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Fishing for profit or food? Socio-economic drivers and fishers’ attitudes towards sharks in Fiji

Glaus, Kerstin and Adrian-Kalchhauser, Irene and Piovano, Susanna and Appleyard, Sharon A. and Brunnschweiler, Juerg M. and Rico, Ciro (2019) Fishing for profit or food? Socio-economic drivers and fishers’ attitudes towards sharks in Fiji. Marine Policy, 100 . pp. 249-257. ISSN 0308-597X

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Sharks are an important component of coastal fisheries. Accordingly, the impacts of small-scale shark fisheries are likely significant, but data, including socio-economic drivers, are often scarce. Fiji features active but largely unregulated and unmonitored artisanal fisheries. Data suggest that the country's small-scale shark fisheries have the potential to become more targeted. This study considers the socio-economic value of shark fisheries across stakeholder groups. In 2017, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 211 fishers throughout Fiji, out of which 66.8% reported catching sharks of 11 species. Of those who caught sharks, 19.9% stated to release them dead or alive, while 78.7% retained the sharks. Various reasons were cited for shark retention with the most common explanation being to meet dietary needs. Only 19.8% of the participants who retained sharks sold them, yet fishers who gain additional income from the sale of sharks had significantly higher mean maximum catch rates compared to fishers who retained sharks for consumption. Fewer fishers reported selling shark fins compared to a previous comparable survey. This study indicates a decreasing relevance of small-scale coastal shark fisheries for income generation but an increasing utilisation of shark meat as a substitute for traditional food fishes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > Q Science (General)
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Marine Studies
Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca - Waqairagata
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 00:31
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2019 00:31

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