Coastal Fisheries Programme
Home PUBLICATIONS Bulletins & Newsletter Traditional Management
Traditional Information Bulletin #13
Number 13 - December 2001



Group Co-ordinator and Bulletin Editor:
Kenneth Ruddle, Asahigaoka-cho 7-22-511, Ashiya-shi, Hyogo-ken, Japan 659-0012.

Information Section, Marine Resources Division, SPC, B.P. D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia. Fax: (687) 263818

Produced with financial assistance from Australia, France and New Zealand.

Note from the editor

Three interesting articles make up this issue; one from the region and two from far away.

The first, by Thomas Malm of Lund University, Sweden, provides a comprehensive study of customary marine tenure in the Kingdom of Tonga. Besides its main focus on the causes of the decline of the management system under the fast acting processes of urbanisation, demographic change and general modernisation, this contribution also provides baseline information on the local fisheries management situation in the country.

In the second contribution, "Strategies and action plans to conserve biological diversity: a cultural and scientific challenge", Robert Kasisi and Peter Jacobs (both of the School of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Montreal) offer a critical review of the paths African countries have taken towards developing biodiversity strategies, actions plans or programmes. After briefly reviewing the origins of the biodiversity conservation concept, the authors examine the ambiguity inherent in such current terms as "conservation", "preservation" and "protection". Their debate revolves around the meaning of this concept, the origins of which are located in the cultural and economic domains. They then look at the different approaches used to develop biodiversity strategies and action plans in selected African countries. Each approach selected presents certain strengths and weaknesses. The authors propose an approach that should allow effective participation by all stakeholders via a deep appreciation of traditional or local knowledge, as the "grass roots communities’" frame of reference for natural resource management.

More on local or traditional fisheries knowledge. Brendan Connolly’s article takes us to Ireland and the Netherlands, with a report on an inter-disciplinary, human ecological case study of the relationship between fishing communities and their marine resources. The ecological relationship between the selected fishing communities and their marine resources was studied by examining traditional fisheries knowledge and practice. Traditional fisheries knowledge was recorded by qualitative interviews. From this, a quantitative questionnaire, containing 119 questions, was compiled. Sixty-two questionnaires were completed. One of the major findings was that the principle of sea tenure, in combination with appropriate social structures, forms an important basis for sustainable marine resource exploitation. The regulation of fisheries was desired in all six fishing communities studied, but equal enforcement in all regions was stressed as being essential

In this issue we have placed major emphasis on local knowledge. So to conclude we feel it appropriate to reprint an important note by Bob Johannes, "The need for a centre for the study of indigenous fishers’ knowledge". This is taken from "Wise coastal practices for sustainable human development - forum of discussion" put online by UNESCO.

Happy New Year to all… you can make it even happier for me if you keep the contributions coming!

Kenneth Ruddle


The tragedy of the commoners: The decline of the customary marine tenure system of Tonga
Malm T. (pdf: 77 KB)
Strategies and action plans to conserve biological diversity: A cultural and scientific challenge
Kasisi R., Jacobs P. (pdf: 84 KB)
Conclusions recommending appropriate systems of sea tenure for future fisheries management, arising from the study: 'Traditional fishery knowledge and practice for sustainable marine resource management in Northwestern Europe: A comparative study in Ireland and the Netherlands' (1994-1997)
Connolly B. (pdf: 49 KB)
The need for a centre for the study of indigenous fishers' knowledge
Johannes R.E. (pdf: 53 KB)

Download the complete publication:

Traditional #13 (pdf: )


   SPC Homepage | Copyright © SPC 2019