Innovating fish-based livelihoods in the community economies of Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands

  • Mckinnon, Katharine (CI)
  • Eriksson, Hampus (CoI)
  • Farmery, Ann (CoI)
  • Duarte, Agustinha (CoI)
  • Boso, Delvene (CoI)

Project: Research

Project Details


Almost everyone in the Pacific eats fish regularly, but most people are not fishers. Fish is caught, distributed and then acquired by consumers through purchase, gifting or bartering. This system of producing and distributing fish connects remote sources of supply with urban areas of demand and generates indispensable value, both in the form of fish-based livelihoods for the many people involved and for food and nutrition security in island populations. During periods of hardship and disruption, such as the ongoing COVID pandemic or natural disasters, fish and fish-based livelihoods play an important role in the resilience of community economies. Maximizing the livelihood benefits of fish is more important than ever.

At present not enough is known about how fish and fish products circulate in local economies, and thus what the opportunities are for women’s and men’s innovation. Development investments seeking to maximize the livelihood benefits of fish cannot integrate effectively into complex social and economic settings without this understanding. This project will fill this gap and in doing so will test how an approach to place-based innovation supported by peer-to-peer learning can contribute to sustainable fisheries development that will improve the livelihoods of those who are missing out on the benefits of fisheries investments.

The project aims to assess fish distribution practices and to identify livelihood benefits from investments in the coastal fisheries sector, in order to aid planning with national partners and prioritise innovations that show evidence of equitable benefits.

The project aims to:
1) assess fish distribution practices and identify livelihood benefits from investments in the coastal fisheries sector, focusing particularly on the small-scale producers and informal networks of distribution at the community level;
2) take a gendered approach to create better understandings of the different ways women and men interact with small scale fisheries livelihoods, enable women and men to benefit from improvements to small scale fisheries based livelihoods; and, create opportunities to enhance place-based opportunities to increase gender equity.
3) work in partnership with in-country agencies to aid planning for the fisheries sector that will prioritise innovations that show evidence of equitable benefits and thus maximise opportunities for poverty reduction and nutrition security.
Effective start/end date1/09/2131/03/25


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