Market integration and its relation to income distribution and inequality among fishers and traders: The case of two small-scale Kenyan reef fisheries


This study, carried out in five fishing communities along the Kenyan coast, examined fisheries-derived income of fishers and traders in two different invertebrate fisheries (octopus and sea cucumber) and tested if differences in global market integration of these two products could explain differences in income inequalities among actors involved in the two fisheries. The structure of the value chains was mapped, differences in income between fishers and traders tested, and income inequalities among actors in each fishery examined. Although the octopus fishery included a greater diversity of actors and thereby provides income to a larger group of people, income inequality in this fishery was higher among fishers and traders than in the sea cucumber fishery. Thus, the often cited relationship between increasing market integration and income inequality may require a re-evaluation and a more nuanced treatment.

Keywords: Market integration; Income inequality; Value chain; Octopus; Sea cucumber; Artisanal fishery

Citation: Wamukota, A., T.D. Brewer, B. Crona 2014 Marine Policy 48:93-101.

Market integration and its relation to income distribution and inequality among fishers and traders: The case of two small-scale Kenyan reef fisheries

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