Published: Dec. 1, 2020

The transition of artisanal fishing communities to alternative livelihoods is a pressing issue around the world. Learning the factors that increase the probability of a successful transition is useful for policy design purposes. 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 the 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 the 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.

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