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Community-Based Conservation of the Callo de Hacha Fishery by the Comcáac Indians, Sonora, Mexico

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Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Author: Basurto, Xavier
Date: 2002
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/5382
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Central America & Caribbean
Subject(s): fisheries
coastal resources
community participation
conservation
indigenous institutions
Abstract: "In recent times, fishery management scholars have suggested the need to develop a better suited small-scale fisheries management approach for developing countries, than the one offered by conventional Western fishery science. This alternative approach is based on the development of better resource access controls, community-based management, and an increased use of local traditional fishery knowledge. "In response, this research aimed to understand what are the most important social and ecological elements that contribute to the successful community-based management of the Seri Indians' callo de hacha (pen shell scallops) fishery. Toward this end, Seri controls over access to the fishery, as well as the integration of traditional ecological knowledge into local fishing practices were documented and analyzed. "Results showed that the success of this locally managed fishery originate from a good fit between well-defined property rights, locally designed institutions, and the natural system. "Outside fishers are allowed to fish in Seri waters on a regular basis, in exchange for benefits to the Seri. The integration of Seri communal worldview, fishing norms and beliefs, into local management rules, allows them to achieve low-cost monitoring and successful exclusion from their fishing grounds when necessary. Therefore, this case study suggests that absolute exclusion is not necessary to avoid overexploitation and the attainment of successful local management of coastal fishing resources. "Some of the most important Seri fishing practices that might be responsible for promoting resilience and sustainable use of the callo de hacha fishery are: multi-species management, existence of no-take fishing areas, and rotation of fishing grounds."

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