Sustainable fishing includes the socioeconomic status of fishers. We combined empirical quality of life (QOL) and subjective lived experiences methods to explore the social sustainability of artisanal fishers in five fishery collectives along the coast of Jalisco, Mexico, where the average daily income is slightly above the poverty level. The QOL scores were also related to annual catch and incomes within each collective. A QOL index is used in this study that combines importance and achievement ratings scores; the results are indicative of an acceptable QOL for fishermen. The concept of lived experiences, incorporating aspects of life relating to Mind
was explored through interviews with 12 fishers. The QOL data revealed that family and friends are important indicators related to positive QOL reported by the sample, while economic indicators were not important. Although four of the five collectives perceived that the future looks worse than the present and past, there was limited correlation between catch or income and QOL. However, while the lived experiences exercise in part supported the QOL findings, in that People
was the most important dimension for almost all of the fishers interviewed, negative economic gaps related to poor catches and incomes were prevalent in the Mind
dimensions. The findings suggest that to understand the socioeconomic component of sustainable fisheries, both of these approaches should be considered, as they can illuminate different aspects of fishers’ lives that need to be considered during the development of fisheries’ management policies.
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