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Ecology and Society - ES-2013-5673 1

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Research Special Feature: Cooperation, Local Communities, and Marine Social-Ecological Systems: New Findings from Latin America

Cooperative and non-cooperative strategies for small-scale fisheries selfgovernance in the globalization era: Implications for social-ecological fit and resource stewardship Version: 2 Submitted: 2013-02-13

PDF Created: 2013/02/15 1. ABSTRACT 2. Fishing cooperatives (co-ops) and patron-client relationships are the most common cooperative and 3. non-cooperative strategies of self-governance among small-scale fishers around the world. We studied 4. what drives fishers to choose between these two self-governance arrangements in twelve communities 5. in the Gulf of California Mexico. Communities depend on similar fishing resources, are located in a 6. contiguous portion of the coast, fish roughly the same species, have similar socio-economic 7. characteristics, and sell to similar markets, yet half of the fishers are organized around co-ops 8. while the other half through patron-client arrangements. Using participatory observation, in-depth 9. interviews to key informants between 1995-2008, and a survey to 55% of the fishers in the study 10. area, we found that the presence of high levels of commercialization transaction costs, desire to 11. acquire fishing licenses, and the presence of traditions of successful collective action among 12. fishing groups within each community strongly influence fishers’ choices regarding membership in 13. fishing co-ops. We also examined the implications of our findings for social-ecological fit and 14. resource stewardship. Given that the emergence of co-ops was associated to high transaction costs of 15. commercialization, we conclude that cooperative strategies provide a better social-ecological fit 16. for communities in isolated locations than non-cooperative strategies. In an era of globalization, 17. where the rate of development and urbanization will increase in coastal areas, patron-client 18. strategies are likely to become more prevalent among fishers, but such self-governance strategies 19. are thought to be less conductive for resource stewardship. 20. Key words: Cooperation; small-scale fisheries; fishing cooperatives; self-governance; 21. social-ecological fit; resource stewardship; Gulf of California; Mexico 22. INTRODUCTION Robust stewardship of social-ecological systems is associated with the local capacity to 23. develop enduring governance arrangements (Folke et al. 2002, Ostrom 2009). Small-scale fisheries 24. (SSFs) are social-ecological systems supporting millions of fishers around the globe, mostly in 25. developing countries (Delgado et al. 2003). SSFs play an important role to food security, poverty

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Cooperative and non cooperative strategies for small scale fisheries self governance  

Article published in February 2013 on "Ecology and Society". Estrategias de cooperación y no cooperación para la autogobernanza de pesquería...

Cooperative and non cooperative strategies for small scale fisheries self governance  

Article published in February 2013 on "Ecology and Society". Estrategias de cooperación y no cooperación para la autogobernanza de pesquería...

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