Thesis Topic

How to increase the economic viability of small-scale fisheries globally

Small-scale fisheries around the world provide food and jobs for millions of people and their viability is an integral part for the well being of coastal communities. However, they are vulnerable to many threats such as climate change, industrialization and global market shifts. Furthermore, small-scale fisheries are politically and economically marginalized as well as understudied. I argue that assessing their economic viability will help understand their vulnerabilities, find ways to improve them and elevate their profile. However, it is important to consider possible socio-economic drivers instead of assessing only the fisheries’ financial performance, especially, because small-scale fisheries are often tied to local values and traditions. This makes the economic viability assessment of these very dynamic and complex fisheries challenging.

My thesis is therefore broken down into 1. defining economic viability from small-scale fisheries on a global scale as nonnegative net benefits to society; 2. developing a framework including main economic and socio-economic attributes of economic viability; 3. assessing how much of global fisheries subsidies reach small- compared to large-scale fisheries; 4. assess net benefits to society from Mexican small-scale fisheries and 5. what are the main socio-economic attributes driving the economic viability of Mexican small-scale fisheries.

Results and conclusions of this assessment will: 1. shed light on how important the assessment of economic viability of small-scale fisheries is for coastal communities worldwide; 2. provide a methodology framework on how to assess economic viability on a global, national or local scale; and 3. include suggestions to policy makers on what can be done to improve the current status of small-scale fisheries globally.


Supervisor(s) Name(s)
Dr. Rashid Sumaila

My career as a fisheries scientist started with the German Fisheries Department in Hamburg in 2002. I have worked in northern Peru (2005), finished my MSc at the University of Bremen in Germany (2006), worked in the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department (until 2008) and then in the Charles Darwin Foundation on the Galapagos Islands (until 2012). After my work in Galapagos, which focussed mainly on the ecological aspects of fisheries, I decided to study global fisheries economics, focussing on small-scale fisheries and their economic viability.

My blog:

Research Funding and Partners

Fisheries Economic Research Unit

Too Big To Ignore  – Global Partnership for Small-scale Fisheries Research

Canadian Fisheries Research Network