A Leverage-points perspective for sustainability transformation in tropical small-scale fisheries systems: evidence from the Costa Rican Pacific
|PhD Dissertation Sánchez-Jiménez_2022_UniBremen.pdf||6.21 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
|Other Titles:||Una perspectiva de puntos de apalancamiento para la transformación de la sostenibilidad en sistemas pesqueros tropicales de pequeña escala: evidencia del Pacífico Costarricense||Authors:||Sánchez Jiménez, Astrid||Supervisor:||Wolff, Matthias||1. Expert:||Fujitani, Marie||Experts:||MacMillan, Douglas||Abstract:||
Most of the world's fisheries are small-scale fisheries (SSF) which greatly contribute to employment, food security, and poverty alleviation of millions of people. Despite its great importance, conventional fisheries management often does not address the underlying factors of overfishing. Thus rather than incremental change, it is vital to select sustainability interventions that foster transformational change at the systemic level. However, many management interventions do not take into account the fishing impact on ecosystems, or the complexity of SSF as social-ecological systems (SES). In the Anthropocene, humans have become the main driver of change on planet Earth, and although values and mindsets shape environmental decisions, the role of human actors in adopting sustainable behaviors is often overlooked.
Using the Gulf of Nicoya (GoN) SSF as a case study in a tropical coastal area (Costa Rica, Pacific Coast), the main objectives of this dissertation are: to highlight the need for transformational change towards sustainability, to classify management interventions, and to provide a basis for prioritizing research and management in tropical SSF. To classify interventions, a leverage points perspective focused on places in complex systems to intervene and create systemic change was applied. The hypothesis is that GoN fisheries management focuses mainly on shallow leverage points (parameters, feedbacks) that produce little change in the overall functioning of the system, while transformative responses are required at the design/intent level of the system (deep leverage). Three different studies were conducted to investigate deep leverage points: rethink knowledge systems, reconnect with nature, and restructure institutions.
First, rethinking the interactions between two ecological knowledge systems. Similarities, complementarities and differences between an EwE trophic model and local ecological knowledge (LEK) were analyzed to examine the impacts of fishing on the ecosystem (1993-2013). The similarities pointed to a severe decrease in the catch of shrimp and corvina, an increase in the impact of gillnet fishing, semi-industrial trawling and in the fishing effort towards larger corvinas. Complementarities suggested significant reductions in the catch of high trophic level species (e.g. mackerel, sharks and rays), economic losses due to the catch of small individuals, catches dominated by sardines (instead of the valuable shrimp) and an increase in the use of illegal gillnets. Finally, the differences indicated that the EwE model showed a reduction in sardine catches, while this was not confirmed by the participants.
Second, in order to reconnect human behavior to social-ecological resilience and to nature, it was investigated whether information about the fishery system and the effects of management (conveyed experientially through a trophic model, EwE) influenced ecological norms and beliefs, in the context of environmental education. Based on theories of social psychology, the antecedents of environmental behavior of the participants who deliberated on the EwE model information (treatment) and those who did not (control) were analyzed. Personal norms and altruistic-and-biospheric values significantly explained support to sustainable measures. Educational interventions helped reduce uncertainties, increasing legitimacy, and a perceived behavioral control of fishers to support the measures.
Third, restructure fishing institutions was addressed by incorporating heterogeneity in research and management. The ecological and socioeconomic feasibility of policy interventions and the pluralistic motivations underlying fishers’ choices were examined using a contingent valuation exercise and deliberation. Underlying support to reduce fishing effort includes intrinsic, instrumental and relational motivations, and a fair compensation in the midst of serious poverty issues. Scientific practices should foster collaborative approaches that integrate multiple values attributed to ecosystems (especially from women and other marginalized groups), thus cultivating trust and commitments. If management is properly oriented, there are already conditions in the GoN to redesign fishing institutions so that rules, regulations and norms allow the expansion of existing values.
Finally, in light of a leverage points perspective, while the solutions are already within the fisheries system of the GoN, conventional fisheries management disregards them. Fisheries management is carried out primarily from a single-species approach, which has its place, but altering the course of the fishing system requires a SES approach focused on the underlying drivers of overfishing and under-researched areas such as: (a) the behavioral (and plural) causes of compliance; (b) values and mindsets that shape emerging goals, norms and institutions; (c) two-way learning processes to foster environmental stewardship and awareness of the ecological impacts of fishing. The results are intended to support the prioritization of research and management efforts in which ecological and social phenomena are understood as a system whose parts only function in relation to the others, and indicate plausible paths to initiate sustainability transformations in tropical SSF.
|Keywords:||small-scale fisheries (SSF); leverage points for sustainability; behavioral change interventions; Costa Rican Pacific; sustainability transformations; inter- and trans disciplinary research; a plural-values-and-ecosystem-based perspective; social-ecological systems (SES); Gulf of Nicoya||Issue Date:||3-Feb-2022||Type:||Dissertation||DOI:||10.26092/elib/1409||URN:||urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-elib57571||Institution:||Universität Bremen||Faculty:||Fachbereich 02: Biologie/Chemie (FB 02)|
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