Small-scale fishers are often believed to receive marginal earnings for seafood relative to other value- chain actors but proportionate incomes across different traded species are rarely compared. This study compares value chains for 15 species of sea cucumbers between Fiji and Kiribati using data collected on sale prices of dried products (bêche-de-mer) from fishers to middlemen and exporters, export prices and market retail prices in China. Pacific islanders comprised almost all fishers, but represented only some middlemen and few exporters. Proportional increases in prices along the value chains differed greatly among sea cucumber species and between countries. Fishers’ earnings varied greatly among species. The relative share of the end market value they received was negatively related to product end-market value; on average 50% of the end retail value for the lowest-value species but <10% for the highest-value species. Most fishers lacked information about market prices. The gross markup of exporters differed greatly between the two countries. Downstream actors reaped increasingly higher proportions of the product value for higher value species. Variation in sale prices between countries and fishers for the same product indicates a potential for higher earnings to fishers. Improved transparency of prices to fishers could empower them to negotiate higher prices, especially for more valuable species. Upgrading of value-chain governance, e.g. through fisher cooperatives or auction systems, could improve efficiency and fisher incomes, potentially reducing the need for high fishing rates. Such interventions will benefit from understanding the value-chain patterns among different species harvested in multispecies fisheries.
Research news | 2018-03-20
A final reply to Montoya et. al's criticism of the planetary boundaries framework
General news | 2018-03-19
In 2017, we surpassed one thousand published articles in peer-reviewed journals and we hosted the fourth international conference on resilience and sustainability science. Another year to be proud of, we think
Research news | 2018-03-14
Amid an increase in megacities, changes in ecosystems far away can affect local access to freshwater
Research news | 2018-03-12
Ten essentials for guiding action-oriented research on energy transformation and climate change
Research news | 2018-03-09
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we have been highlighting some of our women researchers at the centre. In our final profile this week, we showcase associate professor Beatrice Crona, whose work spans from small-scale fisheries governance to global drivers of change.
Research news | 2018-03-08
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are highlighting some of our women researchers. We would now like to showcase Jennifer Hinton, a PhD candidate studying the social dynamics of a sustainable biophysical resource economy