Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2017


Drawing from local ecological knowledge (LEK) to understand resource use patterns has been explored by researchers as an alternative, cost-effective source of information to understand and characterize small-scale fisheries. In combination with geographic information systems (GIS), LEK can be schematized and visualized to illustrate the spatial distribution of fishing activity. The integrated application of GIS and LEK has been considered in this internship report to demonstrate its potential as a tool to support fisheries management. Socio-economic data were gathered in 2009 from a stratified random sample of 351 Puerto Rican fishermen and were systematized into different datasets within a GIS database. Fishing intensity maps in relation to bathymetry, habitat and protected areas were created per gear type and gear category. From these maps the coastal distribution of fishing gear, localized and adaptive gear use, and economic insularity of small-scale fishermen were verified. Potential areas of management concern were also identified particularly highlighting crowding of fishing effort, fishing activity occurring within no-take zones, and the need for additional research to recognize gear and sector conflicts. Ultimately, this internship report visualizes locally relevant information to demonstrate small-scale fisheries management as a social process.


Division: MES

MPS Track: MCO

Location: RSMAS

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