February 9, 2017 IRES Student Seminar with Anna Schuhbauer
Seminar Video available now for viewing

Anna Schuhbauer presented on February 9, 2017.

Her seminar video is now available for viewing: http://ires.ubc.ca/2016/08/02/february-9-2017-ires-student-seminar-speaker-anna-guillaume/

Fisheries subsidies and economic viability of small-scale fisheries


Small-scale fisheries (SSF) provide food and jobs for millions of people worldwide and therefore contribute to the wellbeing of many coastal communities. However, they are currently threatened by overfishing, climate change, industrialization and global market shifts. SSF are politically and economically marginalized as well as understudied. I argue that understanding and improving the economic viability of these fisheries will help prepare them withstand the barrage of threats they face. Unlike financial viability which focuses on profit maximization, economic viability is accomplished when non-negative net benefits to society are achieved. I have identified fisheries subsidies as the main distortion between financial and economic viability. Therefore, I carried out a first global bottom-up assessment that splits subsidy amounts into those received by small- and large-scale fisheries. Results reveal a major imbalance in subsidy distribution. This disproportionate division of subsidies impairs the economic viability of already vulnerable SSF. The results help bridge the current knowledge gap in SSF research essential to policy making and management that would not only improve economic viability but also the sustainability of the fish stocks upon which they rely.


My career as a fisheries scientist started with the German Fisheries Department in Hamburg in 2002. I have worked in northern Peru (2005), finished my MSc at the University of Bremen in Germany (2006), worked in the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department (until 2008) and then in the Charles Darwin Foundation on the Galapagos Islands (until 2012). After my work in Galapagos, which focussed mainly on the ecological aspects of fisheries, I decided to study global fisheries economics, focussing on small-scale fisheries and their economic viability. Since 2012 I have been at the Fisheries Centre, now Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at UBC as a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. U. Rashid Sumaila with the Fisheries Economic Research Unit.



Photo credit: Peter Corbett from flickr/Creative Commons