Combining participatory and socioeconomic approaches to map fishing effort in small-scale fisheries

Mapping the spatial allocation of fishing effort while including key stakeholders in the decision making process is essential for effective fisheries management but is difficult to implement in complex small-scale fisheries that are diffuse, informal and multifaceted. Here we present a standardized but flexible approach that combines participatory mapping approaches (fishers’ spatial preference for fishing grounds, or fishing suitability) with socioeconomic approaches (spatial extrapolation of social surrogates, or fishing capacity) to generate a comprehensive map of predicted fishing effort. Using a real world case study, in Moorea, French Polynesia, we showed that high predicted fishing effort is not simply located in front of, or close to, main fishing villages with high dependence on marine resources; it also occurs where resource dependency is moderate and generally in near-shore areas and reef passages. The integrated approach we developed can contribute to addressing the recurrent lack of fishing effort spatial data through key stakeholders' (i.e., resource users) participation. It can be tailored to a wide range of social, ecological and data availability contexts, and should help improve place-based management of natural resources.

The following maps are available in high resolution and GIS format. Please contact Joachim CLAUDET to download them.

  • Algae 
  • Coral
  • Depth (0-3m, 3-8m, >8m)
  • Distance to reef passage (0-250m, 250-1000m, >1000m)
  • Distance to shore (0-400m, 400-1000m, >1000m)
  • Sediment
  • Slope of seafloor (High, Low, Medium)


Interactive map


1)  2024-09-02 15:22
Nuku Hiva
2)  2024-09-04
3)  2024-09-09 15:26
Série Galzin
4)  2024-09-30 15:23
5)  2024-11-05 15:23