OceanCanada Working Paper #5: Socio-economic Contribution of Small-scale Versus Large-scale Fisheries in British Columbia

This research aims to determine the socio-economic contribution of small-scale fisheries in British Columbia. In order to do so, a definition of small-scale fisheries is needed, as there is currently no national working definition of this sector in Canada. First, we apply three approaches presented in the literature to split British Columbia’s fishing fleets into small- and large-scale sectors. Second, we overlap the results from the three approaches to categorize BC’s fisheries into small- and large-scale. Third, we evaluate the socio-economic contribution of small- and large-scale fisheries identified by the three approaches. We show that many of British Columbia’s fisheries can be classified as small-scale. From these analyses, we also demonstrate that the small-scale sector receives a higher average price per pound of landed catch than the large-scale sector. However, the large-scale sector consumes less fuel per tonne of landed catch than small-scale fisheries, which does not fit with the trend in the fuel consumption of global large-scale fisheries reported in the literature. Individuals own most of the vessels in the small-scale sector, many of which are located outside Greater Vancouver. In contrast, companies own nearly all of the large-scale vessels and the majority of these companies are located in Greater Vancouver.