|Abstract or Summary
- Despite the success of co-management policies and territorial use rights in achieving the sustainability of some small scale fisheries, a considerable part of them still operate under open access, with very limited management and monitoring (if any), and even facing the risk of overexploitation. As a result, fleet reduction and fishermen exit programs have been adopted as management and conservation policy options. Small scale fisheries are defined by multiple social, economical and ecological factors, have highly interactive harvesting systems, and formal and informal linkages might be relevant to the decision making process of members of interrelated social or production groups. Hence, it is important to understand relevant factors and potential interdependencies in fishermen´s exiting decisions and their preferences for alternative livelihoods before designing and investing in such programs. Using the case of a fleet and fishermen reduction program in the Galápagos Marine Reserve, the objective of this paper is examine the role of socioeconomic factors and fishermen interrelations, as measured by their participation in multivessel harvesting goups, on their decisions to permanently exit the sector and change occupations. We applied random utility theory and multinomial logit models using survey data collected from a sample of registered active fishermen in the three main fishing ports of the reserve. Preliminary results support the relevance of accounting for harvesting interdependence among fishermen to explain exit choices, and identify key demographic and harvest-related factors. Further steps in the analysis are also mentioned.