We estimate the risk attitudes of a large sample of individuals from various fishing communities along the west coast of South Africa. Female fishers and rights holders are found to be more risk averse than their male counterparts, while rights holders are found to be less risk averse relative to subjects without fishing rights. Risk attitudes are found to be correlated with compliance with fisheries regulations. In particular, a greater degree of risk aversion translates into a reduction in compliance. Furthermore, in the case of gender, female fishers and rights holders are more likely to comply with fisheries regulations. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.