by: Louie Marie T. Eluriaga, Yolanda T. Garcia, Asa Jose U. Sajise, Ma. Angeles O. Catelo
The continuous and rapid decline of marine fisheries threatens many small-scalefishing households that are highly dependent on fishing for livelihood and source of food.Being at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, small-scale fishers are particularlyvulnerable to the economic impacts of dwindling fishery resources. In this regard, it isimperative to understand the potential impact of and capacity to adapt to fisheries declineof the small-scale fishers. This study measured the sensitivity and adaptive capacity ofthe small-scale fishers to declining fisheries in the province of Guimaras. The frameworksused in the assessment include both fisheries and socioeconomic aspects as relevantsources of sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The results showed that small-scale fishershave moderate sensitivity and low capacity to adapt. Moderate sensitivity was driven by thepredominant use of passive fishing gears and the high proportion of demersal species intheir catch, while the low adaptive capacity was primarily attributed to the high dependenceof small-scale fishers on fishing for their livelihood. Adaptation strategies implementedby the small-scale fishers and the constraints they faced in their adaptation to decliningfisheries were likewise identified.
Keywords: Fisheries decline, sensitivity, adaptive capacity