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Fijian villagers adapt to changes in local fisheries

Matthews, E. and Veitayaki, Joeli and Ram-Bidesi, Vina (1998) Fijian villagers adapt to changes in local fisheries. Ocean & Coastal Management, 38 (3). pp. 207-224. ISSN 0964-5691

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This paper analyzes some of the problems encountered by a village-run fishing cooperative in rural Fiji. Concern about the limited success of this fishing cooperative led the villagers of Kaba Point, Fiji to ask for biological and socioeconomic studies to determine the roots of the cooperative’s problems. The villagers also required an assessment of their proposal to revitalize the cooperative through a development scheme that would enable them to increase their catch. The surveys, undertaken by researchers from the University of the South Pacific and the Fiji Fisheries Division, indicate that the area has been overfished, primarily through the widespread local and commercial use of gillnets and the reliance on fishing as a sole source of village income, and further expansion of the current resource exploitation patterns would be very damaging. In addition, although the cooperative provides an important sense of communalism in the village, only a few people regularly provide fish to the coop. The semi-subsistence lifestyle of rural Fiji is one factor limiting villagers participation in full-time fishing activities. The traditional social and management structures inherent in this village (especially, marine tenure, chiefly responsibility for the community, and a demonstrated history of communal projects) can form a strong basis for a modern community-based marine management program. However, if not carefully watched, resources can also be locally mismanaged because of the increasing demands of the modern market-driven economy.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Marine Studies
Depositing User: Generic Account
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2013 21:31
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2015 23:31

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