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Fishery decline in Utila: Disentangling the web of governance

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jeremy Hills, Professor Tim Gray



The commercial fish stock of Utila, Honduras, appears to be in danger of acute decline. In order to establish the perceived scale of decline, identify perceptions of its causes and potential remedies, and views on past, present and future management strategies, this paper employed a discourse analysis of interview transcripts from primary and key stakeholders. This illustrated that most stakeholders recognised the decline but felt powerless to take the necessary steps to reverse it. The Utilian market-oriented mode of fisheries governance was perceived to have exacerbated the decline, and subsequently, it appeared that two modes of fisheries governance were implicitly endorsed: (1) voluntary authoritarianism and (2) community co-management. This paper concludes that voluntary authoritarianism is more likely to succeed in curbing the unprecedented Utilian commercial fish stock decline in the short-term, in preparation for community co-management, a more permanent and sustainable solution. Based on the above, the paper advises caution with regards to allowing market forces to determine how fisheries are governed, and emphasises the need for enforcing strict regulations on fisheries before contemplating a transition to a more participative mode of fisheries governance. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Korda R, Hills J, Gray TS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Marine Policy

Year: 2008

Volume: 32

Issue: 6

Pages: 968-979

Date deposited: 30/03/2013

ISSN (print): 0308-597X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9460

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2008.02.009


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