Perceptions of Fishermen Households on a Community-based Coastal Resource Management Area: The Case of Asid Gulf, Masbate, Philippines
Keywords:Asid Gulf, coastal resource management, fishers’ perception
This study analyzed the perceptions of fishermen households on fishery resources, the effectiveness of coastal resource management (CRM), and the enforcement of fishery regulations. Face-to-face structured interviews were conducted with 257 sample households within the five municipalities facing the Asid Gulf, Masbate, Philippines. Fishers perceived lower current fish abundance and smaller fish size compared to five years ago. These observations are signs of a lack of effective management of fishing capacity. CRM awareness is lacking in the coastal communities as only a few fishers were engaged in CRM activities. However, there was high perceived effectiveness of CRM for those fishers who were aware of CRM. The enforcement of fishery regulations was also perceived to be strong for those fishers who were aware despite of reported incidence of illegal fishing activities. Increasing the involvement and awareness of the community with the support of local and national government is critical in the sustainability of CRM. Although public awareness is important, it is also imperative to strengthen the enforcement of fishery regulations to increase local compliance. Livelihood interventions should be targeted and acceptable to fishers to be more viable in the long-term. An evaluation of CRM is necessary to document the gains and lessons learned from the implementation for possible replication and modification of future related projects.