The political economy of fisheries development in the third world

TitleThe political economy of fisheries development in the third world
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsBailey, C
JournalAgriculture and Human Values
Date PublishedDecember 1988
Keywordsdevelopment assistance; fishery management; foreign exchange; international agency; political economy

International agencies have contributed significantly to the promotion of capital-intensive fisheries development programs in many Third World nations. Activities of both bilateral and multilateral development assistance agencies are examined and shown to have certain common features, notably production-oriented programs typified by the introduction of powerful new fishing technologies, and the promotion of fishery exports as a means of increasing foreign exchange earnings. The argument is advanced that these programs have been largely detrimental to the best interests of recipient nations because they have ignored both resource limitations and the distributional consequences of such development. Fisheries development programs in the Third World are seen as being shaped by a convergence of institutional and class interests between national and international agencies. The perspective of political economy is used to examine these interests and explain their relation to policy outcomes. Evidence is presented to show that international agencies have contributed to dualistic patterns of industry growth which have skewed development benefits towards a narrow urban elite. Rural small-scale fishers have been increasingly marginalized as a result of their inability to compete over a limited and, in some cases, depleted resource. Fisheries development and resource management need to be seen as complementary aspects of a single process rather than as separate activities. Central to fisheries management is the question of resource allocation between competing users. Suggestions are offered by which international development agencies can play an important role in encouraging resource use patterns which are both biologically sustainable and socially just.


This article from Agriculture and Human Values, 5 (1-2) listed independently.

Journal Abbreviation

Agric Hum Values


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