Theme 2: Enhancing livelihoods for coastal people

Project 4: Understanding the factors determining livelihoods for poor coastal people and facilitate the application of ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)

Core problem: Improving the well-being of people in the coastal zone will involve asking some sectors to forego activities (e.g. excessive and destructive fishing) that jeopardize the ability of others to earn a living, and then creating/introducing alternative livelihoods. Projects 5 and 6 outline the measures that will restructure the use of resources in the coastal zone so that they can eventually support more people. However, none of these measures will be effective unless there is a thorough understanding of the demographic trends, consumption patterns, market forces, cultural norms and access to essential infrastructure that shape alternative and supplementary livelihoods to fishing. Annex E provides details of this component.

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Project 5: Restoring production from capture fisheries

Core problem: Increasing human populations and reduced productivity of wild fisheries (through overfishing and habitat degradation) mean that a lower proportion of the coastal population derives livelihoods from wild stocks of fish. This need not be the case. Unlike other production systems, where it has been necessary to turn from hunting and gathering to agriculture and animal husbandry, many of the coastal waters of the world are still best managed as wild fisheries, and have the potential to produce much greater sustainable harvests if they can be restored to former levels. The problem is to identify and implement the measures necessary to rebuild fish stocks to more productive levels, so that they can eventually support more people, with the least social dislocation. The solution to this problem has two main dimensions: i) understanding the biology of stocks and the effects of fishing to identify the interventions needed to allow recovery, and ii) developing policies, governance and institutional arrangements to restore stocks to more productive levels. This project is linked closely to Project 6, which aims to provide alternative livelihoods for fishers displaced from their normal vocation while stocks recover, and Project 3, which focuses on identifying and mapping essential fish habitats. This project is expected to provide information currently lacking in most ICM projects, and will help the Philippines meet its commitment to Restoration of Fisheries by 2015‘.

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Project 6: Developing technologies for alternative or supplementary livelihoods for coastal people

Core problem: Reduction in fishing effort required to rebuild capture fisheries to more productive levels and restore biodiversity in the project sites is likely to cause severe social dislocation unless alternative or supplementary livelihoods are available. One of the challenges facing coastal managers is to provide such alternatives, preferably in closely allied sectors such as aquaculture and coastal eco-tourism, where the skills of fishers have some application. This project will be guided by the results of Project 4, to ensure that it delivers viable livelihood options based on coastal resources or integrated land-sea activities.

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