Human Ecology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 309–323 | Cite as

Structure and Organisation of Small-Scale Freshwater Fisheries: Aquarium Fish Collection in Western Amazonia

  • Marie-Annick Moreau
  • Oliver T. Coomes


Small-scale fisheries in developing countries are often vital to the livelihoods of the rural poor, yet the dynamic and variable nature of household engagement in local fisheries remains poorly understood. This paper describes a small-scale fishery for aquarium fish in two proximate villages of the Peruvian Amazon, and explains observed differences within and between villages in participation, reliance and organisation of the fishery. A framework is developed to guide the systematic description and characterisation of small-scale fisheries organisation in Amazonia and beyond. An improved understanding of the socioeconomic factors that shape the organisation of artisanal freshwater fisheries promises to better inform research and management initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable local fisheries and poverty reduction among fishers.


Artisanal fishing Rural livelihoods Social organisation Peru Amazon 



Our sincerest gratitude to the people of Isla Verde and San Juan for participating in this study, and answering our many questions on repeat visits to their homes. Special thanks to Violeta Peña Flores for her excellent assistance in the field, and to Jaime Salazar Pérez and Carlos Rengifo Upiachihua for logistic support and advice. We thank two anonymous reviewers and the Editor for their constructive and insightful comments. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency (to M-A.M.), and by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (to O.T.C).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of GeographyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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