Livelihoods and fishing strategies of small-scale fishing households faced with resource decline: A case study of Singkarak Lake, West Sumatra, Indonesia

Yuerlita. 2013. Livelihoods and fishing strategies of small-scale fishing households faced with resource decline: A case study of Singkarak Lake, West Sumatra, Indonesia. Bangkok : AIT, 139 p. Thesis Ph. D. : Natural resources management : Asian Institute of Technology

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Encadrement : Perret, Sylvain

Abstract : Small-scale inland fisheries (SSIF) provide food and income to millions of rural poor worldwide. However, their existence and roles are often overlooked in the development planning and their contribution to wider economic development is undervalued. Fish resource decline and environmental degradation threatened the livelihoods. Overfishing and ill fishing practices are common. The Singkarak lake (West Sumatra) exemplifies this sustainability challenge, where natural resources and livelihoods closely interact. The overall objective of this study is to document, model and discuss the actual diversity in livelihoods, fishing practices and performance of SSIF along the Singkarak Lake under the changing lake environmental condition and depletion of fisheries resources. The specific objectives of the study are (1) to explore inland fish capture system in terms of fish resources, resource users, and its current management; (b) to develop a model that represents the diversity of small-scale fishing communities, to identify the main socioeconomic and technical indicators that contrast the livelihood of small-scale fishing household, to reveal the main livelihood strategies at play; (c) to analyze household's efficiency in fishing, to reveal their fishing strategies. A reconnaissance survey was conducted between January and March 2009 to obtain an overview of the lake's physical environment, the institutional setting, the livelihoods and the overall fishing practices and issues. The primary data were collected between April and December 2009 in three fieldwork stages by performing informant interviews, focus group discussions and household surveys, respectively in each of these stages. Based upon a sample of 200 households, a typology is developed by using multivariate analyses (Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis). The technical efficiency analysis was performed using data envelopment analysis (DEA). Fishing activities are performed on a daily basis throughout the year. The primary target and catch is an endemic species called bilih (Mystacoleucus Padangensis), which has high commercial value. Two types of fishing gear are commonly used: set gillnets and cast nets. Dragnets are also used. While all parties confirm the decline of the fish resource, they have different diagnoses to explain the causes. Experts and scientists point out overfishing and unsustainable (and illegal) fishing practices, while fishers allude to water quality decline and increased competition between uses, including hydropower. The fishers were classified into different types characterized by distinct livelihood strategies. Three household types are identified, namely "farming fishers" households (type I, 30%), "fishing farmers" households (type II, 30%), and "mainly fishers" households (type III, 40%). There are significant differences among these groups in the number of boats owned, annual fishing income, agriculture income and farming experience. Type-I consists of farming fishers, well equipped, with high fishing costs and income, yet with the lowest return on fishing assets. They are also landowners with farming income, showing the lowest return on land capital. Type-II includes poor fishing farmers, landowners with higher farming income; they show the highest return on land asset. They have less fishing equipment, costs and income. Type-III (mainly fishers) consists of poorer, younger fishers, with highest return on fishing assets and on fishing costs. They have little land, low farming income, and diversified livelihood sources. The analysis of technical efficiency shows that average fishing efficiency of all fishing households is 75% yet with marked differences between types. It also reveals the different fishing strategies. Overall, only about half (51%) of households are considered efficient. Paradoxically, type-I households have the lowest technical efficiency in fishing (54% on average), revealing an over-capitalization strategy. They are

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Pêches, Ressource halieutique, gestion des ressources naturelles, Petite exploitation agricole, Écologie d'eau douce, économie des pêches, Moyens d'existence durables, Économie rurale, Revenu de l'exploitation, Revenu complémentaire

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Indonésie, Sumatra

Classification Agris : M11 - Fisheries production

Axe stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2005-2013) - Agriculture, environnement, nature et sociétés

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Yuerlita, AIT (THA)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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