The Crash and Conservation of the Cabo San Francisco Lobster Fishery

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Garry Brewer
Essay Abstract: 
In response to a sharp decline in the lobster population of Cabo San Francisco, the NGO Nazca developed a one-year conservation agreement with local fishermen in order to allow the stock to recover. The agreement was centered on directly paying the fishermen to work on conservation projects instead of fishing. This paper explores how this conservation agreement originated, how it was implemented and whether it had any lasting effects. I offer recommendations for how Nazca and the fishermen should proceed and I draw conclusions regarding the applicability and limitations of direct payment conservation schemes for artisanal fisheries. I conclude that direct payments conservation projects need to justify their high costs through allowing target populations to recover, by building up human capital, and by reducing the pressure placed on the fishery.