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Assessing the Contributions Derived from Capture Fisheries from a Wellbeing Perspective: Methodological and Policy Implications

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  • Capture fisheries can potentially provide a wide range of social benefits, many of which make important contributions to local livelihoods and national economies. However, in practice, and in many representations of fisheries, the starting point for assessment is the biological, fish, element of the system and its production potential. The benefits actually derived, their nature and distribution tend to be simplified or downplayed. This has important consequences for the way that policies and practice are shaped and the way that capture fisheries are represented in wider debates. The benefits derived from capture fisheries are examined from the perspective of human wellbeing to illustrate both the nature of benefits and how these are derived in practice. The application of wellbeing approaches to fisheries have already begun to fundamentally challenge existing perceptions and in this case highlights the complex nature of capture fisheries systems and the crucial role of institutions, agency, power and values in shaping how access to fisheries and the benefits from fisheries are determined in what are essentially contested social-ecological systems. From this perspective, representations of benefits in terms of aggregate catch, value and income are less useful and indeed may lead to unexpected and even undesirable outcomes when used to shape policy. The importance of values and the subjective dimension of wellbeing are examined, suggesting that a greater emphasis on the human dimension of fisheries systems requires a shift to a ‘people-centred' approach to management. The methodological and policy implications of such a shift are discussed.
  • Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, held July 11-15, 2016 at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center (AECC), Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
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  • Challenging New Frontiers in the Global Seafood Sector: Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 11-15, 2016. Compiled by Stefani J. Evers and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2016.
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  • 0976343290



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