poverty and gear types in coral reef fisheries

Joshua Cinner jcin5062 at postoffice.uri.edu
Mon Jan 25 14:06:52 EST 1999

Dear coral-listers
I would like to get some feedback,suggestions, and possibly some new
directions from this multi-disciplinary body regarding my master's thesis.
 As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, I observed what I believe to be a
connection between the relative wealth of fishers and the type of gear they
used.  It appeared as though the gear types which seem to be more malignant
to the coral reef were utilized by fishers of lower wealth and social
status. (I am assuming that some gear types, such as line fishing, are more
benign while others, such as blast fishing, are more malignant toward the
reef).  I am interested in pursuing this idea as my masters thesis which I
am currently beginning here at the Marine Affairs Faculty of the University
of Rhode Island.    My initial idea is to examine the different measures of
wealth for the study site (as income is often an inappropriate measure of
status and wealth- for example; one study expressed that the ability to
travel, especially abroad, was the ultimate measure of wealth for a
specific community in Jamaica). I then plan to explore the gear types
employed by fishers and their relative effects on coral reefs.  I am
planning to establish a linkage between wealth and gear types by using a
discrete choice analysis (maybe probit or logit), but WELCOME ANY OTHER
IDEAS.  Here is where I could really use some suggestions however- seeing
as I want to make a direct link between coral reef conditions and poverty,
would it be  practical to do my own research on the reefs themselves
(probably just manta tows or other really basic surveys is all I was really
thinking) or should I just focus on the measures of wealth, gear types, and
linking them, relying on background information from other studies to
suggest that gear types have different effects on reefs? I have (It seems)
obtained some funding to conduct my research over the summer in Mexico.
Can anyone recommend a site (or preferably several) in Mexico that would
have a high diversity of coral reef fishing practices?  I would also
appreciate suggestions of particularly interesting studies on measures of
wealth, and gear types and impacts (especially if it is in Mex). I
sincerely appreciate feedback, so please let me know what you think of my
ideas, give me suggestions, comments, criticisms, whatever.   

Joshua Cinner
2550 Kingstown Rd.
Kingston, RI
(401) 783-6719
jcin5062 at postoffice.uri.edu

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