Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Human Ecology

Publisher

Springer

Publication Date

Spring 5-7-2014

Volume Number

42

Abstract/ Summary

Fisheries are increasingly understood as complex adaptive systems; but the cultural, behavioral, and cognitive factors that explain spatial and temporal dynamics of fishing effort allocation remain poorly understood. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a visualization tool, this paper combines catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) and ethnographic data about the Ecuadorian mangrove cockle fishery to explore patterns in fishing effort and the social production of fishing space. I argue that individual decisions about where, when, and how to fish result in spatial and temporal patterns in effort allocation, ultimately regulating open-access fisheries that typically operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. These emergent patterns in the fishing effort are explained by individual-level preferences and adaptations; the development of knowledge and customary norms through the habitual use of resource space by individuals and groups; ecological conditions; and access. New adaptive challenges threaten to undermine such self-organization of open-access systems on larger spatial and temporal scales prompting a likely re-allocation of the fishing effort in the future.

Resumen: Las pesquerías se entienden cada vez más como sistemas adaptativos complejos; sin embargo los factores culturales, conductuales y cognitivos, que explican la dinámica espacial y temporal de la asignación de esfuerzo pesquero, siguen poco conocidos. Este trabajo, utiliza el Sistema de Información Geográfica (SIG) como herramienta de visualización, y combina la captura por unidad de esfuerzo (CPUE) y los datos etnográficos sobre la pesquería de concha prieta en el Ecuador, a fin de explorar la estructura del esfuerzo pesquero y la producción social del espacio de pesca. Esta investigación sostiene que las decisiones individuales acerca de dónde, cuándo y cómo pescar resultan en patrones espaciales y temporales de la distribución del esfuerzo, en última instancia, que regulan las pesquerías de acceso abierto que normalmente operan en base a, “quien llega primero, se sirve primero.” Estos patrones emergentes en el esfuerzo pesquero se explican por las preferencias y adaptaciones a nivel individual, el desarrollo del conocimiento y las normas consuetudinarias a través del uso habitual del espacio de recursos por los individuos y los grupos, las condiciones ecológicas, y el acceso. Nuevos desafíos adaptativos amenazan con socavar esta regulación interna de los sistemas de acceso libre en las escalas espaciales y temporales más grandes. Esto puede provocar una probable re-asignación del esfuerzo pesquero en el futuro.

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DOI

10.1007/s10745-014-9655-7

Version

post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)