In late 2003 - early 2004, the Pacific Community (SPC) conducted a survey of a number of pacific regional fisheries authorities to determine their views on the information that should be collected in socioeconomic surveys to support reef fisheries management. Between 2003 and 2006, PROCFish/C project conducted fieldwork in French Polynesia in 5 different sites.
The coastal component of the Pacific Regional Oceanic and Coastal Fisheries Development Programme (PROCFish/C) conducted fieldwork in five locations around French Polynesia on September – October 2003, January – March 2004, and April – June 2006. French Polynesia is one of 17 Pacific Island countries and territories being surveyed over a 5–6 year period by PROCFish or its associated programme CoFish (Pacific Regional Coastal Fisheries Development Programme).
The aim of the survey work was to provide baseline information on the status of reef fisheries, and to help fill the massive information gap that hinders the effective management of reef fisheries.
Other programme outputs include:
• implementation of the first, comprehensive, multi-country comparative assessment of reef fisheries (finfish, invertebrates and socioeconomics) ever undertaken in the Pacific Islands region using identical methodologies at each site;
• dissemination of country reports that comprise a set of ‘reef fisheries profiles’ for the sites in each country in order to provide information for coastal fisheries development and management planning;
• development of a set of indicators (or reference points to fishery status) to provide guidance when developing local and national reef fishery management plans and monitoring programmes; and
• development of data and information management systems, including regional and national databases.
Survey work in French Polynesia covered three disciplines (finfish, invertebrate and socioeconomic) in each site, with two sites surveyed on the first two trips, and one site on the third trip, by a team of five programme scientists and several local attachments from the Fisheries Department and (Center for Island Research and Environmental Observation) CRIOBE research institute. The fieldwork included capacity building for the local counterparts through instruction on survey methodologies in all three disciplines, including the collection of data and inputting the data into the programme’s database.
In French Polynesia, the five sites selected for the survey were Fakarava, Maatea, Mataiea, Raivavae and Tikehau.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The description of scope for the survey includes:
1. Household size and composition
2. Ranked sources of income and average household expenditure level
3. Average household consumption patterns and sources
4. Average number of fishers and boats per household.
1. Education level of adult members of the household
2. When, how often and during which months of the year fishers go out to particulat habitats
3. Average catch size
4. Catch composition
5. Fishing techniques
6. Proportion of the catch targeted for subsistence, gift, sale, and preservation
7. How finfish and invertebrates are preserved
8. Community's fishing grounds
9. Management rules
10. Major problems relating to the use/management of the community's marine resources
11. Quantities by species or groups marketed
12. Quality and processing level of species marketed
13. Price in local currency/USD
14. Client groups
15. Quantitative and qualitative changes in marketing perceived over a period of time.
Village Coverage. (5 sites: Fakarava, Maatea, Mataiea, Raivavae and Tikehau).
The survey covered de jure household members. All household members responding to the "Finfishers" and "Invertebrate fishers" questionnaires must be aged 15 years and over and must be living in the household surveyed.
Producers and sponsors
Coastal Fisheries Programme
Pacific Community (SPC)
Reef Fisheries Observatory
Service de la Pêche
French Polynesia Government
Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
European Development Fund
Service de la Pêche
French Polynesia Government
Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement (CRIOBE)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
At each site the extent of the community to be covered by the socioeconomic survey is determined by the size, nature and use of the fishing grounds. This selection process is highly dependent on local marine tenure rights. For example, in the case of community-owned fishing rights, a fishing community includes all villages that have access to a particular fishing ground. If the fisheries of all the villages concerned are comparable, one or two villages may be selected as representative samples, and consequently surveyed. Results will then be extrapolated to include all villages accessing the same fishing grounds under the same marine tenure system.
Most of the households included in the survey are chosen by simple random selection, as are the finfish and invertebrate fishers associated with any of these households. In addition, important participants in one or several particular fisheries may be selected for complementary surveying. Random sampling is used to provide an average and representative picture of the fishery situation in each community, including those who do not fish, those engaged in finfish and/or invertebrate fishing for subsistence, and those engaged in fishing activities on a small-scale artisanal basis. This assumption applies provided that selected communities are mostly traditional, relatively small (~100-300 households) and (from a socioeconomic point of view) largely homogenous. Similarly, gender and participation patterns (types of fishers by gender and fishery) revealed through the surveys are assumed to be representative of the entire community. Accordingly, harvest figures reported by male and female fishers participating in a community's various fisheries may be extrapolated to assess the impacts resulting from the entire community, sample size permitting (at least 25-30% of all households).
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Face-to-face paper [f2f]
The team leader should follow up on data gaps identified after filling in the checklist and assign tasks for collecting the missing data accordingly. Most of this missing data should be collected during survey implementation in the respective community(ies).
Data Collection Notes
If translation is required, each interview is conducted jointly by the leader of the project's socioeconomic team and the local counterpart. In cases where no translation is needed, the project's socioeconomist may work individually. Selected interviews may be conducted by trainees receiving advanced field training, but trainees are monitored by project staff in case clarification or support is needed.
Most of the data are collected in the context of face-to-face interviews. Names of people interviewed are recorded on each questionnaire to facilitate cross-identification of fishers and households during data collection and to ensure that each fisher interview is complemented by a household interview. Linking data from household and fishery surveys is essential to permit joint data analysis. However, all names are suppressed once the data entry has been finalised, and thus the information provided by respondents remains anonymous.
Team members should be familiar with the objectives of the survey, their role in it, and the survey’s contribution to resource management. They will need to understand the relationship, importance and content of the entire set of questionnaires to ensure that data collected are relevant, reliable and accurate. The tasks to be undertaken by each team member should be well defined and agreed on in advance. It is also very important that the survey team members are interested in meeting members of local communities, that they are patient in posing the same questions over and over again, and that they can listen to and engage with local people in an easy and understandable communication process that is free of manipulation.
The project utilises a ‘snapshot approach’ that provides 5–7 working days per site (with four sites per country). This timeframe generally allows about 25 households (and a corresponding number of associated finfish and invertebrate fishers) to be covered by the survey. The total number of finfish and invertebrate fishers interviewed also depends on the complexity of the fisheries practised by a particular community, the degree to which both sexes are engaged in finfish and invertebrate fisheries, and the size of the total target population. Data from finfish and invertebrate fisher interviews are grouped by habitat and fishery, respectively. Thus, the project’s time and budget and the complexity of a particular site’s fisheries are what determine the level of data representation: the larger the population and the number of fishers, and the more diversified the finfish and invertebrate fisheries, the lower the level of representation that can be achieved.
The interviews were done jointly by Pacific Commmunity (SPC)'s Coastal Fisheries Programme and the territorial fisheries authority of French Polynesia.
A survey cannot begin or be implemented without the consent and cooperation of the target community(ies). It is advisable to identify in advance how to approach communities, keep them informed, and ensure their ownership of the data. One of the major responsibilities of the team leader is to approach the target communities in the early stages to inform them about the scope and objectives of the survey planned and the reason for selecting the respective community(ies). The team leader must request their agreement to participate and, more importantly, gain their full support for, and engagement in the exercise. The survey team members must also be aware of local customs and cultural protocols and proceed accordingly.
The community needs to be fully informed of:
-the reason for and objectives of the survey;
-the contribution required from the community;
-how the data will be collected;
-how the data will be used;
-who will be responsible for data management; and
-in what form and when results and possible recommendations will be returned to the government authorities and community(ies) concerned.
The proposed methods, approaches and questionnaires are the result of tests carried out and experience gained within the framework of two long-term projects implemented by SPC’s Reef Fishery Observatory.
Pilot testing for methods, approach and questionnaires are therefore not obligatory. Pilot testing may, however, be performed so as to familiarise and/or train survey team members, and decide on the most appropriate language, and way of approaching the target community and conducting individual interviews.
It should be borne in mind that the questions provided in the questionnaires are a reminder of what data is needed. The sequence of questions is put into a logical order according to the information requirements prioritised. The sequence and/or way questions are finally formulated and posed may vary according to the situation, the interviewer and the respondent.
Coastal Fisheries Programme
Pacific Community (SPC)
National fisheries authority
Government of French Polynesia
The questionnaires are designed to allow a minimum dataset to be developed for each site, one that allows:
• the community’s dependency on marine resources to be characterised;
• assessment of the community’s engagement in and the possible impact of finfish and invertebrate harvesting; and
• comparison of socioeconomic information with data collected through PROCFish/C resource surveys.
The questionnaires are divided into 4 main areas:
-Household Survey => incorporating demographics, selected socioeconomic parameters and consumption patterns;
-Survey of fishers (finfish and invertebrate) => incorporating data by habitat and/or specific fishery;
-A general questionnaire targeting key informants => the purpose of which is to assess the overall characteristics of the site's fisheries;
-Finfish and invertebrate marketing questionnaires => that target agents, middlemen or buyers/sellers (shops and markets).
In addition to the questionnaires, two sets of size charts are provided to help assess the weight of fish and invertebrates caught and consumed. This is necessary as most village fishers do not use kilograms but local units of measure (heaps, plastic bags, strings, baskets, etc.), which are difficult to translate into kilogram weights.
Data collection is performed using a standard set of questionnaires developed by PROCFish/C’s socioeconomic component, which include a household survey (key socioeconomic parameters and consumption patterns), finfish fisheries survey, invertebrate fisheries survey, marketing of finfish survey, marketing of invertebrates survey, and general information questionnaire (for key informants). In addition, further observations and relevant details are noted and recorded in a non-standardised format.
Questionnaires are fully structured and closed, although open questions may be added on a case-to-case situation.
A software programme (SEMCoS) has been developed in tandem with the manual to assist in automatically performing all necessary analysis and producing outputs for the data collected.
Data from all questionnaire forms are entered in the Reef Fisheries Integrated Database (RFID) system. All data entered are first verified and 'cleaned' prior to analysis. In the process of data entry, a comprehensive list of vernacular and corresponding scientific names for finfish and invertebrate species is developed.
Database queries have been defined and established that allow automatic retrieval of the descriptive statistics used when summarising results at the site and national levels.
The Pacific Data Hub - Microdata Library, is responsible for improving the accessibility and availability of datasets and promoting new ways of using and reusing data for current and future use. These datasets have been modified in such a way that the possibility of identifying individuals or households is minimised.
Public-use file, accessible to all.
"Pacific Community's Coastal Fisheries Programme, French Polynesia PROCFish/C - Socio-Economic survey 2003-2006 (SE-PROCFISH 2003), Version 01 of the public-use dataset (2007), provided by the Microdata Library. https://microdata.pacificdata.org/index.php/home"
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.