When is a fisher (not) a fisher? Factors that influence the decision to report fishing as an occupation in rural Cambodia uri icon

abstract

  • In the developing world, the majority of people who fish in inland areas do so primarily for subsistence needs. This suggests that survey or census questionnaires which collect information concerning the occupations of respondents will underreport the number of people who fish, and corollary to this, misrepresent dependence on fishing as a support service for food and supplemental income. This study uses the results of a household survey conducted in 37 villages across Cambodia to quantify the amount of fishing that is done by inland fishers who do not report fishing as a primary or secondary occupation. The study also identifies the household characteristics which influence the decision of an individual who fishes to report fishing as an occupation. Fifty-eight percent of households whose members engaged in fishing activities did not report fishing as an occupation. Individuals whose household owned farmland, earned off-farm income and fished primarily for subsistence needs were significantly less likely to report fishing as an occupation. When assessing the importance of fishing to inland rural communities for the purposes of rural planning and policy development, relying solely on census-style occupation or employment data will misrepresent the contributions of subsistence fishing to household welfare.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016