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This thesis study aims to investigate the relation between project interventions and livelihoods of fisherfolks. It uses a micro-scale study of livelihoods of a coastal town to contribute to a better understanding of the nature and level of poverty obtaining in fishing households, while investigating how projects were designed to improve fish-based economies in an attempt to address poverty issues and resource degradation.


For this purpose a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods were used during data collection conducted from December 2005 – March 2006. Qualitative methods derived from Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) techniques include review of secondary sources, documents review, participant observation, semi-structured interviews, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, resource mapping and seasonal calendar exercises. This was complemented with survey of fishing households through the use of questionnaires.


The results of livelihood analysis show that livelihood activities in coastal communities are highly diverse, where local people depend on a variety of income-generating activities. There is combination of water-based and land-based activities of which fishing plays an important role in the economies of many households that depend completely and partially on fishing for income source and as a food source. Households that combine fishing and land-based activities are seen to have higher propensity to earn more than households that depend solely on fishing. Location was a factor for low-income families, especially for those who cannot access the sea due to distance and lack of boats and gears. Fishers in the major coastal areas have more of an advantage over those in the minor coastal areas.

Fishers across barangays, while claiming that the fishery sector is the most neglected sector in the municipality, have identified problems besetting their livelihoods and saw that these urgently need attention from the local government as a policy-making body.

The views of the beneficiaries and local people revealed there was no link between project interventions and fisherfolks’ livelihoods. Implemented projects were not able to address the livelihood needs of the target beneficiaries as there was a mismatch of priorities between expressed needs of the fishers and what the projects sought to address. Aside from poor designs and defects in the implementation process - being small-scale, fragmented and unsustainable - bureaucratic and structural issues underlie the entry and exit phases of these projects such that overwhelming failures result.

Lessons are drawn to improve designs of future projects. Planning of all phases of the programs and projects should be thorough, where there are well thought-out short and long-term plans, clear objectives and a realistic budget. Collaboration between the stakeholders is essential, especially among the key actors and players, the local people as well as the technical experts.

Community-based coastal resource management (CBCRM) approach or co-management to these projects is highly favored, but researches must be undertaken to identify effective strategies that will encourage the local people to actively take part in the various instituted projects and to specifically meet their training needs to ensure their capability to sustain the development programs.    



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