Determining the degree of ‘small-scaleness’ using fisheries in British Columbia as an example.

Small-scale fisheries have been estimated to contribute up to 30% of the global landed value, which is caught by approximately 22 million fishers, some of which can be attributed to developed countries. Socio-economic analysis of small-scale fisheries often focuses on developing countries and fails to recognize the presence and contribution of small-scale fisheries in the developed world. Fisheries in British Columbia are diverse and often regarded as being industrialized and large-scale when analyzed in a global context. This study aims to demonstrate that features of small-scale fisheries are present within British Columbia’s fleets. A list of re-occurring features of small-scale fisheries is curated from the literature to capture physical, economic and social features of small-scale fisheries. These commonly identified features of small-scale fisheries are applied to Aboriginal Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries and all commercial fisheries in British Columbia are analyzed to determine the presence or absence of each small-scale fishery feature. The results of this research create a gradient of fisheries from smallest to largest scale. This approach determines that Aboriginal Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries are the most small-scale, while the sablefish fishery is the largest scale. The qualitative nature of this framework creates an opportunity for any group of fisheries in the world to be compared.