Two new papers from TBTI PhD Candidate

Who’s who in the value chain for the Mexican octopus fishery: Mapping the production chain

Authors: Eva Coronado*, Silvia Salas**, María Fernanda Cepeda-González & Ratana Chuenpagdee***

* TBTI student; ** TBTI member; *** TBTI Project Director

The growing trend on seafood trade from domestic to international markets calls for an understanding of the socioeconomic structure operating in fisheries value chains. In this paper, a structural mapping approach was used to identify catch trends, prevalent forms of coordination among actors, and the key players involved in the octopus production chain in Mexico. The analysis also allowed to track products along the stream, and assess how octopus prices change through the chain. Data came from governmental agencies and in-depth interviews with key actors. The study highlights multiple linkages among a diversity of actors within the chain, which is shaped by the leading firms that control the exportation. The fishers comprise the largest group in the production chain, but they are nevertheless the least empowered among the traders. Formal and informal arrangements among actors create dependence of fishers on middlemen and wholesalers. The study also reveals concern about informal harvest and trade, which could place the octopus stock and its trade at risk. The paper concludes with remarks about the role that the expansion of trade can have in shaping the way fisheries operate, and the need for institutional arrangements that lead to sustainable fisheries and fair trade.

Disentangling the complexity of small-scale fisheries in coastal communities through a typology approach: The case study of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Authors: Eva Coronado*, Silvia Salas**, Edgar Torres-Irineo**, Ratana Chuenpagdee***

* TBTI student; ** TBTI member; *** TBTI Project Director

Understanding small-scale fisheries (SSF) complexity requires an exercise to unpack the systems into manageable clusters that are easier to analyze and understand, and that can generate sound information to support management decision-making. Under this premise, the authors propose the use of fisheries typology to classify SSF, using 22 coastal communities in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, as illustrations. The study uses multivariate analysis to identify and classify SSF into types, and afterward analyzes differences and commonalities in their features. The analysis shows three types of SSF, differentiated by fishing production, landing composition, fishing effort, and economic characteristics, suggesting different levels of sustainability of the resources targeted. The typology approach enables an organization and integration of numerous fisheries attributes, helps identify gaps in information and knowledge, as well as enhances overall understanding of SSF complexity. It also offers an opportunity to set new research questions regarding monitoring systems and management interventions, taking into consideration the differences and similarities in the identified SSF types.