Using fishers' local knowledge to aid management at regional scales: Spatial distribution of small-scale fisheries in the northern Gulf of California, Mexico

Marcia Moreno-Báez, Barron J Orr, Richard Cudney-Bueno, William W Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the spatial distribution of small-scale fisheries, a key step toward the formulation of sound management guidelines where these fisheries predominate, represents a challenge, as reliable data for small-scale fisheries is often limited. One way to cope with "data-poor" fisheries is to capitalize on the accumulated local knowledge of fishers as part of the research and management process. We introduce an approach to incorporating fishers' local knowledge at a large, regional scale. We focused on the spatial distribution of fishing activities from 17 communities in the northern Gulf of California, Mexico. Participatory interviews and mapping through rapid appraisal (n = 376 fishers) were used to identify fishing grounds and fishing seasons. A geographic information system was used to generate 769 map layers used for a preliminary analysis of rapid-appraisal spatial data. We organized postsurvey workshops with fishers to facilitate an internal validation of spatial information using geographic information system. These exercises generally resulted in agreement with the general distribution of fishing areas originally mapped but also led to the addition of new areas not registered during the rapid appraisal and important adjustments for some species, particularly in areas where depth contours are pronounced. In all, cross-checking during the validation workshops led to an aggregated increase in total fishing area of 1.08%. Our study provides an example of how key local knowledge can be incorporated into and corroborated during the data-collection process within large, regional scales with multiple fishing communities and highly diverse fishing activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-353
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of Marine Science
Volume86
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010

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Gulf of California
traditional knowledge
aid
fishing
Mexico
fishery
fisheries
spatial distribution
geographic information systems
spatial data
fishery resources
fishing community
interviews
exercise
gulf
appraisal
geographic information system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography

Cite this

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