The role of social capital and leadership as determinants of sustainable bottom-up marine management practices.
Fisheries management approaches based on top-down and centralized government interventions have proven to be inadequate. As a consequence, in recent years researchers have promoted the implementation of co-management and bottom-up marine management policies. One approach has been to grant exclusive territorial user rights to smallscale fishers (TURFs). The rationale behind TURFs is based on a common property approach, which assumes that user rights will create institutional incentives among fishers for sustainable resource use. Concomitantly, social capital and leadership has been suggested as a crucial factor affecting regulation and governance and thus the initiation and maintenance of marine conservation and management initiatives at the community level. Therefore, this study wishes to empirically explore the role of social capital and leadership as determinants of sustainable fishery and conservation outcomes in fishing communities which manage their resources collectively through TURFs policies.
The small-scale inshore fishery management system in Chile provides a unique opportunity to examine the relations between social capital, leadership and the outcomes of bottom-up co-management fisheries management practices. In Chile, co-management takes the form of legally recognized TURFs, through the TURFs policy, the Chilean Undersecretary of Fisheries assigns temporary user rights to artisanal fisher organizations (unions, associations) in defined geographical coastal areas, ranging from 50 to 300 ha of seabed. This includes the right to exclude organization non-members from the assigned seabed. According to the Chilean National Fisheries Service (SERNAPESCA 2005) in Chile there is a total of 547 decreed TURFs, which cover 1023 km2. TURFs are spread across the 4000 km of coast of Chile and have showed varying degrees of success regarding economic, social and biological outcomes, providing a useful setting to empirically explore the role of social determinants such as social capital and leadership in bottom-up fisheries management.
Maybe that helps clear some things up?