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Friday, June 28 • 10:15 - 11:45
Local fishery institutions: old and new forms

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Chaired by: Linke, S.

Customary institutions and Access to Marine Resources: Examining Entanglement and Legitimacy
Jacqueline Lau, Joshua E Cinner, Michael Fabinyi, Georgina G Gurney & Christina C Hicks

Across much of the Pacific, marine resource use and management continues to be shaped by customary institutions like marine tenure and taboo areas. However, alongside the socio-economic shifts accompanying capitalism and modernity, forms and practices of customary systems are changing. In this context, we aim to contribute to the theoretical treatment of access to marine resources by drawing on ideas from political ecology (legitimacy) and anthropology (entanglement). We hypothesize that where customary and modern forms of resource management co-exist, changes in customary institutions will also change people's ability to and means of benefiting from resources. We ask a) what are the constellations of social, economic, and institutional mechanisms that enable or hinder access to a range of coral reef resources; and b) how are these constellations shifting as different elements of customary institutions gain or lose legitimacy in the process of entanglement with modernity? Through a qualitative mixed-methods case study in a coastal atoll community in Papua New Guinea, we identify key access mechanisms across the several marine value chains. Our study finds the legitimacy of customary systems - and thus their power in shaping access - has eroded unevenly for some resources, and some people within the community (e.g. younger men), and less for others (e.g. women), and that access to different resources are shaped by specific mechanisms, which vary along the value chain. Our findings suggest that attention to entanglement and legitimacy can help capture the dynamic and relational aspects of power that shape how people navigate access to resources in a changing world. We contend that viewing power as relational illuminates how customary institutions lose or gain legitimacy as they become entangled with modernity.


A Burial at Sea?: Cooperatives as the Potential Gravediggers of Fisher Capitalism
Jonah Olsen

In this paper, it is argued that fisher cooperatives are viable and that they can have benefits for fisher wellbeing, but only if they address two central issues: the relations of production (i.e. the fundamentally exploitative nature of capitalist production) and governance. It will engage with the debates around the viability of cooperatives and their potential to transform the mode of production. Cases are then presented of fisher cooperation from around the world to demonstrate the potential for such enterprises to succeed on a social level. This will be followed by an analysis of the specific class dynamics of fisheries, highlighting the shortcomings of many of these cooperative examples in not solving the class conflict of capitalist labour relations in fisheries. In line with “workers’ self-directed enterprises” (WSDEs), the importance of such cooperatives being owned and directed by the workers themselves is emphasized. Furthermore, through Mexican and Japanese case studies, it is demonstrated that even in the most developed and non-capitalist fisher cooperatives, problems arise when the governance of these cooperatives is introduced and administered by a capitalist state. This paper analyzes this problem through the lens of Interactive Governance and proposes an alternative structural model rooted in the expansion and integration of WSDEs across sectors. This restructuring would realign both the class relations, ensuring that labour is fully compensated for all it creates, and governance, meaning that decisions would be made democratically by those involved in production. Looking to the Mondragón cooperative network, it is demonstrated that not only can large, cross-sectoral WSDEs like Mondragón succeed but that they also hold the potential to transform capitalism and greatly benefit fisheries cooperatives around the world


Fisheries cooperatives as a platform to address multi-stakeholder issues in South Sri Lanka: incorporating SSF Voluntary Guidelines into Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) process
K. H. K. L. Piyasiri, O. Amarasinghe & N. De Silva

Coastal resources are used by multi-stakeholders with diverse interests, whose actions often give rise to conflicts, showing the need for integrated coastal management where resource use decisions are made with the participation of all. While all relevant state actors operate along the coastal belt, there hardly exists any coordination among them, revealing the absence of integrated efforts in coastal resource management. The present study was undertaken in this context, aiming at finding out the potential lead role, a community based organisation could play in initiating an integrated coastal management platform. Since the recently developed SSF Guidelines have important implications for such a platform, the study examined the extent to which fisheries cooperatives qualify for such a task. Rekawa of Southern Sri Lanka was selected for the study. The methodology involved Focus Group Discussions with representatives of all coastal resource users. Results revealed that, conflicts among stakeholders were pervasive but remained latent. They have been resolved mainly through private negotiations and state intervention has been minimal. Among the three community organisations in operation, marine fisheries cooperative ranked first in respect of adherence to concerns highlighted in SSF guidelines but ranked low in managing resources. Holistic and coordinated approach to management with the inclusion of all relevance parties and improving the socio-economic conditions, were accredited as most pertinent SSF guidelines towards conflict resolution. Moreover, the study showed that Fisheries cooperatives could play a leader role in the process of integrated coastal zone management, providing a formidable platform to address multi-stakeholder issues.


Friday June 28, 2019 10:15 - 11:45
REC A2.09 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam