Managing inequality or managing stocks?: An ethnographic perspective on the governance of small-scale fisheries

Fabinyi, Michael, Foale, Simon, and MacIntyre, Martha (2015) Managing inequality or managing stocks?: An ethnographic perspective on the governance of small-scale fisheries. Fish and Fisheries, 16 (3). pp. 471-485.

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A growing volume of recent research on small-scale fisheries governance has a focus on local perspectives and priorities of small-scale fisherfolk. This paper develops from this local perspective a novel focus on what is a fundamental priority of many small-scale fishers: concerns about inequality. The paper begins with a critical review of the literature on small-scale fisheries governance and suggests how a focus on inequality can make a useful contribution. The paper uses case-studies of small-scale fisheries in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Philippines to highlight local priorities about inequality and the implications for small-scale fisheries governance. PNG and the Philippines have very different social, political and environmental contexts, yet in both cases, local inequalities were a key pre-occupation of fisherfolk and posed major challenges for fisheries governance. While in both of the case-studies, fishers were aware of and keen to act on resource sustainability, this concern was overridden by concerns over: who obtained benefits from the fishery; who was responsible for resource degradation; and who should bear the costs of regulation. We conclude by discussing how our emphasis on the importance of inequality at a local level can potentially be integrated within many influential approaches to small-scale fisheries governance.

Item ID: 39429
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-2979
Keywords: ethnography; governance; inequality; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; small-scale fishers
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Society in Science (SIS)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP0987537, SIS Branco Weiss Fellowship
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2015 02:22
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160101 Anthropology of Development @ 60%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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