6.1 General recommendations
6.2 Recommended subjects of study for understanding the cultures of small-scale fishing communities
6.3 Recommendations regarding promoting and legitimizing fishers' organizations.6
6.4 Recommendations for harmonizing new management and development schemes with fishers' traditional systems
6.5 Recommendations regarding capacity building
6.6 Recommendations regarding promoting public awareness of the cultures of small-scale fishing communities
The following recommendations are presented in this section:
1. General recommendations.These recommendations are intended for fisheries extension officers and higher-level government officials, and others who are concerned with promoting more successful fisheries management while enhancing the well being of people living in small-scale fishing communities. In particular, they take into account the important role of extension officers in fishing communities who usually work closely with fishing people, enforce fisheries rules and regulations, serve as contact points for both fisheries workers and higher-level government officials, conduct training, education, and development programs, and discharge various other responsibilities.
2. Recommended subjects of study for understanding the cultures of small-scale fishing communities.
3. Recommendations regarding promoting and legitimizing fishers' organizations.
4. Recommendations for harmonizing new management and development schemes with fishers' traditional systems.
5. Recommendations regarding capacity building.
6. Recommendations regarding promoting public awareness of the cultures of small-scale fishing communities.
1. Whatever fisheries-management initiatives fisheries officials may be contemplating, ask the members of the small-scale fishing communities first what they think about these and enlist their participation and cooperation through every phase of implementation.
2. Management planning, implementation, and policy must explicitly recognize the fundamental importance of sustaining small-scale fishers' rights of access to fisheries and rights to exploit fish species that are important for sustaining their livelihoods.
3. The objectives of fisheries-management policies and practices must be made clear and explicit. Management policies and practices must explicitly state which fishers have access and which do not. If protecting and promoting the well being of small-scale fishing communities is an important objective, this should be explicitly stated.
4. Participation in management planning and implementation should be promoted among the members of small-scale fishing communities, incorporating their trusted leaders and representatives, as well as leading fishers, into these efforts.
5. Transparency must be maintained in fisheries-management decisions by arriving at decisions in open forums that involve the members of small-scale fishing communities, and at which exhaustive efforts are made to reach a consensus.
6. Educational opportunities for the members of small-scale fishing communities should be promoted which are adapted to the requirements of fishing activities, and which provide opportunities for adults and children to learn about fishing as well as other occupational opportunities.
7. Raising the public image and public concern for fishing people should also be promoted by drawing attention to the contributions that they make in the regions and in the nations in which they live. These efforts should be incorporated into the curricula of public schools, government-supported public-information programs, and documentary journalism.
8. The foregoing recommendations should be implemented only after assessing their appropriateness and possible consequences for the small-scale fishing communities that are concerned.
It is especially important that studies of the cultures of small-scale fishing communities be launched when developing and introducing new fisheries management and development schemes. Otherwise, fisheries officers may not understand why participants in small-scale fisheries are going about various activities in certain ways, and the participants may resist new initiatives which they feel have been foisted on them from the outside and are inconsistent with their accustomed practices.
6.2.1 Recommended subjects of study for understanding the cultures of small-scale fishing communities (a fuller listing of appropriate subjects for study is presented in Appendix 7.2).
1. Sources and extent of capital commitments and corresponding production levels.6.2.2 Recommendations for extension officials
2. Social, economic, and political influence of the community in wider spheres beyond it.
3. Threats to fisheries production arising externally to the community.
4. Settlement pattern (e.g., degree of concentration versus dispersion of fishing communities).
5. Main marine ecosystems and species relied upon, and how these influence cultural characteristics such as social and economic organization and the particular fisheries gear and technologies that are utilized.
6. Nature and extent to which fisheries activities are important in community members' individual identities, as well as the extent to which these are interwoven in the community's identity and its social, economic, ritual, and symbolic life.
7. Traditional ecological knowledge and how it is acted upon.
8. The division of labor in fisheries activities with respect to gender and age, and role expectations regarding men, women, children, adults, and the elderly.
9. Women's roles in fisheries activities, households, and families.
10. Patterns of recruitment to fishing crews and other fisheries-related work groups.
11. Social, interpersonal, and psychological problems stemming from involvement in fisheries activities.
12. Adaptations to risks and uncertainties associated with fisheries activities, including degrees of conservatism in fishing approaches, maintaining occupational pluralism, share-payment compensation systems, and beliefs, ritualized behaviors, and taboos which may enhance psychological coping.
13. Access to credit and insurance and how these constrain or facilitate fishing effort and production.
14. Traditional community-based fisheries management systems which can be distinguished from management that is instituted by government authority, and how these are implemented.
1. Assist researchers working in fishing communities by providing names of important contact persons and organizations, as well as providing them with general views on the current status of fisheries activities in these communities.
2. Share with the members of small-scale fishing communities the subjects that researchers are interested in studying, at the same time eliciting from community members the subjects that they feel are particularly important to study.
3. Recommendations for higher-level government officials.
4. Organize the study teams that will carry out studies in fishing communities in consultation with persons having expertise in social-science methods as well as with the extension officials who report to them.
5. Facilitate education and training that teaches extension officials about the importance of conducting social-scientific studies of fishing communities and sound research methods, so that extension officials may assist researchers working in fishing communities and eventually become skilled in conducting such studies themselves.
6. Make clear to extension officials the purpose of the study, the subjects to be studied, and the information that is desired, while providing supervisory oversight to ensure that studies of small-scale fishing communities are ethically conducted and adequate funding is available for meeting study objectives.
7. Ensure that studies of small-scale fishing communities are conducted in strict accordance with the canons of ethical social-scientific inquiry.
8. Use methods associated with rapid assessment or rapid rural appraisal for developing new management and development initiatives when time and budgetary constraints do not permit more in-depth investigations.
Once governmental officials recognize important social and cultural characteristics of particular fishing communities and how these may promote sustainable fisheries and fishing livelihoods, they will likely wish to incorporate this knowledge into new management schemes and development plans. But to do this they will first need a means for exchanging viewpoints with local community members.
Thus, at this point they should either acknowledge as legitimate representatives of the fishing community certain of its fisheries organizations, or, if absent, help to organize these. Such organizations will be important contact points between fisheries officials and the fishing community, facilitating communications between the two. Moreover, by officially acknowledging the legitimacy of certain organizations government officials will help to politically empower them.
6.3.1 Recommendations for extension officials
1. Encourage the members of small-scale fishing communities to identify local individuals and organizations whom they feel can best represent them.6.3.2 Recommendations for higher-level government officials
2. Work with the members of small-scale fishing communities to identify individuals and form organizations to represent them when the members of these communities are unable to identify these for themselves.
3. Once representative individuals and organizations have been identified and generally agreed upon, explicitly recognize these as the primary points of contact for future management and development initiatives.
4. Promote cooperative action in fisheries activities in order to enhance cohesion in small-scale fishing communities.
1. Facilitate necessary expertise and support for identifying or forming representative organizations in small-scale fishing communities, and make explicit their importance for study, management, and development initiatives.
2. When and where appropriate, assist fishermen's groups in setting up national/regional level fishermen's groups or associations.
3. To the extent possible, recruit extension and other fisheries officials from small-scale fishing communities and provide them with the necessary education and training. At the same time, ensure that fisheries officials complete education and training concerning the cultures and cultural dynamics of small-scale fishing communities as a requirement of their professional certification.
Taking into account what is learned in the study of a small-scale fishing community's social and cultural characteristics, as well as the exchange of views with its members and their representative organizations, government officials should strive to incorporate the community's traditional fisheries systems into new management and development schemes. This may require legal recognition for the community's assertion of traditional rights in its fisheries.
6.4.1. Recommendations for extension officials
1. To the extent possible, make explicit in writing fishers' traditional approaches to fishing, and where appropriate recommend to higher-level government officials that these be legitimized in fisheries management and development rules and policies.6.4.2 Recommendations for higher-level government officials
2. Where appropriate, recommend legal recognition for small-scale fishing communities' assertions of traditional rights in fisheries.
3. Explore possibilities for incorporating traditional fisheries- management systems, including TEK, into new systems for managing specific fishing sites or regions.
4. Develop small-scale fishers' training and certification programs that confer rights of access and participation by taking into account how fishing crews and other fisheries-related work groups are customarily recruited, and to the extent possible capitalize on these customary practices. Also take care not to predicate rights of access on full-time specialization in fishing if that will diminish the occupational pluralism existing in small-scale fishing communities.
5. Strive to devolve management responsibilities to the lowest level possible by promoting cooperative co-management in small-scale fishing communities that can be sustained with a minimum of government oversight.
6. When small-scale fishers are found to be engaged in illegal activities, examine and clarify the reasons underlying these activities.
1. Promote legislation that safeguards small-scale fishers' traditional approaches to fishing, and which legitimizes their assertions of traditional rights in certain fisheries.
2. Especially in lower-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs), ensure that meeting the subsistence needs of small-scale fishing communities is the first tier of any fisheries-allocation policy, with "subsistence" here implying at least minimal food and income requirements.
3. Consider developing policies which ensure that no management effort to limit fishing in inshore waters will be at the expense of small-scale fishers so long as there are other sorts of fishers also operating in those same waters.
4. Explore possibilities for developing multiple-species and ecosystem approaches for managing small-scale fishing communities.
5. Explore possibilities for incorporating small-scale fishers' traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and participation in stock-assessment efforts, as well as in efforts to develop cooperative co-management programs.
6. Explore possibilities for instituting property rights in small-scale fisheries, such as TURFS, which may help to ensure small-scale fishers' rights of access while protecting them from encroachment by competing fishers.
7. Consider developing policies which recognize that sustaining fishing livelihoods in small-scale fishing communities may be as important as sustaining healthy fish stocks or getting the maximum economic yield from fisheries resources.
8. When small-scale fishers are found to be engaged in illegal activities, consider revising existing rules and policies so that they will not be compelled to behave in this manner.
9. Plan small-scale fishers' training and certification programs that confer rights of access and participation with full consideration of prevailing local patterns of recruitment to fisheries activities.
10. Promote only fisheries management and development interventions that have a high likelihood of being sustainable in the long term.
11. Promote cultural and socio-economic impact assessments that explore the possible consequences of contemplated management and development initiatives. High levels of participation among the concerned fishing people should be featured in such efforts.
12. Facilitate and support follow-up studies that assess the cultural and socioeconomic impacts of management and development initiatives. These should be conducted at regular intervals by disinterested parties after management and development initiatives have been launched (e.g., follow-up studies assessing the impacts of innovating TACs, ITQs, TURFS, other forms of privatization, limited entry, and other means of effort control, as well as developments aimed at increasing capacity).
13. Undertake management and development initiatives with an awareness of their possible implications on one another, as well as their possible ramifications in other spheres with which small-scale fishing communities are connected.
Building capacity will often be an important concern, particularly in small-scale fishing communities in developing countries, and for several reasons: first, small-scale fishers are often isolated or not connected with broader marketing spheres; second, to participate in these broader spheres they may need education and training programs-concerning enhanced hygiene, for example, or quality management for high-value products; third, community members, especially younger ones, must understand how effective in terms of sustainability their predecessor's practices have been, since absent this knowledge they may too-readily abandon traditional approaches to fishing or leave the community for other occupations; and fourth, although small-scale fishers sometimes take illegal and violent actions against intruders to protect their fishing rights and fishing grounds, in the long run they will be better served by learning the legal means that are available to them for solving such problems in a peaceful manner. Thus, it will also be incumbent on government officials to promote education that teaches them about their rights and appropriate means for legal action.
6.5.1 Recommendations for extension officials
1. Determine fishing community members' needs for training and education and convey these to higher-level government officials.6.5.2 Recommendations for higher-level government officials
2. Promote high levels of participation among the members of fishing communities in training and education programs.
3. Report the progress and results of training and education programs to higher-level government officials.
1. Promote education and training programs that facilitate fishing communities' entry into more modernized modes of production, processing, and distribution.
2. Promote education and training programs that teach younger members of fishing communities how effective in terms of sustainability their predecessor's traditional practices have been, as well as how they may be successful in various fisheries occupations
3. Especially in LIFDCs, focus development efforts aimed at strengthening small-scale fishing communities mainly on developing more productive and relatively inexpensive fishing, processing, and distribution activities, for example, by promoting greater and sustainable use of underutilized species. In such cases, ascertain if such greater use is considered to be culturally appropriate and ecologically prudent by local fishers.
4. Make special efforts to improve the living and working conditions of women in small-scale fishing communities, taking full measure of their dual importance in fisheries activities and domestic realms. This support may include family assistance, assistance that addresses problems stemming from the loss or disabling of key family members, and workers' rights for women engaged in fisheries activities.
5. Fully explore the reasons why small-scale fishers are using the gear and technologies they are currently using before launching initiatives that may require them to adopt new types of fishing gear or other technologies. The possible long-term ramifications of compelling them to use new types of fishing gear or other technologies should also be fully explored.
6. Facilitate better access to credit, and to business, life, and medical insurance in small-scale fishing communities. To the extent possible, such efforts should capitalize on existing institutions in the communities.
7. Promote programs that enhance the safety of fishers who work at sea, as well as programs that enhance working conditions in activities that are ancillary to fishing industry.
8. Undertake cautiously and implement slowly fisheries-development efforts which are aimed at changing dietary practices by encouraging people to consume new marine-food items, especially when these efforts may be contrary to long-standing food taboos.
9. Ensure that fisheries management and development interventions have a high likelihood of being sustainable in the long term.
10. Make explicit in management policies means for protecting small-scale fishing communities from the ill effects of marine pollution, aquaculture development, connection with new markets, developing tourism industries, the worldwide animal-protection movement, and clashes with people having different cultural orientations and practices.
11. Especially in developing countries, give due consideration to the possible cultural, social, and economic implications of increased international trade, new international-trade agreements, internal economic growth, and improvements in internal infrastructure in small-scale fishing communities and other rural communities.
12. Ensure that the members of small-scale fishing communities enjoy widespread participation and benefits from the development of export-oriented seafood commerce, while ensuring that the commerce itself will be sustainable on a long-term basis.
13. Consider that while subsidies may be important stimuli for increasing fishing capacity in small-scale fishing communities, when carried to an extreme they can also promote excessively high levels of capitalization, higher production costs, and over-harvesting of fisheries resources. They can also be difficult to withdraw once they have helped to bring about their desired effects.
14. Discourage the provision of subsidies for fishing enterprises that will compete with small-scale fishing communities, especially when these will not provide widespread employment opportunities in these communities.
15. Promote educational programs that will help people in small-scale fishing communities to understand how they may appropriately and peacefully assert their legitimate social, economic, political, and legal rights.
16. Ensure that multilateral and bilateral fisheries management and development initiatives provide funding and other support for cultural and socio-economic impact assessments that explore the possible consequences of such initiatives in small-scale fishing communities.
Especially because of their characteristically low levels of income and education, small-scale fishers are often low esteemed by non-fishing people and regarded as backward -even though they often have great knowledge about marine ecosystems and praiseworthy conservationist approaches to exploiting them. Therefore, government officials should publish and publicize the results of studies of the cultures of small-scale fishing communities, making broadly known the important contributions that these communities make to food supplies and to the sustainable development of their country's fisheries sector.
6.6.1 Recommendations for extension officials
1. Do not assume that traditional subsistence-oriented small-scale fishing communities are backward and under-developed. It is likely that they have made important contributions to the economic and food security of their own and neighboring communities for an extended period of time, and they may contribute in the future to social wellbeing and improved management of local resources.6.6.2 Recommendations for higher-level government officials
2. Remain aware of important issues and events affecting fishing communities that lie outside the scope of fisheries-related events and issues.
1. Do not assume that traditional subsistence-oriented small-scale fishing communities are backward and under-developed. It is likely that they have made important contributions to the economic and food security of their own and neighboring communities for an extended period of time, and they may contribute in the future to social wellbeing and improved management of local resources.
2. Publish and publicize the results of studies of the cultures of small-scale fishing communities, making broadly known the important contributions that these make to food supplies and to the sustainable development of their country's fisheries sector.
3. Where appropriate, include the contributions and cultural characteristics of a country's small-scale fishing communities in its primary-school curricula.
4. Provide assistance to small-scale fishing communities to enhance local levels of educational attainment and technical training, as well as to mitigate psychological problems, drug and alcohol abuse, and other related problems. Development programs aimed at increasing the time that fishers spend working at sea should be considered in light of their potentials for aggravating the foregoing problems.
5. Promote a greater awareness of the societal benefits and ethical importance of protecting cultural diversity.