Exploring the social and ecologic differences between an open-access fishery and a right-based system

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
The open-access nature of fisheries is often considered one of the main causes of the current global fisheries crisis. Many individual case studies have observed an increase in fishing stocks as well as the creation of social capital in fisheries that have shifted to a right-based fisheries management approach, such as Territorial Use Rights for Fishing (TURFs) or Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs). The gooseneck barnacle fishery in the eastern Asturian coast has been co-managed through TURFs for over 20 years. Nevertheless, the management in the western coast mostly resembles an open-access system, albeit with several restrictions (i.e. daily total allowable catch and temporal bans). The gooseneck barnacle fishery in Asturias provides a unique opportunity to compare the social and ecological effects of implementing a right-based system. The master thesis will be developed using an interdisciplinary approach. First, the student will analyze the differences in the intertidal community composition found in gooseneck barnacle harvesting sites located inside and outside the TURF system using archived photographs. Next, differences in the fishers’ environmental attitudes inside and outside the TURF will be quantified through the use of questionnaires. This information can provide insights on the benefits of right-based management. This Thesis will be supported by BIODIVERSA project PERCEBES, co-supervised by Antonella Rivera (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) and José Luis Acuña and promoted by José Luis Acuña (University of Oviedo).
Basic knowledge of Spanish. Ability to conduct fieldwork in difficult conditions for both social and ecological sampling. Previous experience on research or activity in social contexts is desirable.
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Reference Number: RP-49131