Does catching more fish increase the subjective well-being of fishers? Insights from Bangladesh

Sara Miñarro*, Samiya Selim, Eric D. Galbraith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Small-scale fisheries have been associated with the subjective well-being of coastal communities through their links with culture, identity, and social cohesion. But although fish catches are usually considered the primary ecosystem service that benefits fishers, little is known about how subjective well-being is influenced by the fishing activity itself. Here, we applied the experience sampling method in two small-scale fisheries in Bangladesh to assess the effects of fishing on fishers’ occurrence of positive and negative affect, two measures of subjective well-being. We found that fishing activities were not directly associated with increased momentary affect and that the frequency of positive affect actually decreased as the fishing trip progressed. Furthermore, although very low catches were associated with less positive affect, the highest frequency of positive affect was achieved with relatively small catches. Our results imply that the benefits provided by small-scale fisheries to the momentary subjective well-being of fishers are not strongly related to the actual catching of fish.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalAmbio
Early online date15 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Affect
  • Ecosystem services
  • Positive psychology
  • Small-scale fisheries
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Subjective well-being

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