Trade matters in the fight against poverty: narratives, perceptions, and (lack of) evidence in the case of fish trade in Africa

Two opposing views exist in the literature on the potential role that international fish trade plays in economic development. While some claim that fish trade has a pro-poor effect, others denounce the negative effect of fish export on local populations’ food security and doubt its contributions to the macro-economy. In this paper, we explore this debate in sub-Saharan Africa. Our analysis did not find any evidence of direct negative impact of fish trade on food security; neither did it find evidence that international fish trade generates positive, pro-poor outcomes.

Prawn postlarvae fishing in coastal Bangladesh: challenges for sustainable livelihoods

Fishing for prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) postlarvae is a major contributor to the livelihoods of the coastal poor in Bangladesh, including women. A study of coastal livelihoods along the lower Pasur River in southwest Bangladesh indicates that on average 40% of total annual income comes from postlarvae fishing during the few months involved. However, indiscriminate fishing of wild postlarvae, with high levels of by-catch, has an impact on biodiversity in coastal ecosystems. This has provoked imposition of restrictions on postlarvae collection.

Not by rent alone: analysing the pro-poor functions of small-scale fisheries in developing countries

The dominant view in academic and policy arenas is increasingly one in which the major contribution of capture fisheries to development should be derived from the capacity of society to maximise the economic rent of fishery resources. Drawing upon empirical experience from the South, this article highlights the potentially disastrous consequences that a universal implementation of the rent-maximisation model would have in developing countries, and argues that a more gradual approach would be preferable.

Impact pathway analysis for research planning: the case of aquatic resources research in the WorldFish Center

In line with its mandate of poverty reduction and sustainable development, the WorldFish Center is orienting its research towards high impact scientific activity. Identifying such activities is the task of prospective impact assessment, in turn based on impact pathway analysis. The paper describes a framework for analyzing benefits from aquatic resources research, the relevant research categories, pathways to impact by category, and indicators along each pathway that can be estimated in order to quantify probable research impact.

Fisheries, nutrition and regional development pathways: reasserting food rights

As hydropower developments are accelerated, particularly along the the Mekong mainstream, debates are looming over how to address the loss of abundant fisheries that are so important to local livelihoods.The authors discuss what is at stake and what might be lost by considering how fisheries contribute to development that meets the needs of the people of Mekong. They emphasise the importance of food sovereignty as a local issue in the discourse about trade-offs in water decision-making.

Diagnosing, strengthening and monitoring small-scale fishery resilience

The project "Improving resilience and adaptive capacity of fisheries-dependent communities in Solomon Islands" uses participatory diagnosis to identify threats to rural coastal communities in Solomon Islands and sources of resilience. The WorldFish Center, which leads the project, defines a resilient small-scale fishery as one that absorbs stress and reorganizes itself following disturbance, while still providing benefits for poverty reduction.

Contemporary visions for small scale aquaculture

This chapter discusses the importance of small scale aquaculture in supporting livelihoods and alleviating poverty. Similar to capture fisheries, this sector faces challenges related to globalized trade, production regulation and climate variability that threaten its future. This essay considers ‘small-scale aquaculture’ (SSA) from a variety of perspectives. It first examines the origins and usage of the term and offer a definition based on the social characteristics of those who practice it.

Climate change, small-scale fisheries and smallholder aquaculture

Fisheries and aquaculture both contribute to meeting the Millennium Development Goals but vulnerability to climate change threatens the contribution that they make to development. Impacts of climate change on small-scale fisheries are of great relevance to poverty reduction. Poverty undermines the resilience of social-ecological systems such as fisheries. The majority of the world’s 250 million fisherfolk lives in areas that are highly exposed to climate change.

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