Adapting a fisheries economic model to African nations highly dependent on seafood for nutrition
Seafood is an important source of nutrition, particularly in the developing world. An individual’s seafood consumption depends on the interaction of seafood production and various forms of access (geographic, social, institutional, etc.). Each of these can be affected by environmental change and variability, fisheries management practices, fishing behavior and economic well-being. Modeling provides one approach to link these environmental, socio-cultural, behavioral, and nutritional aspects of fish demand. This project builds upon and improves an existing seafood economic model (AsiaFish) to produce seafood demand models for four African nations. Expanding the set of AsiaFish models geographically allows for cross-country and cross-regional comparisons. Further, this project improves accounting of small-scale (subsistence) fishing in the model in order to better incorporate the behavior and nutrition of some of the most vulnerable human populations. The resulting models will serve as useful management tools for connecting environmental change and variability to human nutrition, as well as for projecting changes in natural resource use driven by seafood demand. This project applies the model to four scenarios:
- Changes in capture fisheries' catch potential due to species distribution shifts
- Rebuilding over-harvested capture fisheries
- Investment in aquaculture development
- Growing population and increasing per capita income.
Comparing the resulting shifts in seafood consumption and natural resource demand among the range of scenarios and countries will test competing ideas about the interaction among the environment, fisheries, and human health in seafood-dependent, developing countries.