Exploring Influences on Environmental Stewardship of Fishing Communities in Fisheries Management in the Philippines

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Fisheries compliance has been explored conceptually and empirically in numerous contexts but in many fisheries, compliance with rules is not sufficient to return to sustainable levels of effort. Failing to understand the context and what drives fishers to behave the way they do, has the potential to misdirect investments. The authors present a conceptual model of fisheries ecosystem stewardship (FES) that expands upon fisheries compliance with the addition of moral obligation for fishing communities. This paper uses household survey data from fishing communities in three marine key biodiversity areas (MKBA) in the Philippines to test part of the FES model using logistic regression and multiple regression analysis with empirical data to test the model. Data shows that apart from the respondents’ location (i.e., which MKBA is adjacent to their community), knowledge of laws protecting coastal/marine resources was the most important predictor of environmental stewardship, followed by support for limiting fishing effort and knowledge of illegal fishing. Individual decisions about if and how-to fish are influenced by the economic context and available livelihood opportunities. However, the moral obligation to “do the right thing” is equally, if not more important to consider for fisheries ecosystem stewardship in fishing communities.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Environmental Management