Fishers organisations and modes of co-management: the case of San Miguel Bay, Philipines

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Recent writings have claimed that fisheries management can be improved through joint regulation by government bodies and resource users, and through partial devolution of management authority from government to fishers' organizations. The Philippines appears to provide an optimal institutional setting for the emergence of fisheries co-management. The government has enacted legislation to assist fishers' organizations in taking on a larger management role and there has been a proliferation of fishers' organizations interested in taking on increased responsibility for resource management. The case of San Miguel Bay shows a situation in which two parallel modes of co-management have emerged. The formal mode draws largely on government initiative and is pluralistic. The informal mode draws on the initiative of fishers' organizations and civillian action, and is oriented to the interests of small-scale fishers. Effective long-term co-management requires above all addressing gear conflict and the marginalization of small-scale fishers, and integrating the efforts of the two modes.

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