What has wellbeing got to do with the price of fish: A focus on fishers’ income might miss opportunities for sustainable poverty alleviation

SPACES research informs a call to consider fisheries benefits to wellbeing beyond income. An income focus can miss non-monetary dimensions of poverty, unequal distributions and whether it is spent and saved to improve people’s quality of life.

By Tim Daw and Ida Gabrielsson

For the past four years, SPACES has conducted research in coastal communities in Kenya and Mozambique. In the south coastal community of Vanga in Kenya, fishermen are less likely to be income poor than their non-fishing neighbours. However, they and their families are as likely as non-fishers to lack basic food, water and sanitation needs. This contradiction begs us to better understand how the wellbeing of poor coastal communities are supported by fisheries and how interventions can improve wellbeing while balancing the pressure on threatened coastal ecosystems.

Delegates discussing the global goal on ocean health in New York this week should carefully consider how fisheries contribute to wellbeing, and […]

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Value Chain Analysis Data Treat

How the benefits of reef fish trade are shared in two Kenyan landing sites

 

  • These figures illustrate how income generated from the reef fish value chain is shared amongst different actors in two sites in Kenya.
  • The size of the fish represents the total income generated by the value chain and this is divided into the coloured areas according to how it is shared amongst the groups. So fishers capture the most income in both sites. And male and female small scale traders capture the same amount in Mombasa.
  • In addition, the black human figures shows the relative number of people in each group.
    So although fishers capture most of the income, it is shared amongst a large number of them, while only a few individuals are in the group ‘Large scale male traders’ in Vanga. Meanwhile there are many more […]

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SPACES Value Chain research presented at international fisheries economics meeting

Beatrice Crona, Andrew Wamukota, Liz Drury O’Neil and Tim Daw attended the ‘International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade’ conference held in Aberdeen 12-15th July 2016. SPACES research into fisheries value chains in Kenya was presented by Beatrice, while Andrew, Liz and Tim also gave presentations about fisheries value chains and the impact of global trade on coastal fisheries.

Beatrice’s presentation “Small-scale developing country fish value chains: How can they inform strategies for poverty alleviation and sustainability?” can be viewed here…IIFET 2016 – Small Scale developing country fish value chain

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The price of fish in Kenyan value chains is not as straightforward as people think

A new study by SPACES team members, published in the journal Society and Natural Resources explores the social and economic structure of East African artisanal fisheries, and the links between fisher and trader social characteristics and market returns.

The study explores how relative power in fish markets between sellers and buyers can provide important insights that speak to the debate over the links between fishing and poverty. The research design benefits from multiple methods (focus group discussions and surveys) and aims to analyse how socioeconomic attributes of fishers and traders (e.g., education,
dependency, boat ownership etc) can explain variation in prices. The motivation behind this is to elaborate how evidence on relative social and economic power in the marketplace can shed light on the underlying direction of causality for the fishing-poverty puzzle.

Interestingly, the study found that fishers who owned their own fishing gears […]

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