CCMAR Seminars by Izasa Scientific: Artisanal fisheries and supplemental livelihoods through tourism: Lessons from the Philippines
02nd MAR | 13:30 | Anf. A (CP)
Artisanal fisheries and supplemental livelihoods through tourism: Lessons from the Philippines
Remote artisanal fishing communities in the developing world remain highly dependent on declining marine resources. Despite this, many internationally funded fisheries development projects seek to increase catch rates and commercialise artisanal fisheries as part of livelihood development projects. Such an approach tends to increase pressure on local fisheries and contribute to further declines in fish stocks. In order to mitigate this negative outcome, the integration of a supplemental livelihood such as marine tourism has been suggested. This approach is based on the assumption that participation in the tourism sector has the potential to benefit both the resource and those dependent on the resource. This presentation will discuss research that investigated the perspectives and knowledge of members of three remote fishing communities in two areas of the northern region of Luzon, Philippines. Perception-based data that focused on livelihood satisfaction, perceptions of the current state of marine resources, tourism awareness and willingness to engage in tourism as a livelihood diversification were collected from 42 fisherfolk via face to face interviews. Additional information was gathered from five key informants that represented key stakeholders, including local and foreign tour operators, NGOs, international aid agencies and fisheries management at the government level. This research revealed that the fisherfolk participants were generally satisfied with their current livelihoods and, therefore, did not express a desire to shift livelihoods. This sentiment appears to be a result of currently being able to ‘make ends meet’, albeit through resource overexploitation and the use of illegal fishing methods. However, the high social value associated with the idea of receiving visitors by fisherfolk enforced the viability of tourism as a diversification strategy. Despite this, a gross under-awareness of tourism within remote artisanal fishing communities, suggested that the current approach to tourism development requires modification. Social entrepreneurship as it relates to tourism development is discussed as a potential way forward for livelihood diversification within artisanal fishing communities.
Brooke Porter is a specialist in the human dimensions of the fisheries and the marine environment. Her work explores tourism as a development and conservation strategy in lesser-developed regions, with emphasis on surf and adventure tourism. She is focused on developing simple and effective development and marine conservation strategies for coastal communities. She has worked in various capacities with NGOs, international aid agencies and educational institutions on Maui, New Zealand, Italy, the Philippines and in Africa. She currently serves as a scientific adviser to The Coral Triangle Conservancy, a NGO that focuses on reef protection and restoration in the Philippines and teaches at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy.