Socioeconomic Status of Artisanal Fishers in the West Part of Moroccan Mediterranean

Socioeconomic Status of Artisanal Fishers in the West Part of Moroccan Mediterranean

Hesham Awadh (Faculty of Science, Abdelmalek Essaâdi University, Tétouan, Morocco), Mustapha Aksissou (Faculty of Science, Abdelmalek Essaâdi University, Tétouan, Morocco), Wafae Benhardouze (School of Hassan II, Tétouan, Morocco), Fahd Darasi (Faculty of Science, Abdelmalek Essaâdi University, Tétouan, Morocco) and Jaafar Snaiki (National Office of Fishing, Tétouan, Morocco)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSESD.2018010104
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Artisanal fisheries in Moroccan Mediterranean generally lack management and planning, thus development. Recently, some of these fisheries had received an attention in field of infrastructure, however, there is lake of data on socioeconomic conditions of these fisheries. The main objective of this article is an update of the state of knowledge of socioeconomic of the artisanal fishers, by means of a case study in Belyounech, Fnideq, Martil and Kaa Asras areas, through a diagnosis based on analysis of socioeconomic indicators derived from data obtained through a structured questionnaire. The data analyses revealed there was a high illiteracy rate and a low level of education among fishers. This community of fishers had lack of awareness about the issues related to the sustainability of resources. Despite species of a high commercial value, Income Net Profit is somewhat not satisfactory, thus, the wealth produced by these fisheries have no real impact on the quality of the fisher's lives, hence, do not ensure sustainable development of this activity.
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Artisanal fisheries tend to be depend upon local environmental and socioeconomic factors (Stergiou et al., 2006; Guyader et al., 2013). In the last 20 years, socioeconomic studies on fisheries have been met with worldwide attention (Witherel et al., 2000; Baticados, 2004). These studies provide basic reference for the necessary management measures increasing thus their overall efficiency. Thus, the interest in socioeconomic data has increased (COM, 2002), but, most artisanal fisheries exist in a data-poor condition, making it difficult to capture the socioeconomic contributions of these fisheries (Gillett & Lightfoot, 2002; Zeller et al., 2006; Andrew et al., 2007).

Artisanal fisheries are defined as any small capital investment fishery, mostly operated by the owner, exploiting areas which can be reached in a few hours from the harbor or beaches where the fishers are based (Colloca et al., 2004). On the other side, the socioeconomic status term refers to measure of interrelated and diverse aspects relating to a combination of social and economic factors. These aspects could, in general, be categorized into several categories including, economic, demographic, public services, income, education, occupation and social (Rau & David 1980).

At the national, local, and individual levels in developing countries, artisanal fisheries often have potential to contribute to the development of coastal areas, food security, the preservation of marine ecosystems, and make substantial socioeconomic contributions to society (FAO, 2005; Béné et al., 2007; Garcia et al., 2008). It has been estimated that 90% of fishers worldwide are artisanal fishers (Berkes et al., 2001; FAO, 2004; Béné, 2005). In the Mediterranean, artisanal fleets represent more than 80% of the vessels of the European Mediterranean fleet and provide around 100,000 jobs (C.O.M., 2002; Maynou et al., 2013). The entire Mediterranean artisanal fleet is comprised of 42,000 small boats which use different gears and landing ports, reflecting an important socioeconomic role in the coastal communities (Morales-Nin et al., 2010; Maynou et al., 2013).

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