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Community Achieves Higher Economic Returns but Neglects Ecological Sustainability: A Case from a Coastal Trap-net Fishery from Northern Sri Lanka Public Deposited

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Suggested Bibliographic Reference: 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.

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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  • Balancing sustainable utilisation goals and equity in socio-economic outcomes become challenging in managing artisanal fisheries, confronted by fluctuating fisheries-resources and poor management-structures. Such artisanal trap-net fishery called "Paddi-Valai" has been targeting shrimps in Anthoniyaarpuram coast in northern Sri Lanka. But its main by-catch, blue swimming crab (BSC), Portunus pelagicus, has increasing demand from export-markets assuring higher economic-returns. Therefore, how this fisher-community tries to maintain equitable sharing of economical-returns was evaluated from October-2014 to December-2015. Forty-eight fishermen practice this fishery: each has 2-3 fishing-units and each unit is harvested in every-other-day. Collectors and retailers earned huge profits by directly purchasing crabs from fisherman for cheaper-price and selling for export-market. Therefore, fishers came-up with a community-based catch selling mechanism: where all fishers have to handover their catches to a member who appointed from their community. The responsibility of this member is to bargain with retailers for a bestselling-price and distribute the income among fishers. Though the new-mechanism takes 2-3 days for fishers to get a price for their catch, the average monthly income had doubled due to high bargaining-power. Fishers are 100% satisfied on new selling-mechanism but as a result huge quantities of smaller BSC (<50g and <7cm carapace width) which were not landed previous are now been landed seeking any price, even under lowest-grade. Therefore, 85% of BSC which taken into the landing-site, during January-February, were smaller than the L50, 7.68cm carapace width. Hence, balancing sustainable utilisation goals and equity in socio-economic outcomes are an urgent need through ecosystem based approach.
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  • 0976343290

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