A regional analysis of coastal and domestic fishing effort in the wider Caribbean
Although regulated fishing effort is relatively well documented for fisheries in developed states, developing countries are dominated by artisanal fisheries that are characterized by large numbers of small boats, fishing in dispersed and remote locations. These factors make quantifying artisanal fishing effort difficult. In this study, we examined the distribution and density of fishing effort across a region dominated by coastal, artisanal fisheries: the wider Caribbean. We used generalized linear regression models to predict missing data needed to compute fishing effort metrics and to explain variance in average boat length of a fishery and the number of small-scale boats in a given country. Clear intra-regional differences between mainland and island fisheries, and between northern and southern Caribbean fisheries, are evident in the results. To map artisanal fisheries based on the minimal data available, we created a free, automated Fishing Effort Envelope Tool (FEET). Through the use of this tool, we mapped all fisheries in the Caribbean to the extent possible given current data. Further, this mapping process also allowed us to identify hotspots of high density coastal fishing and data gaps that may mask areas of even higher fishing pressure. The potential ecological consequences of the scale of artisanal fishing are profound, and have greater implications for developing regions worldwide. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Dunn, DC; Stewart, K; Bjorkland, RH; Haughton, M; Singh-Renton, S; Lewison, R; Thorne, L; Halpin, PN
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