Importance of Attitudinal Differences among Artisanal Fishers toward Co‐Management and Conservation of Marine Resources

Stefan Gelcich, Gareth Edwards-Jones, Michel J. Kaiser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


The Chilean government has introduced a policy that gives formal property rights over defined areas of seabed to organized groups of artisanal fishers with the goal of achieving sustainable exploitation of natural resources. We assessed differences in the attitudes of participating artisanal fishers toward this form of management to understand their importance in the design and implementation of fisheries management. We used questionnaires and participatory rural appraisal techniques to survey members of six fishing management committees. Fishers' attitudes varied significantly among syndicates in three main domains: attitudes toward the environment, unresolved aspects behind the management area policy, and perceived benefits derived from adoption of the policy. These differences indicated the existence of distinct world views that structure fishers' behavior toward the marine environment and its management. In addition, the responses made by fishers correlated best with the degree of off-sector pluriactivity and their dependence on diving as a source of income. This suggested that a livelihood approach to the development of Chilean artisanal fisheries that considers the multiple economic niches of the fishers will be most effective in the implementation of dual conservation/management measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-875
Number of pages11
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • Attitudes
  • Benthic resources
  • Conservation
  • Fishers
  • Management areas
  • Marine protected areas
  • Property rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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