Wednesday, June 26 • 13:00 - 14:30
Perceptions and values of marine resources and their uses in relation to conservation management areas, practices and target species. (1)

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Chaired by: Breckwoldt, A., Fache, E. & Ferse, S.

The relevance of offshore fisheries for coastal marine resource use and management in Fiji
Annette Breckwoldt & Henryk Alff

This paper seeks to investigate possible interlinkages between oceanic and coastal fisheries with regard to the respective (over-) exploitation of fish resources. The latter has drastic cumulative socio-economic consequences for significant proportions of the island populations, relying heavily on these natural assets. In Fiji, the largest part of the population is involved to some extent in coastal and/or oceanic fisheries. With the establishment of Exclusive Economic Zones in the 1970s, at least officially, a set of rights and obligations regarding marine resource access, use and management in the designated zones were allocated to states like Fiji. Fiji’s government used these rights on territorial waters both for limiting the country’s own fishing efforts and, first and foremost, for extracting revenue from the granting of fisheries access rights to foreign fleets against fee payments. These large fleets are usually catching pelagic species, such as tuna, for global export. Hopes that this measure would generate a constant flow of income have largely not materialized, and illegal fishing by foreign fleets is commonplace. While increased exploitation affects the Fijian domestic tuna fishing fleet, the direct and indirect socio-cultural importance of and responses towards tuna stock (over-) exploitation for local Fijian communities are less obvious and remain under-investigated. This paper therefore investigates this inshore-offshore-linkage and the connected vulnerabilities, dependencies and livelihood adaptations of coastal fishing communities. An explorative, multi-sited ethnographic research approach (incl. interviews, participant observation, focus groups) will provide vital insights into the responses vis-à-vis increasingly tense resource availability and will be particularly helpful in discussing a) sustainable fisheries management solutions in the face of national food security concerns, and b) how mitigating vulnerabilities based on marine resource dependency/depletion may result in new vulnerabilities (e.g. affecting social cohesion).

Igniting New Development Trajectories: the Role of Coastal Erosion and Accretion in Southern Kerala
Charles-Alexis Couvreur
Using qualitative evidence from Thiruvananthapuram district (Kerala), this paper focuses on
the role of coastal erosion and accretion in the various transformations taking place in the
artisanal fisheries of southern Kerala.

I first highlight that my informants do not separate the coastal land from the inshore sea when delineating their perceived livelihood. As a result, I show that erosion and accretion naturally become the starting point of a chain of development processes with (very) different trajectories. To illustrate this, I consider Anchuthengu area as a first case study. There, the construction of a fishing harbour demanded by the fishing community has acted as the starting point to such erosion/accretion dynamics. Right north of the harbour, I narrate how the loss of the
shore led to the adoption of more mechanized craft and wider-reach gear, known as Ring Seine. Causing tensions with neighbouring and less impacted villages on the ground of their sustainability, they however contributed to quick economic and social improvements for their users and their families. South of the harbour, the accreted land has allowed families to expand their houses and will, in the future, be home to a locally much awaited touristic resort. It is also the site where a major industrial group is building a facility for its development activities further south. This empirical material thus also points to multiple dimensions of land. As the shore, understood as an occupational and cultural commons, vanishes north, it ‘re-appears’ south as a beach (touristic purpose) or as coastal land for infrastructure.

I conclude by reflecting on how the making and unmaking of the coast in southern Kerala informs academic discussions on the relationship(s) between nature and society.
Transitioning hunters to conservationists: challenges to developing wildlife tourism in a whale shark hunting village in the Philippines
Jackie Ziegler, Gonzalo Araujo, Jessica Labaja, Sally Snow, Philip Dearden
The success of incentive-based conservation projects meeting conservation goals is highly dependent on the local context. Understanding the local context and identifying potential barriers to conservation is therefore essential when planning an incentive-based conservation approach. This paper uses a case study approach to identify potential barriers to success of a planned whale shark tourism development in one of the largest ex-whale shark hunting villages in the Philippines. Prior to the 1998 whale shark hunting ban, national and international non-governmental organizations, government agencies and researchers attempted to transition the hunters in Guiwanon to whale shark tourism. However, this project failed due to lack of political will and poor planning. Today, the mayor has expressed renewed interest in developing whale shark tourism and the ex-hunters would be given first priority for employment in this tourism venture. We interviewed N=25 fishers in Guiwanon, including all ex-whale shark hunters, regarding their perceptions of the whale shark hunting ban, the whale sharks, and whale shark tourism (past and future). Key barriers to conservation at this site include human-wildlife conflict with the whale sharks and negative perceptions of tourism and government agencies, including significant distrust and anger. Despite these issues, most respondents were willing to work in tourism if given the opportunity. However, it is critical that ex-hunters and other community members be included in the planning, implementation and management of any tourism activities developed in Guiwanon. Future initiatives should also include community education and outreach to ensure conservation outcomes are met. This study provides important lessons learned for the conservation community with respect to community-based development, natural resource management, and conservation planning, specifically the long-term impacts of poorly planned incentive-based conservation initiatives and policy decisions.

avatar for Annette Breckwoldt

Annette Breckwoldt

post-doc, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research

Wednesday June 26, 2019 13:00 - 14:30
REC A2.06 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam