Co-managing small-scale fisheriesa global overview and a case study in chiapas, mexico

  1. d'Armengol Catà, Laia
Supervised by:
  1. Rocio Rodiles Hernández Director
  2. Esteve Corbera Director
  3. Isabel Ruiz Mallén Director

Defence university: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Fecha de defensa: 11 October 2019

  1. Raquel de la Cruz Modino Chair

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 605981 DIALNET lock_openTESEO editor


Co-management, the joint management between, at least, government and local users, has emerged as a potential management strategy for achieving the sustainability of small-scale scale fisheries. Co-management is expected to provide greater effectiveness than centralized or locally-based fisheries’ management regimes and consequently result in more positive ecological and social outcomes. As of today, evidence backing these claims is still scarce, and little is known about which contextual factors determine the social and ecological effectiveness of co-managed small-scale fisheries, to what extent co-management is grounded on equity principles and results in fair outcomes, and how social diversity affects the consensual understanding and performance of co-management. This thesis addresses these evidence gaps by, first, investigating the context and characteristics of small-scale fisheries co-management through a systematic review of peer-reviewed cases around the world and, second, by examining the performance of a specific co-managed small-scale fishery located in La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve, Chiapas, Mexico. Methodologically, the dissertation is informed by a systematic review protocol, and by the implementetion of focus groups, interviews, diagrammatic representations of mental models and participant observation in the case study site over a fieldwork period of seven months. The findings of this dissertation advance co-management research in several ways. First, through the systematic review and qualitative insights from the case study, the dissertation confirms theoretical expectations and shows that co-management can indeed deliver positive social and ecological outcomes. It also highlights the importance of social equity and social diversity in delivering such outcomes. Second, it stresses how previous power relationships and conflicts shape co-management outcomes. Finally, it shows that, when a diversity of co-management understandings exists, well-stablished centralized management schemes may remain in the consensual understanding of participants.