Fishing taboos: securing Pacific fisheries for the future?

Cohen, Philippa, and Foale, Simon (2011) Fishing taboos: securing Pacific fisheries for the future? Traditional Marine Resource Management and Knowledge Information Bulletin, 28. pp. 3-13.

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Taboos that temporarily close areas to fishing have long been practiced in the Pacific as a mark of respect for the death of a prominent community member, to protect sacred sites, affirm rights to fishing grounds, or allowing the replenishment of stocks in preparation for feasts. The use of customary taboos has declined, but contemporary initiatives to establish community-based management of marine areas promote their reinvention as small closed areas that may be subject to periodic harvesting. Taboo areas are now a prominent feature of many community-based initiatives and are touted as being a successful, traditionally based measure for marine management. There is evidence that taboo areas may confer fisheries benefits in certain conditions. However, there is little evidence that periodic closures will sustainably manage fisheries of the range of taxa exploited by small-scale and subsistence fisheries. This paper reviews current knowledge of periodic closures used for fisheries management and conservation, focussing on examples from the tropical Pacific. We highlight how contemporary fisheries science can guide the use of taboo areas as a tool to assist in meeting social, ecological and fisheries management objectives. We then outline critical questions and issues that need to be considered when researching and using taboo closures for fisheries management and conservation in the Pacific.

Item ID: 21383
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1025-7497
Keywords: taboos, Pacific, fisheries, management, reserves, periodic fishing, closures, marine
Funders: Australian Research Council
Projects and Grants: An Assessment of Social-Ecological Resilience in the Context of Marine Resource
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2012 06:27
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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