Artisanal fishing, often also called small-scale fishing, provides a critical source of food, nutrition, poverty alleviation, and livelihoods for many people around the world. This resource is particularly important in developing nations. As opposed to large, commercial fisheries that usually involve industrial, energy-intensive vessels and long trips, artisanal fisheries refer to households, cooperatives or small firms that use relatively small amounts of capital, energy and small fishing vessels (if any), make relatively short fishing trips, and use fish mainly for local consumption or trade.

Artisanal fishing opportunities measure whether people who need to fish on a small, local scale have the opportunity to do so. In other words, it measures the potential for artisanal fishing whether or not this potential is actually met. This goal, as constructed here, does not measure recreational fishing which is often done in developed countries. This goal also does not measure the actual amount of fish caught (which is included in Food Provision) or revenue generated (which is captured by Coastal Livelihood and Economies).

A score of 100 means the country or region is meeting the needs of artisanal fishermen or communities by implementing institutional supports, providing access to near-shore water, and maintaining the health of targeted species.

Practical Guidance

Ideally, this goal will include a measure of of how easy or hard it is for residents to access ocean resources when they need them. Measures of access include institutional and/or government regulations that provide people with access to marine waters through open coastlines and docks, readily available permitting for fish harvest, and programs that foster artisanal fishing opportunities. Another measure of access is that fish are actually available, which can be estimated by assessing the health of targeted species (see Fisheries subgoal) or the general sustainability of fishing practices. Sustainable gears are traditional hook and line, as opposed to unsustainable practices such as dynamite and gill net fishing.

The need for artisanal fishing is most directly tied to the percent of population below the poverty line.

NOTE: The benefits of Artisanal Fishing can be difficult to parse from other goals. For example, tonnage of artisanally-caught fish will typically be included in the Food Provision goal. Another example is that in the Baltic Sea region, Artisanal Opportunities is very closely connected to Tourism and Recreation since there are a lot of locals and tourists using the shared sea for enjoyment. It will be necessary to determine how to apportion the data.

The reference point will depend on the data and model. In most cases, the availability of better local data will allow for improvements to the Global OHI assessment model (see table below).

Examples of the Approach

Assessment Developing the Model Setting the Reference Point Other Considerations
Global 2012 The status was the demand as estimated by poverty levels. The data were measured by the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, adjusted by the purchasing power parity as a proxy for undocumented trade. The supply was estimated using an indicator that ranked how well regions regulated and supported artisanal fishing, as part of a study by Mora et al. (2009). The reference point was having supply greater than demand so that unmet demand is 0. This meant that all demand for artisanal fishing was allowed or achieved. The trend was driven by the change over time in PPPpcGDP as a proxy for demand. This assessment did not incorporate a specific measure of the health of the targeted species or of sustainability of practices.
Global 2013 - 2015 The approach was the same was Global 2012 The reference point was the same as Global 2012. There were no data updates available to change the method.
Brazil 2014 The model was simplified to reflect the primary driver of opportunity as the availability of fish to be captured, as measured by the condition of stocks. This model was based solely on the sustainability index calculated using the exploitation status of species. All species were considered possible targets of artisanal fishing activities. An established target of 1.0. This meant all stocks are categorized as either Developing or Fully Exploited. The analysis used national stock status information. It did not include poverty because of the high variation in the country. In addition, it assumes that access to fishing is largely open because permitting and regulations are not restricted.
U.S. West Coast 2014 This study developed a model using three key variables (Physical, Biological, Economical)of physical and economic access to coastal areas, and access to biological resources Physical: 1 coastal access point per mile. Economic: No change in gas price. Perfect sustainability score on FSI. This approach did not model demand or have species-specific information. It assumed that as long as there are no obstacles to pursuing artisanal fishing, the goal was fully achieved. These data better capture the nature of small-scale fisheries in the study area than the Global model.
Israel 2014 The goal model is based on a sustainability index calculated using the exploitation status of species. Ten coastal fish species, for which we have data, were considered possible targets of artisanal fishing activities. An established target of 1.0, when all stocks are categorized as either Developing or Fully Exploited. The primary driver of artisanal opportunity is the availability of fish to capture (i.e. the condition of the stocks). Access to fishing in Israel is largely open because permits and regulations from the Ministry of Fisheries are not considered restrictive, and in most cases, neither is physical access.
Ecuador - Gulf of Guayaquil 2015 The approach was the same was Global 2012 The reference point was the same as Global 2012. Local information was included for need and sustainability variables.
China 2015 Status model is rewritten and is similar to the 2014 U.S. West Coast assessment. It is based on the three indicators:capacity for exports, the need for artisanal fishing opportunities, and economic capacity The spatial reference point is the maximum value across all region and all years. N/A