New Fisheries Conflict Study by Former and Current Secure Fisheries Staff

Puerto Rican fishing family observes the burned ruins of their boat, set on fire by unknown vandalizers. A sad outcome of fisheries conflict in eastern Puerto Rico.
Photo by Nicolás X.Gómez-Andújar

Former Secure Fisheries intern and current Oregon State University Ph.D. candidate, Ciera Villegas, published her research, “Cooperation and conflict in the small-scale fisheries of Puerto Rico” along with co-authors and fellow Fisheries Conflict Research Consortium members Nicolás X.Gómez-Andújar, Michael Harte, Sarah M.Glaser (Director of Secure Fisheries), and James Watson. The paper explores the dynamics of fisheries conflict in the United States island territory using methods developed by Secure Fisheries and adapted for the context of small-scale fisheries in Puerto Rico. The research finds the primary drivers of fisheries conflict to be maritime crime, fish population and ecosystem health declines, cross national actors, socioeconomic factors, and fishery location, while the drivers of cooperation are fisheries decline and ecosystem change. The study concludes that there is an opportunity for cooperative management strategies to bridge the gap between managers and fishers.