The diversity of social, ecological and economic characteristics of smallscale fisheries in developing countries means that context-specific assessments are required to understand and address shortcomings in their governance. This article contrasts three perspectives on governance reform focused alternately on wealth, rights and resilience, and argues that – far from being incompatible – these perspectives serve as useful counterweights to one another, and together can serve to guide policy responses.
An examination is made of fisheries management in the islands of Oceania, and problems caused by traditional beliefs and custom
Thailand is currently one of the ten largest fishing nations in the world. In 1996, fish production reached 3.7 million t with 90% of the production coming from the marine fisheries sector and 10% from inland fisheries. Thai fishing operates in four fishing grounds namely, the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea, the South China Sea and the Bay of Bengal. However with the establishment of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in 1977, Thailand lost over 300 000 km2 of traditional fishing grounds.
Bangladesh has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 164 000 km2 and a continental shelf area of 66 440 km2. Artisanal (small scale) fisheries extend from the coast to 40 m while industrial (commercial scale) fisheries operate beyond 40 m depth. The coastal fisheries of Bangladesh exploit a complex multi-species resource. There are 18 demersal and pelagic species, seven species of larger pelagic and 10 shrimp species that are commercially important among the fishes exploited.
Sri Lanka is an island country with a land area of 65 610 km2. With the declaration of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in 1976, the country gained sovereign rights over an ocean area of 536 000 km2 and EEZ extending from 24 to 200 nm. The continental shelf is about 26 000 km2 with an average width of around 22 km, and the coastline is 1 100 km long. The total annual fish production of Sri Lanka was 25 000 t in 1952 and 269 850 t in 1998. Major fish species caught in Sri Lankan waters are skipjack, blood fish, yellow fin tuna, mullet, shark, trevally, Spanish mackerel, prawns, lobsters.
In order to achieve sustainable fishing livelihoods in coastal communities, data on profitability of small-scale fisheries relative to fish species hauled and gear types used by fishermen is required as part of a broader fisheries management strategy. This study was undertaken with this in mind. Findings from this study suggest high rates of exploitation, in that stocks generally cannot provide for increased economic return in the face of increased investment.
Hilsa was once abundantly available in the 100 rivers of Bangladesh. Fishermen used to catch plenty of hilsa which were sold fresh to the local and urban markets. It was a cheap fish and was affordable even to the poor. However, its population has declined significantly over the last 30 years. Such a decline in catches prompted the government of Bangladesh to declare four sites in the country's coastal rivers as hilsa sanctuaries restricting fishing during the breeding season.
Fish production in Malaysia increased steadily at 4.5% per annum from 801 000 t in 1985 to 1 280 906 t in 1997. Most of the production was contributed by marine capture fisheries, amounting to 1 168 973 t (91% of total production) in 1997, while the rest (132 700 t or 8%) came from inland fisheries and aquaculture. About 72% of the marine landings, or 837 574 t, were from Peninsular Malaysia while the rest were from the states of Sabah, Sarawak, and the Federal Territory Labuan.
An account is given of fisheries in Haiti which employ primitive technology, and problems regarding overfishingconsidered. Since boats used are small and motorless, there is no fishing activity in deep water and Haiti has to import fish to supply the needs of the people. Possibilities in aquaculture and also regulation and expansion of themarine fishery are examined.
Early efforts to apply the concept of fisheries co-management in Southeast Asia focused primarily on building the effectiveness of local management institutions and advocating the merits of the approach so that it would be applied in new sites, while gradually learning and adapting to a range of obstacles in practice. Today, with co-management widely embraced by the research community and adopted as policy by an increasing number of governments, a second-generation perspective has emerged.