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Traditional Information Bulletin #20
Traditions-OK
Number 20 - December 2006

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

Production:
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

This edition contains articles with refreshingly contrasting points of view. Let’s hope we succeed in rattling a few cages and provoking some responses.

In the first article, “Evolution of the artisanal fisher: Case-studies from Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea”, Armagan Sabetian and Simon Foale examine the increases in fishing efficiency brought about by new technologies on Ghizo Island, in Western Province of Solomon Islands, and from Milne Bay Province in Papua New Guinea. These case studies reassert the idea that very low human population densities, rather than some form of “traditional management” or conservation ethic, have so far protected many fisheries in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. The authors’ evidence shows that fishermen are basically unaware of the finite nature of the stocks they are exploiting, so without systematic management interventions the new technologies and the expansion of Asian export markets will accelerate sequential overfishing. “… in the absence of widespread and systematic intervention, the only uncertainty at present is how long it will take for each fishery to collapse.” This, their concluding sentence, is sobering: downright frightening in fact, now that we understand that this is a worldwide situation.

Then read and think about the second article, “Traditional marine resource management in Vanuatu: Acknowledging, supporting and strengthening indigenous management systems”, by Francis Hickey. The erosion and transformation of traditional concepts and practices related to marine resource management in Vanuatu that began with the arrival of Europeans has more recently been accelerated and deepened by the forces of development and globalization. Now a more commercially motivated system of marine resource management is gradually replacing the culturally motivated regimes. Hickey reviews some traditional marine resource management beliefs and practices, and documents their adaptation to contemporary circumstances. He is aiming “for a greater recognition, strengthening and support for these indigenous systems in Vanuatu and the region.”

The theme of technological modernization and related social and cultural change is continued in “Socialisation of fishing knowledge: The emergence and transmission of new fishing technology and marine  ecological knowledge in the Republic of Palau, Western Micronesia”, contributed by Yoshitaka Ota. Ota examines the emergence of marine environmental knowledge and the application of new fishing practices in three key fishing methods: speargun fishing, hand-held trolling, and trapping. He demonstrates that technological change does not always undermine the social and cultural elements of fishing; rather they may be reinforced or even augmented by it.

Occasionally we publish a contribution from outside our main region of focus. This time we are pleased to be able to include a short article of interest to readers working on grouper spawning aggregations in other parts of the world. In their article “Local ecological knowledge and Goliath grouper spawning aggregations in the South Atlantic Ocean: Goliath grouper spawning aggregations in Brazil”, Leopoldo C. Gerhardinger, Athila A. Bertoncini and Mauricio Hostim-Silva document the first evidence of Goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) spawning aggregations in the South Atlantic, based on the knowledge of local fishermen and derived from an ongoing local ecological knowledge survey of the bio-ecological and conservation aspects of the Goliath grouper. Basic information on a network of government and non-governmental institutions that form the Brazilian Goliath Grouper Conservation Campaign (http://www.merosdobrasil.org) is included.

Several potential contributors have recently asked if articles in this Information Bulletin are peer reviewed. You should be aware that on an informal basis, I obtain anonymous peer reviews for articles submitted by persons from academic institutions, since they often need to “claim them” for promotion and other purposes. I do not do the same with other articles. However, should they wish them to be, non-academic contributors should request that their articles be reviewed when they are submitted.

This is not intended as any form of discrimination, rather it is simply because some persons feel intimidated by peer review, even if it is anonymous, and might be shy about submitting articles. And I certainly do not wish to discourage excellent contributions from persons with neither the need nor the desire to meet rigorous academic publication standards. On the contrary, in fact!

Kenneth Ruddle


Contents

Evolution of the artisanal fisher: Case studies from Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea
Sabetian A., Foale S. (pdf: 342 KB)
Traditional marine resource management in Vanuatu: Acknowledging, supporting and strengthening indigenous management systems
Hickey F.R. (pdf: 465 KB)
Socialisation of fishing knowledge: The emergence and transmission of new fishing technology and marine ecological knowledge in the Republic of Palau, Western Micronesia
Ota Y. (pdf: 345 KB)
Local ecological knowledge and Goliath grouper spawning aggregations in the South Atlantic Ocean: Goliath grouper spawning aggregations in Brazil
Gerhardinger L.C., Bertoncini A.A., Hostim-Silva M. (pdf: 118 KB)
 

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Traditional #20 (pdf: )



 

 
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