Co-management of small-scale fisheries and ecosystem service

Peer Reviewed
25 February 2019

Stefan Gelcich, Maria José Martínez‐Harms, Sebastián Tapia‐Lewin, Felipe Vasquez‐Lavin, Cristina Ruano‐Chamorro

Marine ecosystem services are in global decline which requires new transformational changes in governance to cope with multiple anthropogenic stressors. We review the biodiversity and ecosystem services outcomes of a governance transformation towards comanagement through the allocation of territorial user rights to artisanal fisher associations (TURFs). Through a systematic review we synthesize the implications of more than 25 years of establishing a TURFs policy over ecosystem services in Chile. The synthesis showed that there has been a continuous transition towards interdisciplinary social-ecological research. Results show TURFs consistently sustain biodiversity and all typologies of ecosystem services when they are well enforced. Research on provisioning services is most prevalent, however cultural services have been gaining traction with studies assessing the role of leadership, sanctions and social capital in determining TURF outcomes. Results suggest that TURFs can play an important role in creating social and ecological enabling conditions for local stewardship. While this is encouraging, there is a bias towards positive results and few studies address negative consequences of TURFs aimed at identifying constraints for TURF development. Research on TURFs faced with drivers of global change and uncertainty are urgently needed, in order to anticipate unintended outcomes and adapt accordingly

Files and links

Sustainable Development Goals
Publication reference
Gelcich, S., Martínez‐Harms, M. J., Tapia‐Lewin, S., Vasquez‐Lavin, F., & Ruano‐Chamorro, C. (2019). Comanagement of small‐scale fisheries and ecosystem services. Conservation Letters, 12(2), e12637. doi:10.1111/conl.12637
Publication | 9 June 2019