Small-scale fisher livelihood strategies and the role of credit in Paraty, Brazil

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Giesbrecht, Dale
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On the agenda in the Brazilian political sphere in the last decade have been poverty reduction and the growth of the coastal fisheries sector. The livelihood strategies of small-scale fishers along the coast of Paraty, Brazil have been constrained due to a lack of credit options. Using mixed method survey instruments; fishers, informal lenders and the Bank of Brazil were interviewed to determine the role of credit for fisher livelihoods. Results showed that the majority of fishers considered credit vital for their livelihood purchases, such as gear replacements and boats. However, informal and formal credit was not reaching the economically vulnerable fishers, which accounted for one third of the fishers interviewed. Lucrative emerging sectors such as tourism is playing a key role in livelihood diversification among fishers, however, a new credit option compatible for lower income households is required in order to raise the livelihood security of small-scale fishers.
livelihoods, credit