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Determinants of Wild Fish Consumption in Indigenous Communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Vasco, Cristian, Sirén, Anders
Society & natural resources 2019 v.32 no.1 pp. 21-33
aquaculture, biodiversity, fish consumption, households, indigenous peoples, linear models, livelihood, off-farm employment, population density, public policy, wild fish, Amazonia, Ecuador
This paper analyzes the socioeconomic determinants of consumption of wild fish among the Kichwa and Shuar indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The results of a random-effect linear model show that the consumption of wild fish is higher for households with younger heads that do not have off-farm work and reside far from urban centers, in communities with low population densities. Although various actors promoting aquaculture in the region often claim that it helps to relieve the pressure on wild fish stocks, no statistically significant effect of the consumption of cultivated fish on the consumption of wild fish could be shown. Thus, our analysis suggests that public policies and development interventions which increase access to off-farm employment can both improve local livelihoods and conserve biodiversity, but that the same affirmation cannot be made for the promotion of aquaculture.