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2018-02-23 | project

Small scale aquaculture as a livelihood alternative with marine conservation benefits in coastal communities in Chile

The long-run goal of this proposed project is to inform the Chilean government’s implementation of policies, such as promoting Small Scale Aquaculture (SSA), to reduce pressure on marine resources and to provide income-generating activities to artisanal fishing communities.

Any policy’s resource conservation effectiveness depends on decisions to allocate labor away from resource harvest. Similarly, a policy’s poverty alleviation effectiveness depends on the policy’s ability to change the relative value of labor uses. Because SSA is not widely implemented, our empirical work will not target SSA policy interventions directly. Instead, our empirical work will analyze how households allocate labor within their socioeconomic, institutional, and biophysical settings, which will build the foundation for predictive analysis of the response to SSA and other policies that reflect the heterogeneity of settings across the region. The region contains a range of overlapping resource management and rights institutions, including TURFs and Cooperative Catch Shares (CCS), that make the household decision setting quite diverse.Our primary empirical goal is to determine how fishers make decisions based on their setting, which implies understanding how institutions influence fisher wellbeing (income) and characterize household labor allocation decisions as function of setting.

Specific objectives include providing the Chilean government with:

  • information about what influences the selection of labor activity and fisher wellbeing;
  • information about how households and fisher groups make decisions in different ecological, institutional, and economic settings
  • information about how overlapping resource management institutions and regulations affect resource management
  • guidance about the communities to target programs to produce the largest impact on poverty alleviation and/or marine resource conservation

Moreover, the projects aims to contributing to the resource economics and policy literature concerning:

  • overlapping resource management institutions and rights;
  • household and group resource management decisions;
  • linking economic decision models to empirical analysis and to policy analysis;
  • the impact of ecological and socioeconomic heterogeneity on labor allocation decisions in response to policy