Use, blue growth and fisheries

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We support efforts to increase the economic benefits from a sustainable use of marine resources. We focus on small-scale fisheries and work on tenure and user rights, local blue growth, trade in fisheries services and biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Transparency and participation makes fair and good use possible.

Supporting Local Blue Growth

We collect and provide knowledge on what key infrastructure and institutional factors need to be in place for local economic blue growth in developing countries, with a specific focus on the Western Indian Ocean region.

We conduct four studies:

  1. Examples from grey literature
  2. Evidence from scientific literature
  3. A spatial analysis that explores the role of infrastructure in case studies in the Western Indian Ocean region
  4. Swedish experiences turned into applicable learning

This study examines preconditions for the extraction of marine resources to benefit local communities in the Western Indian Ocean.

17 successful cases have been identified that concern fisheries, aquaculture, conservation and seaweed farming, using United Nation and World Bank literature. The cases focus mainly on small-scale activities.

The cases point to multiple key factors of success.

A common feature in multiple of the cases is the use of cooperative and co-management practices to reach more sustainable levels of resource use. The projects have resulted in stricter restrictions on access to fishing water, cooperation in monitoring efforts of illegal fishing activities, and stronger sense of ownership among fishers. Other forms of cooperation strengthen users’ market power enabling access to inputs and markets as well as providing a forum for knowledge sharing.

Access to credit is very important where initial investments are needed to move into new business areas, such as aquaculture and value-adding activities. Access to credit is often a hindrance for the poor communities which often lack collateral to guarantee loan repayment, but where it is accessible there is potential to increase household incomes

Innovation and new technology have the potential to increase productivity in the blue economy. In two cases, easily accessible new technologies were developed which appear to both increase productivity and are easily implemented in small-scale enterprises.

For the aquaculture sector a number of conditions must be met for fish farming to be successful. There must be functioning supply chains for farmers to access seed and feed as well as the market. Functioning road infrastructure is required to facilitate access. Access to information and credit is important as aquaculture requires technical know-how and initial investments.

Lastly, infrastructure is recognized as a precondition for private sector investment and productivity growth in the fisheries sector. This includes fishing ports, docking and storage facilities, cold chains, logistic networks.

Preconditions for local socio-economic development in the blue economyPDF

Does the presence of basic infrastructure such as roads, harbours, energy and sanitation correlate with local blue economic growth and socioeconomic development in rural coastal communities in the Western Indian Ocean region? Yes it seems.

This study provides some valuable insights to help guide investment in rural coastal communities.

Relationships between basic infrastructure and socioeconomic development were examined using Principal Component Analyses, explained in the report.

11 cases were examined, in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar and South Africa.

The correlations observed do not necessarily imply causation.

The results indicate three main points:

1. There is a positive correlation between presence of basic infrastructure and economic wellbeing: The better the suite of basic infrastructure present in a community, the better its economic wellbeing.

Roads and supply of electricity are the most important types of basic infrastructure related to economic wellbeing.

2. Strategic planning is closely correlated with both economic wellbeing and social wellbeing: Communities that show evidence of being strategically planned tend to have higher levels of economic and social wellbeing.

3. The type and intensity of the marine economic activity communities engage in plays an important role in their economic wellbeing.

Communities engaged in:

  • tourism tend to have higher levels of economic wellbeing
  • aquaculture as primary economic activity have small populations and relatively low social and economic wellbeing
  • artisanal fishery largely lack basic infrastructure and indicate poor social and economic wellbeing
  • commercial scale fishery have more basic infrastructure present and greater social and economic wellbeing.

Tourism appears to have the greatest potential for driving blue economic growth in rural coastal communities, of the sectors investigated.

Fishery has great potential to facilitate economic growth of communities if it shifts from subsistence basis to a commercial basis. However, this shift would need to be carefully controlled and undertaken in a sustainable manner due to the fragile state of our marine resources, so as to not abruptly remove the basis for the community’s livelihood, whether subsistent or commercial.

Communities need to be examined over time to adequately investigate whether basic infrastructure drives blue economic growth and socioeconomic development.

Get the insights

A spatial analysis of basic infrastructure as a prerequisite for local blue growth in the Western Indian Ocean region (PDF)PDF

Results from these four studies will be synthesized into a policy-brief to aid further measures for supporting local blue growth in the Western Indian Ocean region.

Trade in Fisheries Services

We increase the knowledge in the role that trade in fisheries services play in value chains for blue food. Please contact us for information.

Benefits that make governments publish information on fisheries

We do a study to analyse market and non-market based benefits to incentivise governments to proactively publish information on marine fisheries management.

The study pursues three concrete objectives:

  1. Improve the understanding of how incentives can and do influence governments to improve transparency on fisheries management
  2. Identify real-world examples where the publication of government information on fisheries management – as determined by the FiTI Standard – led to improved government performance, for example enhanced revenue collection, or reduced spending.
  3. Analyse market-based mechanisms, that is seafood certifications, seafood production policies, as well as international trade agreements regarding the existence and potential for incentivising the proactive publication of fisheries management information by governments

We work in the Fisheries Transparency Initiative, FiTI

We are a board member of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative international board.

Read about the Fisheries Transparency Initiative FiTI, and why sustainable fisheries need transparency

Sustainable fisheries need transparency!

Strong ecosystems is a must for social and economic development

Humans need nature to survive. Strong, resilient ecosystems is a must for social and economic development. We work to increase the economic benefits from the sustainable use of marine resources. Conservation is one part of this.

This work is part of our development cooperation programme SwAM Ocean – reducing poverty through sustainable use of the sea

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Published: 2021-03-29
Updated: 2021-03-31