Clean Up Fisheries
Small-scale Fisheries

Small-scale Fisheries

The human communities that depend on marine resources are a critical part of marine conservation. Working with people who have first-hand knowledge of the ecosystems that sustain them, Project Seahorse works with coastal communities in the Philippines, helping them to manage their marine resource sustainably and ensure food security.

We have mentored, created and developed an alliance of small-scale fishers, KAMADA, on Danajon Bank in the Philippines, to establish marine reserves and enforce fishing laws (includes more than 800 families with chapters in 21 communities); funded 33 children of Filipino fishing families to complete high school, in exchange for participating as marine conservation apprentices.  

Other projects

  • Evaluating the social and economic impacts on a small-scale fishery involving a threatened species (seahorses) (Philippines)
  • Developing regional coastal resource management programs in the central Philippines
  • Managing fisheries and adjusting supply through community-based conservation

Program publications

O’Donnell, K.P., M. G. Pajaro and A.C.J. Vincent (2010) How does the accuracy of fisher knowledge affect seahorse conservation status? Animal Conservation 13(6): 526-523. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00377.x

O’Donnell, K.P., Pajaro, M.G., Vincent, A.C.J. (2010) Improving conservation and fishery assessments with local knowledge: future directions. Animal Conservation 13 (6): 539-540. DOI:10.1111/j.1469-

Vincent, A.C.J., J.J. Meeuwig, M.G. Pajaro and N.C. Perante (2007) Characterizing a small-scale, datapoor, artisanal fishery: seahorses in the central Philippines. Fisheries Research 86:207-215 

Martin-Smith, K.M., M.A. Samoilys, J.J. Meeuwig and A.C.J. Vincent (2004) Collaborative development of management options for an artisanal fishery for seahorses in the central Philippines. Ocean & Coastal Management 47(3-4):165-193 

Pajaro, M.G., J.J. Meeuwig, B.G. Giles, and A.C.J. Vincent (2004) Biology, fishery and trade of sea moths (Pisces: Pegasidae) in the central Philippines. Oryx 38(4):432-438 


7 April 2013 / Posted by rbestbier


Every night, local fishers paddle their tiny outrigger boats from Jandayan Island, on a remote part of Danajon Bank. With only the glow of a lantern to illuminate their way, they slip into the black water in search of seahorses and other small fishes. If they’re lucky, a night’s work will yield a single seahorse among their catch, which they’ll sell to...