- Annual socio-economic surveys, pared with third-party landing monitoring data, have allowed a multi-year analysis of the economic impacts and perceptions of implementing an individual vessel quota rights-based management system in the gulf corvina (Cynoscion othonopterus) fishery. This fishery is targeted by four communities, including an indigenous one, in the Upper Gulf of California region shared by the states of Sonora and Baja California, and is one of the most highly regulated fisheries in Mexico, including gear and season limits, as well as a total allowable catch (TAC). In 2012, as a measure to better manage the overall TAC, action was begun by federal government, in partnership with state government, fishermen, processors, fishery scientists and NGOs to start a transition to a RBM system. Since then, significant changes have occurred. Here we present the measured economic changes in landing, ex-vessel prices, revenue, costs, profits and market share, and how they impacted fishermen, permit holders and local buyers. Surveys have also permitted detailed analysis of community perceptions of these changes. These results are discussed in light of both fishery-specific management changes, as well as regional conservation challenges which have also impacted to fishery indirectly. This case highlights the potential of the approach followed – participation, science based decisions and partnerships - to improve the livelihood of small-scale fishermen, particularly those occurring in low governance contexts such as Mexico.