5. Our focus: The two dilemmas

  • Often, poverty alleviation in fisheries and coastal communities requires strategies that are inherently in conflict. As you seek to reduce poverty, you risk aggravating it. As you aim to develop a fishery, you may undermine its basis.
  • Poor fishers may have no other alternative than to continue their environmental destruction. If you do not fish, you starve. If you fish you ruin the resource and then starve.
  • Poverty may be both a cause and an effect of unsustainable fisheries (THE VICIOUS CIRCLE).
  • Poverty alleviation must occur within safe ecological limits
  • Development and management must go hand in hand and reinforce each other (THE GOOD CIRCLE).
  • Poverty alleviation is a “wicked problem” (Rittel and Webber 1973).
  • Poverty alleviation is basically a governance issue; it has no easy, technical solution.
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