Selection of groups for group discussions and individuals for semi-structured interviews
In each village, four groups were formed according to age and sex criteria:
In each group, focus group discussions were carried out following a semi-structured interview schedule, described below.
Topics covered by focus group discussions and individual interviews in fishing villages
Changes in the geographic distribution and demographic situation of fisherfolk and their socioeconomic status over the past 20 years
A selected number of fisherfolk were asked to assess, according to their knowledge and awareness, how their personal lives and the lives of other fisherfolk in their area had changed over the past 20 years with regard to: the number of fishers in the area, the growth of their population, the extent of immigration and emigration in the communities, socio-economic status, etc. The assessment had to include an account of negative as well as positive changes.
Regarding socio-economic status, the following issues were assessed: ownership of main production factors; level and distribution of income; access to alternative income-earning activities; quality of housing; physical and social infrastructure and services; health care and nutrition; family size and structure; preferred and actual age at marriage; contraceptive use; political participation and decision-making at district/regional/village/household level; division of labour by gender. Other issues were also addressed.
Changes in the number, type and quality of gear, fish catches and fish marketing over the past 20 years
The objective was to assess, as remembered by the fishers, the following: What were the changes in the types of fishing craft and gear used in the past 20 years and how did the numbers of fishing craft and gear change during that period? Moreover, what were the reasons for the above changes according to fisherfolk? What were the changes in the species caught and what were the changes in the quantities caught? What were the changes in production costs and incomes of fishers and in fish prices paid to fishers?
Changes in perceptions regarding marriage, numbers of children and general social values and perspectives/outlook over the past 20 years
Focus group members discussed fertility-related issues such as: changes in actual and perceived ideal age at marriage for men and women; actual and ideal number of children to have; attitudes towards and practice of modern and traditional family planning; changes in personal ambitions and prospects.
Changes in main occupations and occupational and socio-economic status over the past 20 years
Group members assessed general economic and social development. Needs at the level of the community and households, including constraints as perceived by discussion group members, were discussed. The perceived changes in socio-economic status and reasons for change in main occupations of household members were assessed.