Voting Decision on Fishing Fuel Subsidy Reform in An Overexploited Fishery: The Case of Artisanal Fishery in Ghana

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Fishing subsidies that enhance fishing capacity by reducing fishing costs could negatively impact the ecological, economic, and social performances of capture fisheries. This is because harmful subsidies make fishing units more profitable than they should be. In Ghana, the artisanal fisheries sector contributes about 70% to total marine fish landings but is heavily overcapitalized. Yet, premix fuel, which is the primary fishing input, is heavily subsidized. For example, the market price per gallon of fuel is less than 30% of the subsidized value. However, access to the subsidized fuel depends on the fisher’s political connections. A study has found that those with weak political linkages, hence limited access to subsidized fuel, resort to destructive fishing methods to maximize catch. This has ignited debates among stakeholders, including the government and fisherfolks, on the subsidy’s efficacy and sustainability. This study investigates fisher’s willingness to accept the withdrawal of fishing subsidies in exchange for an unconditional lumpsum cash transfer, using a referendum format CVM.

Project status
Financed by
Environment for Development initiative
Project | 6 December 2023