quantify small-scale fisheries globally.


Type of Publication: Journal Article