Beyond Malthusian overfishing: the importance of structural and non-demographic factors.

Daniel Pauly’s concept of Malthusian overfishing states that fisheries over-exploitation in tropical developing countries is caused primarily by excess human population. While it is certainly true that growing numbers of people are causing pressure on fishing resources, the concept of Malthusian overfishing downplays other, possibly causally prior factors such as relations of power in society, income distribution, and technological development. This article points out some possible pitfalls of making family planning the cornerstone of efforts to alleviate fishing pressure.


Sunderlin, W.D. (1994)
SPC Traditional Marine Resource Management and Knowledge Information Bulletin (4): 2-6 [open access]