Factors influencing the sustainable utilization of artisanal fisheries: A case of west point, Liberia.

Dunbar A., Mungai, D. and Muthee, J. K

Self-governance in which local actors can communicate and develop rules of reciprocity leads to sustainable utilization of resources such as fisheries. This study uses a Social-Ecological System approach to investigate the self-organized informal governance regime of the artisanal fisheries in West Point, Liberia. A slum community of 1249 full-time fishermen. The population was stratified according to fishing methods and a sample size of 303 fishermen was randomly selected using a proportion allocation method and data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Findings showed that current catch assessment and fishing effort represent only 4% of the actual production of the artisanal fishery in Liberia. The study also revealed that the self-governing regime doesn’t regulate gears and methods. Rules developed are mainly social-economic. Environmental rules that protect the resource base are lacking. Factors influencing the sustainable use of the artisanal fisheries also included the use of beach seine, monofilament nets, 41.6%, and monofilament lines, 11.2%. Other factors were conflicts and the sources of conflict identified as competition for the same fish species and fishing grounds. The study concludes that tailoring rules that protect the resource base into the self-governance regime will lead to the sustainability of the resource system.