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Demographics of Change: Modelling the Transition of Fishers to Tourism in the Galapagos Islands


Walsh, Stephen J.; Engie, Kim; Page, Philip H.; & Frizzelle, Brian G. (2019). Demographics of Change: Modelling the Transition of Fishers to Tourism in the Galapagos Islands.. Kvan, Thomas & Karakiewicz, Justyna (Eds.) (pp. 61-83). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.


Our Galapagos fishers agent-based model (GF-ABM) considers strategies of household livelihood alternatives with the central proposition that fishers are being “pushed” and “pulled” into the tourism industry, but not all fishers are able to obtain alternate employment nor do all want to transition to part- or full-time employment in non-fishing activities. The processes embedded in our GF-ABM examine fishers as a social-ecological system, where livelihood transitions are modeled, and the multidimensional drivers of change are examined by integrating processes and relationships among agents, a dynamic environment, and the influence of personal and professional characteristics as well as exogenous dynamics into their employment patterns. The GF-ABM contains a demographic element that models basic demographic changes at the household level (household agents). The model also contains an employment management component in which fisher agents select jobs among three employment sectors – fisheries, tourism, and government. The tourism and government sectors each have three tiers of jobs that require increasing agent skills. Fishers make their employment decisions based on their preference to remain in fishing, the availability of jobs in the three employment sectors, and their personal and professional qualifications that facilitate their movement among the employment sectors. Households contain members that are non-fisher agents, and fishers belong to households. Income and expenses are calculated for both fishers and household agents. In this chapter, we describe the key elements of the GF-ABM and the fundamental processes that are examined within a population-environment context.


Reference Type

Book Section

Year Published


Series Title

Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands


Walsh, Stephen J.
Engie, Kim
Page, Philip H.
Frizzelle, Brian G.

Data Set/Study

Part II: Socio-Ecological Models