Marine conservation in relation to traditional life-styles of tropical artisanal fishermen

TitleMarine conservation in relation to traditional life-styles of tropical artisanal fishermen
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1984
AuthorsJohannes, RE
JournalThe Environmentalist
IssueSuppl. 7
Date PublishedJuly 1984
Keywordsconservation measure; fishing; local method; resource manager; scientific knowledge

Managing a resource involves regulating the behaviour of the people whose activities affect that resource. In order to do so effectively, therefore, it is necessary to study not only the resource itself, but also the local methods, traditions and knowledge associated with its use. Artisanal fishermen often act in ways that deliberately or inadvertently function as conservation measures. Such traditional practices include the observation of fishing rights (a form of limited entry), and self-imposed closed seasons, closed areas, and gear restrictions. Management and conservation laws that are compatible with such customs are more liable to achieve public acceptance than those that are perceived as alien. Such acceptance is especially important in developing tropical countries because money and personnel available for enforcement are generally minimal.

Scientific knowledge concerning natural resources in the tropics is often inadequate. Traditional users of these resources possess knowledge about them that can be of considerable value to conservationists and resource managers. Such knowledge includes information on fish migrations, the timing and location of spawning of various species and the locations of important fishing sites that should be protected from deleterious human activities such as pollution, dredging and filling.

Journal Abbreviation



0251-1088; 1573-2991

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