Tools for Understanding the Complexities of Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Economies in Northeastern Brazil: Participatory Value Chain Mapping and Economic Feasibility Studies Public Deposited

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  • In developing countries the framework for institutional engagement in small-scale fishing communities needs to consider the regional, social, economic and environmental complexities of informal resource-based economies. The combination of socio-economic trajectory of artisanal fisherfolks, their relationship with the environment, the economic pressures and the public policy framework, which often regarded fishing communities as desolate and in a permanent state of deficiency, resulted in a paradigm that reinforced social exclusion and further degradation of the environment. This context is further aggravated by gender inequalities, which turn the role of fisherwomen in small scale fisheries and community development invisible. Within this negatively charged context, the challenge of fostering a socially just, environmentally sustainable and economically viable livelihood relies on institutional interventions that are able to identify the endogenous potential for change within the community. As such, a community-based development approach aims to build opportunities for multi-stakeholder engagement to socially embed the economic and resource-management tools. The paper describes the conceptual framework and the participatory methodology applied by the "Gente da Maré" (The People of the Tide) Project in Brazil. This methodology involves the participatory development of value chain mapping and economic feasibility study towards sustainable livelihoods for small-scale coastal fishing communities. A special focus is placed on the "marisqueiras" – shell fisherwomen that live from the extraction of clams and oysters in coastal communities spread across Brazil‘s North-eastern Region, as well as on the intervening institutions. The paper concludes with reflections on the community-based inter-institutional approach to participatory value chain mapping and economic feasibility studies, the challenges that lay ahead in the application of participatory economic development tools and on future directions for further research.
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  • Macnaughton, Alison, Ligia Rocha, M. John Wojciechowski and Joachim Carolsfeld. 2010. Tools for Understanding the Complexities of Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Economies in Northeastern Brazil: Participatory Value Chain Mapping and Economic Feasibility Studies. 10 pages. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 13-16, 2010, Montpellier, France: Economics of Fish Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems: Balancing Uses, Balancing Costs. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2010.
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