Compensation for environmental services from artisanal fisheries in SE Brazil: Policy and technical strategies
Artisanal fisheries are of great importance in Brazil, as they are responsible for more than 50% of national fish production. This importance, associated with the necessity of conserving marine environments threatened by multiple competing uses, leads us to propose mechanisms for co-management of fisheries by users and public authorities. This proposal takes into account: a) local conflicts between artisanal and industrial fishers; b) local rules over the use of fishing areas established by artisanal fishers; c) the advent of protected areas that close access to some fishing areas used by artisanal fisheries; and d) co-management options being explored between government and fishers. This study suggests policy and technical alternatives under consideration to manage the artisanal fisheries of southeastern Brazil with a focus on Ilha Grande bay in Rio de Janeiro. In our case study, based on field research conducted in 2009, we show that artisanal fishers are squeezed into a marine space between protected areas and industrial fishing. We suggest that a combination of fishing agreements (FAs), based on experience in Amazonian fisheries and extractive reserves, and payment for environmental services (PES), based on forest and related water resource experience, could improve management and livelihoods for local artisanal fisheries by stimulating and rewarding fishers who participate in conservation efforts. The two instruments (FAs and PES) are the subject of considerable research and practical experience. Their integration in an instrument mix represents a contribution from transdisciplinary fields of human ecology and ecological economics.
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