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Socio-Economics

Small-scale Fisheries, Population Dynamics, and Resource Use in Africa: The Case of Moree, Ghana


We consider population dynamics and sustainable use and development of fishery resources in Moree, a small-scale fishing and coastal community of 20 000 people in the Central Region of Ghana near Cape Coast. Moree suggests that relationships between population dynamics and fishery resources are more complex than the concept of Malthusian overfishing implies. Reasons include changing biophysical characteristics of the upwelling system along the coast of West Africa; qualitative as well as quantitative changes in fishing activity throughout the year; the market nature of fishing activity and nonlocal demands for fish; regular fishery migration; and institutions regulating fishery resource access at home and at migration destinations. Population and resource relationships in Moree may be the effects of fishery resource and economic changes on migration rather than population pressure on fishery resources. Fisheries management policies must take into account processes that lie beyond the influence of local fishermen.

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