Drivers and Prospects for the Sustainability and Viability of Small-Scale Fisheries in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Silvia SalasEmail author
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
  • María José Barragán-Paladines
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 19)


The global increase in demand for seafood products has accelerated the exploitation of many key fisheries resources, contributing to reduced ecosystem health and threatening fishing livelihoods. Small-scale fisheries in Latin America and the Caribbean are exposed to those global changes and other threats, which affect their viability and sustainability. In this chapter, we present a synthesis of some of the contributions of the authors to this book in order to illustrate successful and failed experiences at dealing with complex dynamic systems, such as small-scale fisheries, and discuss the necessary conditions and limitations that affect prospects for ensuring viable fisheries and sustainable livelihoods. Understanding the driving factors that threaten small-scale fisheries, as well as the contexts in which they operate, is imperative for reducing vulnerability and achieving sustainability. We synthesize experiences and lessons derived from the chapters in this book, providing examples of the types of challenges small-scale fisheries in different countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean region are facing and discussing how actors at different scales are dealing with them. Several of the authors advocate developing and promoting integrated assessment approaches, diversifying income sources, and increasing adaptive capacity in fishing communities. Tools and frameworks for assessment and management are also discussed based on the information presented and the literature review in this chapter. Finally, we offer some suggestions for improving fisheries governance to achieve sustainable and viable fisheries in the region.


Food supply Small-scale fisheries Sustainability Viability Governance 



Silvia Salas wishes to acknowledge the financial support from FOMIX (2014-C17-247043) that facilitated her travel to Canada while she was working on the book.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Salas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
    • 2
  • María José Barragán-Paladines
    • 3
  1. 1.Marine Resources Department, CINVESTAV MéridaMéridaMéxico
  2. 2.Department of GeographyMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada
  3. 3.Development and Knowledge Sociology-Social Science DepartmentLeibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT)BremenGermany

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