Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Andrew Rosenberg


Small-scale fisheries are an important economic and social foundation for the livelihood of coastal communities in Colombia. Yet artisanal fishing communities are characterized by a low quality of life and a struggle for the basic components of well being, in part because of inadequate marine resource management. As a consequence of inadequate management, some resources are already overexploited and depletion threatens the food security of these fishing villages. Lack of information on fisheries resources, open access artisanal fisheries, and poor socio-economic conditions, coupled with the high diversity and low abundance characteristic of tropical environments, place these fisheries resources at risk. Both food resources and the economic activities that support local people will suffer the effects. However, co-management has proven to be an effective tool in marine resource management for preserving both natural resources and fishing communities. Here we report on a project to evaluate four traditional small-scale marine fishing communities on the Pacific coast and five on the Caribbean coast in order to describe and understand their historical and actual situations. This study will support the development of the first small-scale marine fisheries management plan in Colombia.