This study assessed how mariculture production provides jobs to local community members. Income generated by local government units (LGUs) from mariculture was also estimated. Community members’ account of their fishing, gleaning, and coastal resources-based leisure activities before and after mariculture establishment was also analyzed. Results show that 24% of the surveyed workforce was engaged in mariculture activities. Very few investors in the mariculture business came from the local communities because the high cost of investment limits the capacity of local fisherfolk to engage in mariculture. A good number of community members believed that mariculture reduced their livelihood activities, such as gleaning and fishing, by either displacing them from their fishing grounds or by polluting the coastal waters. Pollution from mariculture operations was the major reason for the reduced water-based leisure activities. Mariculture operations provide a small percentage (0.01%–2.63%) of the LGUs internal revenue allotment. The LGUs’ ability to earn additional revenue from mariculture can be enhanced by learning from each other on what fees can be imposed. The locals must be prioritized in the provision of support to start small-scale mariculture operation, labor hiring, and in marketing of farmed fishes. Mariculture should also be linked to processing. For the above, local legislations must be passed.
How Mariculture Operations Affect Local Communities: Insights from Seven Mariculture Areas in the Philippines
by Alice Joan G. Ferrer, Herminia A. Francisco, Canesio D. Predo, Benedict Mark M. Carmelita, and Jinky C. Hopanda