The role of subsistence fishing in the hybrid economy of an indigenous community

Busilacchi, Sara, Russ, Garry R., Williams, Ashley J., Sutton, Stephen G., and Begg, Gavin A. (2013) The role of subsistence fishing in the hybrid economy of an indigenous community. Marine Policy, 37. pp. 183-191.

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Abstract

There is a paucity of information on subsistence reef fisheries of indigenous communities in Torres Strait, Australia, and its role within their hybrid economy. Bus route surveys and semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2005 and 2006 on three islands in Torres Strait to understand whether subsistence fishing remains important for the livelihoods of Torres Strait communities and whether patterns of fishing effort are driven by changes in their socio-economic structure. Strong interactions among private (commercial fishing and other wage-employment), public (social security payments from the State) and subsistence sectors were observed. When social security payments were spent, Islanders were more reliant on subsistence fishing. Also, higher levels of involvement in the private sector corresponded with a shift from shore to boat-based subsistence activities. Socio-economic factors, such as involvement in commercial fishing and social security payments, were identified as the main driving factors of subsistence fishing activities. Findings of the present study stress the importance of considering socio-economic factors explicitly in future fisheries assessments and management decisions concerning the sustainability of resources in Torres Strait.

Item ID: 22889
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9460
Keywords: subsistence fisheries; coral reef fisheries; Torres Strait; livelihoods; mixed economy
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2012 03:59
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 > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 100%
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