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Venezuelas Fisheries since the Economic Crisis of 1983: How sustainable are they

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Title: Venezuelas Fisheries since the Economic Crisis of 1983: How sustainable are they


1
Venezuelas Fisheries since the Economic Crisis
of 1983 How sustainable are they?
  • Amelia Smith, Environmental, Ecological and
    Evolutionary Biology Department, Columbia
    University
  • School of General Studies

2
Venezuelan Economic Crisis of 1983
  • Oil revenues in 1970s made Venezuela the richest
    country in South America
  • Global recession during the 80s
  • In 1983 the Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar, was
    released from a fixed rate of 4.5 Bs./1US
  • Development of other sectors of the economy

3
CPI and Inflation vs. Time
4
Bolivars/Dollars vs. Time
5
Rodriguez 2000 Other sectors
                                              
                                      
  • Fig 3. Trends in human use of renewable natural
    resources in Venezuela (A) wood harvest
    (19701996) (B) ornamental fish exports
    (19751996) (C) commercial spectacled caiman
    harvest (19601996) (D) commercial capybara
    harvest (19681996). Gaps in B indicate years
    where no exports were recorded, while gaps in C
    are years were no commercial harvests were
    authorized.

6
Data Sources
  • Autonomous Service of Fishing and Aquaculture
    Resources (SARPA 1996)
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Farming (MAC
    1970-1994)
  • Office of Information and Statistics (OCEI
    1970-1996)
  • Central Bank of Venezuela (bcv.org.ve, 1950-2003)
  • SOFIA State of the Worlds Fisheries and
    Aquaculture

7
Purpose of this Project
  • Determine which species are being harvested
    unsustainably
  • Assess whether there are relationships between
    unsustainably harvested species
  • Artisanal fisheries role in the sustainable
    development of Venezuelas fisheries

8
Methods
  • Catch-per-unit-effort (Robinson Redford 1994)
  • Maximum Sustainable Yield (King 1995)
  • Actual Yield
  • Maximum Economic Yield (King 1995)
  • Sustainability of Overexploited Species
  • STATISTICA

9
Fishing Effort vs. Time
  • The size of the Venezuelan fishing fleet has
    nearly tripled in the last three decades. The
    bulk occurred in the artisanal sector,
    particularly those that operate in continental
    waters. The marine artisanal fleet nearly
    doubled and the freshwater fleet tripled even
    though the industrial fleet did not significantly
    change.

10
CPUE vs. Effort for Marine Industrial and
Artisanal Species
  • Kings method (1995) demonstrates how catch and
    effort values from SARPA (1970-95) for an
    industrially fished species (left) and an
    artisanally fished species (right) can both have
    decreasing catch-per-effort values due to the
    relative abundance in numbers of marine artisanal
    boats.

11
Daniel Novoa
  • Head of Ministry of Fisheries
  • Passed the New Law of Fisheries
  • Used Welcommes method (1990) that assessed the
    harvest levels of freshwater fish in West Africa.
  • The New Law promotes and supports the artisanal
    fisheries as a solution to the theory that the
    industrial fisheries are the most significant
    source of declining catch values for certain
    species.

12
CPUE vs. Effort for Freshwater Species
  • Despite the fact that only boats fishing in
    freshwater are artisanal boats, they appear to
    have similar decreasing catch-per-unit-effort
    trends to marine industrial and artisanal species.

13
Maximum Sustainable Yield Actual Yield for
Various Shrimp
MSY
MSY
  • MSY shows where the maximum number of shrimp
    caught that is sustainable for the amount of
    ships fishing. In this particular case the
    maximum sustainable yield occurs at 2,832,109 kgs
    of shrimp with a maximum number of 768 industrial
    ships. The actual yield for 84,85,90,91,92,93,94
    95 all exceed MSY by much more than 10

14
Maximum Sustainable Yield Actual Yield for
Madamango Seacatfish
MSY
MSY
MSY
  • Of the total catch of seacatfishes, 90 are
    caught by marine artisanal boats. Despite the
    fact that the MSY occurs when there are 8,300
    boats fishing, the actual catch will show that
    the MSY, which is about 924,000 kgs. has been
    exceeded by about 200,000 kgs.

15
Maximum Sustainable Yield Actual Yield for a
Freshwater Species
MSY
MSY
  • MSY for hassar, a small species of catfish,
    displays extreme overexploitation of a freshwater
    artisanally fished species. The number of boats
    exceeds the maximum effort by more than 8,000 and
    the maximum catch is exceeded by a million kgs.
    In certain years!

16
CPUE vs. Freshwater Effort
17
Overall Sustainability Results
  • Total of 52 species assessed
  • Unsustainable is 10 above MSY value
  • 21 were found to be unsustainably harvested
  • 19 or 90 are fished by artisanal boats more than
    90 of the time

18
Of the 21 Unsustainably Harvested Species
  • 38 (n8) above 10 MSY since 1985
  • 43 (n9) above 10 since 1990
  • 19 (n4) more above 10 since 1995

19
Trophic Levels of Unsustainably Harvested Species
(Pauly et.al 1998)
  • 33 with t.l.gt4 38 with t.l.gt3 19 with
    t.l.gt2 9 with t.l.1

20
STATISTICA Results
1st
2nd
3rd
21
Maximum Economic Yield
  • suggests the relationship between sustainable
    revenue, fishing costs, and fishing efforts (King
    1995)
  • Cost line crosses revenue curve at the Economic
    Break-Even Point
  • MEY can be used as a tool to determine both the
    environmental and economic sustainability of the
    fisheries

22
Maximum Economic Yield 1994
  • This graph demonstrates that the MEY is achieved
    when there are 8,500 artisanal boats. In 1994
    there were over 7,500 boats. It also
    demonstrated that while the economy is still
    depressed Venezuelans fish because it is a
    relatively steady income.

23
What has happened to the economy since 1995?
24
Discussion
  • Artisanal fisheries are responsible for 90 of
    unsustainable harvests of 21 of the 52 total
    species
  • No data published since 1995
  • Novoas Law and management of the fisheries will
    not support these results
  • Potential to lead to overall shifts in the food
    web that could result in a collapse of some
    species that contribute to the majority of
    harvests and revenues.

25
Recommendations
  • Work with SARPA and Daniel Novoa to
  • Publish or obtain data from 1996 to 2002 and
    assess changes and trends
  • Work with artisanal fisheries to address their
    pressures and needs
  • Incorporate these results into the New Law of
    Fisheries

26
Acknowledgements
  • Jon Paul Rodriguez, Instituto Venezolano de
    Investigaciones Cientificas
  • Daniel Novoa, Ministry of Fisheries
  • CERC

27
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