Small-scale fisheries of San Miguel Bay, Philippines: occupational and geographic mobility

Type Book
Title Small-scale fisheries of San Miguel Bay, Philippines: occupational and geographic mobility
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1982
Publisher Institute of Fisheries Development and Research, College of Fisheries, University of the Philippines in the Visayas
URL scale fisheries of san miguel bay​phillipines occupational and geographic mobility.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
The possibility of raising incomes and standards of living among small-scale fishermen in much of the developing
world is constrained by the limited nature of their fishery resources. In this report existing patterns and future
potentials for occupational and geographic mobility among small-scale fishermen of San Miguel Bay, Philippines were
examined to determine whether such mobility has led or is likely to lead to a reduction of surplus fishing labor or
improvements in the productivity and incomes of those fishermen who remain.
Existing alternatives to fishing within the local economy were examined arid found to offer only limited
potential for absorbing labor from the fisheries sector. A high degree of stated willingness to change both occupation
and residence was found to exist among fishermen regardless of age, educational attainment, ownership of house or
land, and type of fisherman (e.g., owner-operator, crewman).
Examination of census data at the community (barangay) level for the period 1939-80 using census-survival
techniques indicated substantial net out-migration from the San Miguel Bay area. Nonetheless, in absolute terms,
numbers of fishermen have increased during this period, contributing to heavy pressure on the Bay's marine resources.
Equally significant in terms of fishing effort were trawlers, which began operating within the Bay during the 1970s.
Owned by a small number of families, these trawlers employed 10% of the Bay's fishermen but accounted for 47%
of the total catch in 1980.
The issue of competition between small-scale fishermen and trawler operators in San Miguel Bay was discussed.
The appropriateness of displacing small-scale fishermen from their traditional fishing grounds was questioned,
especially where alternative employment opportunities are limited, as is the case in the San Miguel Bay area. In the
long term the encouragement of economic alternatives to fishing was found to be essential, but in the short term,
efforts to improve conditions among small-scale fishermen might more effectively be based on better enforcement
of current management regulations, which are designed to limit competition between small-scale fishermen and

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