Do Conservation Attitudes of Fishermen Influence Their Livelihoods?
University Of Peradeniya
Fisheries are vulnerable to over-exploitation of the resources, which can result in the loss of benefits that can be derived from them. Therefore the livelihoods of fishermen who depend on the ecosystem services can be influenced by their conservation attitudes. This study tries to understand whether there is a relationship between the livelihoods of fishermen who are engaged in inland fisheries in Sri Lanka and their conservation attitudes.
A survey by means of personal interviews was carried out using a random sample of 46 professional fishermen who are harvesting in the ‘Minipe’ area of the river Mahaweli and a reservoir named ‘Loggal oya’. This sample size represents 61 % of the total number of professional fishermen in the area. Attitudinal scales were composed of approximately equal numbers of favorable and unfavorable statements concerning the natural resources of the river and the reservoir.
Data was analysed using IBM statistics 20. The statistical model and the livelihood variables are significant at 10% Confidence interval, which shows that there is a significant relation between the fisher’s catch and livelihood functions. Fishermen earning a higher portion of their total income from fishing are the legal fishermen who bear government permits for fishing. Full time fishermen were positive in all conservation attitudes than the part- time fishermen.
Results show that positive conservation attitudes can support in increasing the income of fishermen. This study can be used to convince fishermen that not only the external factors influence their livelihoods but also their attitudes towards the environment. Illegal fishing and over-exploitation can be reduced via conducting awareness programs to locals engaged in inland fisheries on ‘the importance of sustainable use of resources in improving the quality of life’