Understanding Artisanal Fishers’ Behaviors: The Case of Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, Colombia

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"We investigate the ecological impact caused by fishing grounds and the fishing gear/methods used by fishers in Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta (CGSM), an estuarine lagoon located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. To do so, we build individual and composite ecological sustainable indicators based on the opinions of a group of experienced fishers and a group of scientists. Additionally, we use those indicators to examine the influence of socioeconomic and perceptional factors on fishers’ fishing behaviors and how those behaviors may be affecting CGSM fishery resources. Our results suggest that fishers and scientists differ in their opinions about the impact of fishing on CGSM. Additionally, we found that having a higher level of education, sharing household expenses with other family members and spending more hours fishing lead to ecologically-sustainable fishing behavior, while the perception that the government is responsible for CGSM conservation leads to ecologically unsustainable fishing behavior."
sustainability, local knowledge, behavior, artisanal fishing