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Article

From Safety Net to Point of No Return—Are Small-Scale Inland Fisheries Reaching Their Limits?

Ecology and Environmental Education Group, Institute of Biology and Chemistry, University of Hildesheim, Universitätsplatz 1, 31141 Hildesheim, Germany
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Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7299; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187299
Received: 10 August 2020 / Revised: 2 September 2020 / Accepted: 3 September 2020 / Published: 6 September 2020
Small-scale inland fisheries (SSIF) are a livelihood opportunity for millions of people in developing countries. Understanding the economic, ecological, political and social impacts fishers are coping with can clarify weaknesses and challenges in the fishery management. Using the SSIF at Lake Alaotra, Madagascar, as an example, we analyzed the development and fishers’ perception of, and adaptation strategies to, change. We surveyed fish catches to assess the state of fish stocks and conducted interviews to understand fishers’ livelihood, problems, behavior and attitudes. Our results show that the fishery sector of Lake Alaotra has grown dramatically although fish catches have fallen sharply. Changes in species composition and low reproduction rates reflect the fishing pressure. A point of no return seems near, as decreasing agricultural yields force farmers to enter the fishery sector as a form of livelihood diversification. Lake Alaotra reflects an alarming trend which can already be seen in many regions of the world and may affect a growing number in the near future. The Alaotran fisheries demonstrate that SSIF’s ability to provide livelihood alternatives under conditions of insecurity will become increasingly important. It further highlights that the identification of ongoing livelihood dynamics in order to disclose possible poverty trap mechanisms and to understand fisheries’ current function is essential for sustainable management. View Full-Text
Keywords: small-scale fisheries; livelihood opportunity; poverty trap; welfare function; developing countries; Madagascar; Africa small-scale fisheries; livelihood opportunity; poverty trap; welfare function; developing countries; Madagascar; Africa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lammers, P.L.; Richter, T.; Mantilla-Contreras, J. From Safety Net to Point of No Return—Are Small-Scale Inland Fisheries Reaching Their Limits? Sustainability 2020, 12, 7299. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187299

AMA Style

Lammers PL, Richter T, Mantilla-Contreras J. From Safety Net to Point of No Return—Are Small-Scale Inland Fisheries Reaching Their Limits? Sustainability. 2020; 12(18):7299. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187299

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lammers, Pina L., Torsten Richter, and Jasmin Mantilla-Contreras. 2020. "From Safety Net to Point of No Return—Are Small-Scale Inland Fisheries Reaching Their Limits?" Sustainability 12, no. 18: 7299. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187299

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