Human Ecology

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 341–352 | Cite as

Poverty and Beyond: Small-Scale Fishing in Overexploited Marine Environments

Article

Abstract

Small-scale fishers in tropical regions of Asia are known to respond to uncertain resource fluctuations in diverse ways. Less is known of their adaptations to and motivations for fishing in severely overexploited fishing grounds. A common explanation emphasises poverty and a lack of access to alternative skills and sources of livelihood. Based on a study of small-scale fishing among coastal dwellers on Negros Island in the Philippine, I show that fishers’ reasons for continuing to fish in overfished waters are more complicated than this explanation allows. To explain why better-off households remain committed to fishing when fish catch levels are generally very low, and why very poor and marginalized households drop out of fishing under such conditions, I combine a diverse livelihoods approach with literatures that focus on issues of power, politics and social exclusion. I differentiate among different kinds of small-scale fishing and track changes in these over time. I pay close attention to fishermen’s own conception of their work and the status distinctions made among them, and examine the socio-institutional arrangements of coastal livelihoods more broadly.

Keywords

Small-scale fishing Poverty Environmental decline Livelihood diversification Social exclusion Philippines 

References

  1. Agrawal, A. (2005). Environmentality: Technologies of Government and the Making of Subjects, New Ecologies for the Twenty-First Century. Duke University Press, Durham.Google Scholar
  2. Alcala, A. C. (2001). Marine Reserves in the Philippines: Historical Development, Effects and Influence on Marine Conservation Policy. Bookmark Inc., Makati City.Google Scholar
  3. Alexander, P. (1995). Sri Lankan Fishermen: Rural Capitalism and Peasant Society. Sterling Publishers Private Limited, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  4. Allison, E. H., and Ellis, F. (2001). The Livelihoods Approach and Management of Small-Scale Fisheries. Marine Policy 25: 377–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Allison, E., and Horemans, B. (2006). Putting the Principles of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach into Fisheries Development Policy and Practice. Marine Policy 30: 757–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Allison, E. H., Adger, W. N., Badjeck, M., Brown, K., Conway, D., Dulvy, N. K., Halls, A. S., Perry, A., and Reynolds, J. D. (2004). Effects of Climate Change on the Sustainability of Capture and Enhancement Fisheries Important to the Poor: Analysis of the Vulnerability and Adaptability of Fisherfolk Living in Poverty (Final Technical Report). Fisheries Management.Google Scholar
  7. Bailey, C. (1994). Employment, labour productivity and income in small-scale fisheries of South and Southeast Asia. Proceedings of the IPFC Symposium on Socio-Economic Issues in Coastal Fisheries Management, Bangkok, Thailand, November 1993. RAPA Publication: 1994/8. Bangkok: Indo-Pacific Fisheries Commission, pp. 24–45.Google Scholar
  8. Bailey, C., and Pomeroy, C. (1996). Resource Dependency and Development Options in Coastal Southeast Asia. Society and Natural Resources 9: 191–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Béné, C. (2003). When Fishery Rhymes with Poverty: a First Step Beyond the Old Paradigm on Poverty in Small-Scale Fisheries. World Development 31(6): 949–975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Béné, C. (2009). Are Fishers Poor and Vulnerable? Assessing Economic Vulnerability in Small-Scale Fishing Communities. Journal of Development Studies 45(6): 911–933.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources) (2005). Philippine Fisheries Profile. Quezon City, Philippines.Google Scholar
  12. Blanc-Szanton, M. C. (1972). A Right to Survive: Subsistence Marketing in a Lowland Philippine Town. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park.Google Scholar
  13. Breman, J. (2013). Outcast Labour in Asia: Circulation and Informalization of the Workforce at the Bottom of the Economy. University of Oxford Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  14. Cannell, F. (1999). Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  15. Chambers, R., and Conway, G. R. (1992). Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: Practical Concepts for the 21st Century. IDS Discussion Paper 296, Brighton: IDS.Google Scholar
  16. de Haan, L., and Zoomers, A. (2005). Exploring the Frontier of Livelihood Research. Development and Change 36(1): 27–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eder, J. F. (2003). Of Fishers and Farmers: Ethnicity and Resource Use in Coastal Palawan. Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society 31: 207–225.Google Scholar
  18. Eder, J. F. (2008). Migrants to the Coasts: Livelihood, Resource Management, and Global Change in the Philippines. Wadsworth Publishing Company Inc, Belmont.Google Scholar
  19. Eder, J. F. (2011). Environmental Reconfigurations and Livelihood Transformations in Rural Southeast Asia. Resource Management in Rural Livelihoods 1(3): 145–164.Google Scholar
  20. Eide, A., Bavinck, M., and Raakjær, J. (2011). Avoiding Poverty: Distributing Wealth in Fisheries. In Jentoft, S., and Eide, A. (eds.), Poverty Mosaics: Realities and Prospects in Small-Scale Fisheries. Springer, pp. 13–25.Google Scholar
  21. Ellis, F. (2000). Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  22. Fabinyi, M. (2012). Fishing for Fairness: Poverty, Morality and Marine Resource Regulation in the Philippines, Asia-Pacific Environment Monograph Series, vol. 7. ANU E-Press, Canberra.Google Scholar
  23. Fabinyi, M., Knudsen, M., and Segi, S. (2010). Social Complexity, Ethnography and Coastal Resource Management in the Philippines. Coastal Management 38(6): 617–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. FAO (2007). Increasing the Contribution of Small-Scale Fisheries to Poverty Alleviation and Food Security. FAO fisheries technical paper 481. FAO, Rome. ISBN 978-92-5-105664-6.Google Scholar
  25. Firth, R. (1966). Malay Fishermen: Their Peasant Economy. Second Edition. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., London.Google Scholar
  26. Garaway, C. (2005). Fish, Fishing and the Rural Poor. A Case Study of the Household Importance of Small-Scale Fisheries in the Lao PDR. Centre for Environmental Technology, Imperial College, London.Google Scholar
  27. Gaynor, J. (2005). The Decline of Small-Scale Fishing and the Reorganization of Livelihood Practices among Sama People in Eastern Indonesia. Michigan Discussions in Anthropology 15(1): 90–149.Google Scholar
  28. Green, S. J., White, A. T., Flores, J. O., Carreon III, M. F., and Sia, A. E. (2003). Philippine Fisheries in Crisis: A Framework for Management. Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Coastal Resource Management Project, Cebu City.Google Scholar
  29. Hall, D., Hirsch, P., and Li, T. M. (2011). Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia. National University of Singapore Press and University of Hawaii Press, Singapore.Google Scholar
  30. Islam, M., and Chuenpagdee, R. (2013). Negotiating Risk and Poverty in Mangrove Fishing Communities of the Bangladesh Sundarbans. Maritime Studies 12 (7). doi: 10.1186/2212-9790-12-7.
  31. Jentoft, S., and Eide, A. (eds.) (2011). Poverty Mosaics: Realities and Prospects in Small-Scale Fisheries. Springer.Google Scholar
  32. Kerkvliet, B. J. T. (1990). Everyday Politics in the Philippines: Class and Status Relations in a Central Luzon Village. University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  33. Knudsen, M. (2012). Fishing Families and Cosmopolitans in Conflict over Land on a Philippine Island. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 43(3): 478–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Knudsen, M. (2013). Beyond Clientelism: Neighbourhood Leaders on a Philippine Island. Anthropological Forum 23(3): 242–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lowe, C. (2000). Global Markets, Local Injustice in Southeast Asian Seas: The Live Fish Trade and Local Fishers in the Togean Islands. In Zerner, C. (ed.), People, Plants, & Justice: The Politics of Nature Conservation. Columbia University Press, New York, pp. 234–258.Google Scholar
  36. Martin, S. M., Lorenzen, K., and Bunnefeld, N. (2013). Fishing Farmers: Fishing, Livelihood Diversification and Poverty in Rural Laos. Human Ecology 41: 737–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Moss, D. (2010). A Relational Approach to Durable Poverty, Inequality and Power. Journal of Development Studies 46(7): 1156–1178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Municipal Government of Sibulan (2001). Coastal Resource Management Plan 2001–2005.Google Scholar
  39. National Statistical Coordination Board (2014). Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold and Poverty Incidence, by Region 1991, 2006, 2009 and 2012. Makati City, Philippines. Accessed 8 October 2014: http://www.nscb.gov.ph/secstat/d_income.asp.
  40. Nygren, A. (1999). Local Knowledge in the Environment-Development Discourse: From Dichotomies to Situated Knowledges. Critique of Anthropology 19(3): 267–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Onyango, P. O. (2011). Occupation of Last Resort? Small-Scale Fishing in Lake Victoria, Tanzania. In Jentoft, S., and Eide, A. (eds.), Poverty Mosaics: Resilience and Prospects in Small-Scale Fisheries. Springer, pp. 97–124.Google Scholar
  42. Panayotou, T. (1982). Management Concepts for Small-Scale Fisheries. FAO Fish Technical Paper 228, Rome.Google Scholar
  43. Pauly, D. (1997). Small-Scale Fisheries in the Tropics: Marginality, Marginalisation, and Some Implications for Fisheries Management. In Pikitch, E. K., Huppert, D. D., and Sissenwine, M. P. (eds.), Global Trends: Fisheries Management. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, pp. 40–49.Google Scholar
  44. Pollnac, R. B., Pomeroy, R. S., and Harkes, I. H. T. (2001). Fishery Policy and Job Satisfaction in the Southeast Asian Fisheries. Ocean and Coastal Management 44(7–8): 531–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rigg, J., Promphaking, B., and Le Mare, A. (2014). Personalizing the Middle-Income Trap: An Inter-Generational Migrant View from Thailand. World Development 59: 184–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sather, C. (1997). The Bajau Laut: Adaptation, History, and Fate in a Maritime Fishing Society of South-Eastern Sabah. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  47. Scoones, I. (1998). Sustainable rural livelihoods: A framework for analysis. IDS Working Paper 72. Brighton: IDS.Google Scholar
  48. Segi, S. (2013). The Making of Environmental Subjectivity in Managing Marine Protected Areas: A Case Study from Southeast Cebu. Human Organization 72(4): 336–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Seki, K. (2000). Wherever the Waves Carry Us: Historical Development of a Visayan Fisherfolk’s Livelihood Strategies. Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society 28(2): 133–157.Google Scholar
  50. Seki, K. (2004). Maritime Migration in the Visayas: A Case Study of the Dalaguetenon Fisherfolk in Cebu. In Umehara, H., and Bautista, G. M. (eds.), Communities at the Margins: Reflections on Social, Economic and Environmental Change in the Philippines. Ateneo de Manila University Press, Quezon City, pp. 193–221.Google Scholar
  51. Smith, I. (1979). A Research Framework for Traditional Fisheries. ICLARM Studies and Reviews. International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, Manila.Google Scholar
  52. Smith, I. (1981). Improving Fishing Incomes When Resource Are Overfished. Marine Policy 5(1): 17–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. WCED (1987). Our Common Future. World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  54. World Bank (1992). World Development Report. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  55. Wright, C. S. (1990). Is Poverty in Fishing Communities a Matter of Tragedy or Choice. Proceedings of the Biennial Conference of the International Institute for Fisheries Economics (IIFET), Santiago, Chile.Google Scholar
  56. Zayas, C. N. (1994). Pangayaw and Tumandok in the Maritime World of the Visayan Islanders. In Ushijima, I., and Zayas, C. N. (eds.), Fishers of the Visayas: A study of Visayan Maritime Communities. University of the Philippines Press, Quezon City, pp. 75–131.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universiti Brunei DarussalamBandar Seri BegawanBrunei Darussalam

Personalised recommendations