Evaluating sustainable development policies in rural coastal economies

Lindsay A.R., Sanchirico J.N., Gilliland T.E., Ambo-Rappe R., Edward Taylor J., Krueck N.C., Mumby P.J.

Economics, Accounting, and Management, Luther College, Decorah, IA 52101, United States; Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, United States; Resources for the Future, Washington, DC 20036, United States; Economics, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadely, MA 01075, United States; Marine Sciences and Fisheries, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, 90245, Indonesia; Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, United States; Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia; Marine Spatial Ecology Lab, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia


Sustainable development (SD) policies targeting marine economic sectors, designed to alleviate poverty and conserve marine ecosystems, have proliferated in recent years. Many developing countries are providing poor fishing households with new fishing boats (fishing capital) that can be used further offshore as a means to improve incomes and relieve fishing pressure on nearshore fish stocks. These kinds of policies are a marine variant of traditional SD policies focused on agriculture. Here, we evaluate ex ante economic and environmental impacts of provisions of fishing and agricultural capital, with and without enforcement of fishing regulations that prohibit the use of larger vessels in nearshore habitats. Combining methods from development economics, natural resource economics, and marine ecology, we use a unique dataset and modeling framework to account for linkages between households, business sectors, markets, and local fish stocks. We show that the policies investing capital in local marine fisheries or agricultural sectors achieve income gains for targeted households, but knock-on effects lead to increased harvest of nearshore fish, making them unlikely to achieve conservation objectives in rural coastal economies. However, pairing an agriculture stimulus with increasing enforcement of existing fisheries’ regulations may lead to a win–win situation. While marine-based policies could be an important tool to achieve two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (alleviate poverty and protect vulnerable marine resources), their success is by no means assured and requires consideration of land and marine socioeconomic linkages inherent in rural economies. © 2020 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Bioeconomic model; Coupled human and natural system; General equilibrium


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences

Volume 117, Issue 52, Art No , Page 33170 – 33176, Page Count

Journal Link: https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85099114807&doi=10.1073%2fPNAS.2017835117&partnerID=40&md5=a4c5747b4675e6d131cfb293cddef019

doi: 10.1073/PNAS.2017835117

Issn: 00278424

Type: All Open Access, Bronze, Green


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