Advertisement

Limits to the Governability of Transboundary Fisheries: Implications for Small-Scale Fishers in Northern Sri Lanka and Beyond

  • Joeri Scholtens
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 13)

Abstract

Transboundary fisheries are a worldwide phenomenon that has considerable impact on small-scale fisheries. This chapter explores governability problems of transboundary fisheries in connection with small-scale fishers’ marginality. Insights are derived by studying the practice of transboundary fishing in the Palk Bay, South Asia, where a sizable Indian trawler fleet impedes Sri Lankan small-scale fishers from carrying out their occupation. By analyzing the features of the fisheries systems and the fragmented governance practices, this chapter raises six issues that challenge the overall system’s governability: (1) mismatch between the scale of governance and the scale of the problem; (2) high level of institutional fragmentation with limited cross-linkages; (3) actors’ strategic framing of the nature, causes and solution to the problem; (4) power imbalances between Sri Lankan and Indian fishers; (5) deep politicization that has linked fisheries issues to higher level ethnic and geopolitical conflicts; and (6) path dependency of the trawl sector. I conclude that while co-governance is in theory crucial for transboundary governance to be more responsive to the situation at hand, governability analysis explains why constructive collaborative practices are difficult, if not impossible, to create in practice in this case.

Keywords

Transboundary fisheries Fisheries conflict Governability Sri Lanka Politicization Power asymmetry Multi-level governance 

References

  1. Adhuri, D. S., & Visser, L. E. (2007). Fishing in, fishing out: Transboundary issues and the territorialization of blue space. Asia-Pacific Forum, 36, 112–145.Google Scholar
  2. Alder, J., & Sumaila, U. R. (2004). Western Africa: A fish basket of Europe past and present. The Journal of Environment & Development, 13(2), 156–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amarasinghe, O. (Ed.). (2005). Modernization and change in marine small-scale fisheries of Southern Sri Lanka. Colombo: Navamaga Printers.Google Scholar
  4. Araral, E. (2014). Ostrom, Hardin and the commons: A critical appreciation and a revisionist view. Environmental Science and Policy, 36, 11–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barange, M., Merino, G., Blanchard, J. L., Scholtens, J., Harle, J., Allison, E. H., Allen, J. I., Holt, J., & Jennings, S. (2014). Impacts of climate change on marine ecosystem production in societies dependent on fisheries. Nature Climate Change, 4, 211–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bavinck, M. (2001). Marine resource management: Conflict and regulation in the fisheries of the Coromandel Coast. New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Bavinck, M. (2014). Investigating poverty through the lens of riches – Immigration and segregation in Indian capture fisheries. Development Policy Review, 32(1), 33–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bavinck, M., Johnson, D., Amarasinghe, O., Rubinoff, J., Southwold, S., & Thomson, K. T. (2013). From indifference to mutual support – A comparative analysis of legal pluralism in the governing of South Asian fisheries. European Journal of Development Research, 25(4), 621–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berkes, F. (2010). Linkages and multilevel systems for matching governance and ecology: Lessons from roving Bandits. Bulletin of Marine Science, 86(2), 235–250.Google Scholar
  10. Butcher, J. G. (2005). The closing of the frontier. A history of the marine fisheries of southeast Asia c1850–2000. Leiden: KITLV Press.Google Scholar
  11. Chuenpagdee, R., & Jentoft, S. (2013). Assessing governability: What’s next? In M. Bavinck, R. Chuenpagdee, S. Jentoft, & J. Kooiman (Eds.), Governability of fisheries and aquaculture: Theory and applications (MARE publication series 7, pp. 335–349). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chuenpagdee, R., Degnbol, P., Bavinck, M., Jentoft, S., Johnson, D., Pullin, R., & Williams, S. (2005). Challenges and concerns in capture fisheries and aquaculture. In J. Kooiman, M. Bavinck, S. Jentoft, & R. Pullin (Eds.), Fish for life: Interactive governance for fisheries. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Cullis-Suzuki, S., & Pauly, D. (2010). Failing the high seas: A global evaluation of regional fisheries management organizations. Marine Policy, 34(5), 1036–1042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Duraiappah, A. K., Tanyi Asah, S. T., Brondizio, E. S., Kosoy, N., O’Farrell, P. J., Prieur-Richard, A.-H., Subramanian, S. M., & Takeuchi, K. (2014). Managing the mismatches to provide ecosystem services for human well-being: A conceptual framework for understanding the New Commons. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 7, 94–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fanning, L., Mahon, M., McConney, P., Angulo, J., Burrows, F., Chakalall, B., Gil, D., Haughton, M., Heileman, S., Martinez, S., Ostine, L., Oviedo, A., Parsons, S., Phillips, T., Santizo Arroya, C., Simmons, B., & Toro, C. (2007). A large marine ecosystem governance framework. Marine Policy, 31(4), 434–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. FAO. (2014). Voluntary guidelines for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/fishery/ssf/guidelines/en
  17. Government of India. (2010). Marine fisheries census Tamil Nadu 2010. Centre for Marine Fisheries Research Institute.Google Scholar
  18. Government of Tamil Nadu. (2012). Department of Fisheries. Estimated marine fish production. http://www.agritech.tnau.ac.in/fishery/fisheries2012.pdf. Accessed 1 April 2015.
  19. Government of Sri Lanka. (2013). Fisheries statistics 2013, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development. Retrieved from http://www.fisheries.gov.lk/content.php?cnid=ststc
  20. Gupta, C., & Sharma, M. (2008). Contested coastlines: Fisherfolk, nations and borders in South Asia. New Delhi: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Hersoug, B., Holm, P., & Rånes, S. A. (2000). The missing T. Path dependency within an individual vessel quota system – The case of Norwegian cod fisheries. Marine Policy, 24(4), 319–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jentoft, S. (2007). In the power of power: The understated aspect of fisheries and coastal management. Human Organization, 66(4).Google Scholar
  23. Jentoft, S., Chuenpagdee, R., Bundy, A., & Mahon, R. (2010). Pyramids and roses: Alternative images for the governance of fisheries systems. Marine Policy, 34(6), 1315–1321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kaczynski, V. M., & Fluharty, D. L. (2002). European policies in West Africa: Who benefits from fisheries agreements? Marine Policy, 26(2), 75–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kadirgamar, A. (2013). The question of militarisation in post-war Sri Lanka. Economic Political Weekly, XLVIII(7), 42–46.Google Scholar
  26. Kooiman, J., & Chuenpagdee, R. (2005). Governance and governability. In J. Kooiman, S. Jentoft, R. Pullin, & M. Bavinck (Eds.), Fish for life. Interactive governance for fisheries. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kooiman, J., Bavinck, M., Chuenpagdee, R., Mahon, R., & Pullin, R. (2008). Interactive governance and governability: An introduction. The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies, 7, 1.Google Scholar
  28. Mahon, R., Bavinck, M., & Roy, R. N. (2005). Governance in action. In J. Kooiman, S. Jentoft, R. Pullin, & M. Bavinck (Eds.), Fish for life. Interactive governance for fisheries. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Nayak, P. K. (2011). Change and marginalisation: Livelihoods, commons institutions and environmental justice in Chilika Lagoon, India. Doctoral thesis, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.Google Scholar
  30. Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pauly, D., Belhabib, D., Blomeyer, R., Cheung, W. W. W. L., Cisneros-Montemayor, A. M., Copeland, D., Harper, S., Lam, V. W. Y., Mai, Y., Le Manach, F., Österblom, H., Mok, K. M., van der Meer, L., Sanz, A., Shon, S., Sumaila, U. R., Swartz, W., Watson, R., Zhai, Y., & Zeller, D. (2013). China’s distant-water fisheries in the 21st century. Fish and Fisheries, 15(3), 474–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rittel, H. W. J., & Webber, M. M. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4, 155–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Russell, D. A., & Vanderzwaag, D. L. (Eds.). (2010). Recasting transboundary fisheries management arrangements in the light of sustainability principles (pp. 1–544). Leiden: Marinus Nijhoff Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. SathyaMoorthy. (2013). Sri Lanka: Fishing for a solution in the Palk Bay. Retrieved from www.orfonline.org
  35. Sathyapalan, J., Srinivasan, J. T., & Scholtens, J. (2008). Fishing fleet reduction and its livelihood implications: A case study of Palk Bay resource users in the East Coast of Tamil Nadu. Research report United Nations India & Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  36. Sathyapalan, J., Srinivasan, J. T., & Scholtens, J. (2011). Overcapitalization in a small-scale trawler fishery: A study of Palk Bay, India. In R. Chuenpagdee (Ed.), World small-scale fisheries: Contemporary visions (pp. 51–62). Delft: Eburon.Google Scholar
  37. Scholtens, J., & Bavinck, M. (2013). South Indian trawl fisheries – Assessing their governability. In M. Bavinck, R. Chuenpagdee, S. Jentoft, & J. Kooiman (Eds.), Governability of fisheries and aquaculture: Theory and practice (pp. 177–199). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Scholtens, J., & Bavinck, M. (2014). Lessons for legal pluralism: Investigating the challenges of transboundary fisheries governance. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 11, 10–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Scholtens, J., Bavinck, M., & Soosai, A. S. (2012). Fishing in dire straits. Economic Political Weekly, XLVII(25), 87–96.Google Scholar
  40. Scholtens, J., Stephen, J., & Menon, A. (2013). Between the devil and the not-so-deep blue sea: Asymmetrical power in the Indo-Sri Lankan fisheries conflict. The Broker Online, pp. 1–6.Google Scholar
  41. Soosai, S. A., & Stokke, K. (2006). Fisheries under fire: Impacts of war and challenges of reconstruction and development in Jaffna fisheries, Sri Lanka. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift – Norwegian Journal of Geography, 60(3), 240–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Stephen, J., Menon, A., Scholtens, J., & Bavinck, M. (2013a). Transboundary dialogues and the ‘politics of scale’ in Palk Bay fisheries: Brothers at sea? South Asia Research, 33(2), 141–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stephen, J., Menon, A., & Anbazhagan, P. (2013b). Socio-economic profile of Palk Bay (p. 72). Prepared for the REINCORPFISH project, Chennai, India. www.reincorpfish.info
  44. Suryanarayan, V. (2004). Conflict over fisheries in the Palk Bay region. New Delhi: Lancer Publishers and Distributors.Google Scholar
  45. Swartz, W., Sumaila, U. R., Watson, R., & Pauly, D. (2010). Sourcing seafood for the three major markets: The EU, Japan and the USA. Marine Policy, 34(6), 1366–1373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. United Nations. (1982). United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm
  47. Vivekanandan, V. (2001). Crossing maritime borders: The problem and solution in the Indo-Sri Lankan context. In K. G. Kumar (Ed.), Forging unity: Coastal communities and the Indian ocean’s future (pp. 76–89). Chennai: International Collective in Support of Fish Workers.Google Scholar
  48. Vivekanandan, V., & Kasim, M. (2011). Fisheries management options for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (Workpackage 5, Report – R20. FAO/UTF/IND/180/IND). Available at: http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/9251/1/33.pdf. Accessed 1 Apr 2015.
  49. White, C., & Costello, C. (2014). Close the high seas to fishing? PLoS Biology, 12(3), 1–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wickramasinghe, N. (2014). Sri Lanka in the modern age; A history. London: Hurst and Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Planning and International Development StudiesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations