Date of this Version
Cornhusker Economics September 21, 2016
Fish serves as a primary protein source for large sections of the global population and as a main source of income for coastal populations, particularly those based in developing nations. In this study, we present results of a survey conducted with fishers belonging to the Digha-Shankarpur marine fishery in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal (Figure 1).
The principle motivation of this research stems from the fact that resource management in developing nations is challenged by the presence of extreme poverty in the fishing community. Also, local governments often lack the necessary financial resources and personnel needed for periodic assessment of the biological and economic health of the fishery, i.e., both the ecosystem and the community that depends on it. Additionally, managing marine fisheries is challenging because as common pool resources, these natural resources are subject to the tragedy of the commons. Thus, long term sustenance of this fishery and livelihoods of people dependent on it requires an understanding of the structure of the fishery, and the economic and behavioral motivations driving fishing behavior in an area grappling with abject poverty. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of fishing and economic behavior in the region using primary data (surveys and interviews) collected from 291 fishers from 15 fishing hamlets.