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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Transitioning to alternative livelihoods: The case of PACE-Vaquita

Avila-Forcada, Sara; Martinez-Cruz, Adan L.; Rodriguez-Ramirez, Ramses; Sanjurjo-Rivera, Enrique


The transition of artisanal fishing communities to alternative livelihoods is a pressing issue around the world -due to either overexploitation of the fishing stock or climate change related impacts or biodiversity loss associated with by-catch. Learning the factors that increase the probability of a successful transition is useful for policy design purposes. In this context, this paper studies the factors associated with the probability that a fisher in transition to an alternative livelihood remains in such livelihood. We analyze data gathered in the Northern Gulf of California, Mexico, where a government program (PACE-Vaquita) was launched in 2008 to incentivize the transition to alternative livelihoods to avoid by-catch of the Vaquita Marina -an endangered species. We model the probability of a successful transition (measured as remaining in the alternative livelihood by 2012) as depending on fisher's characteristics, and alternative livelihood features. We find that a successful transition was more likely to happen if the fisher i) was a woman; ii) lived in the community of San Felipe; and iii) the alternative livelihood was initially funded not only using the money from PACE-Vaquita but also through a loan from another (not necessarily institutional, formal) source. These results point to the relevance of providing financial services that target women in the context of artisanal fisheries.

Published in

Ocean and Coastal Management
2020, volume: 183, article number: 104984

Authors' information

Avila-Forcada, Sara
University of Colorado Boulder
Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas A.C. (CIDE)
Rodriguez-Ramirez, Ramses
Pronatura Noroeste AC
Sanjurjo-Rivera, Enrique
World Wildlife Fund
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG14 Life below water
SDG8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

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