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Need, Greed and Speed: What History Tells Us about Fisheries (and Aquaculture)
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Need, Greed and Speed: What History Tells Us about Fisheries (and Aquaculture)

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Presentation at Oceans Past IV Conference, November 2012, Fremantle, Western Australia

Presentation at Oceans Past IV Conference, November 2012, Fremantle, Western Australia


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  • 1. Meryl J Williams Ocean Past IV7-9 November 2012MerylJWilliams@gmail.com
  • 2. Claims and Disclaims: The following PPT was used when I presented a keynote address to the Oceans Past IV conference (7-9 November, Notre Dame University, Fremantle, Western Australia). It is my preliminary exploration of ideas, based on personal experience, on reading the research literature, hearing many different cases around the world and visiting many different regions. Following this PPT are 2 additional slides containing additional information discovered, all by lucky coincidence, in the days following after Oceans Past IV - http://hmapcoml.org/oceanspast/.
  • 3. A look back through the lens of “fisheries management” using a network analysis approach
  • 4. How to organize the information? Searching for solutions to manage the fisheries commons • the evolving concept of “fisheries management” A network model for case studies Three cases • Northern Australian trepang • Southern bluefin tuna • Southeast Asian small pelagic fish Conclusions • Turning “ugly truths” into levers of positive change
  • 5. Fisheries management Fisheries governanceFisheries networks (of networks)
  • 6.  Historically to 1950 • capture and/or allocate the benefits, minimize conflict • find new fisheries to replace old • stay within environment carrying capacity (more rarely) 1950-mid 1970s • Develop new fisheries, modernize Mid 1970s-mid 1990s • capture benefits of UNCLOS • sustainability of target resources • minimize environment damage, e.g., to bycatch and habitat Mid 1990s-present • grow exports, value chain under globalization • ecosystem approach to fisheries • fair fisheries? rights for small-scale fishers, crew, women?
  • 7. “WESTERN” • Science, fish stock based • Biased towards industrial fishing • Top-down, seeks tight, centralist, uniform State control  may suit some fish stocks, fishers but not others • Aquaculture development  cautious, science based, env concerns
  • 8. “WESTERN” • Fish population dynamicists • Fisheries managers • Fisheries economists • Industry representatives • MCS professionals • Environmentalists • Aquaculture scientist/advocates
  • 9. FISHERIES MANAGEMENT • Fish population dynamicists • Fisheries managers • Fisheries economists • Industry representatives • MCS professionals • Environmentalists • Aquaculture scientist/advocates
  • 10. FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FAO GLOSSARY • Fish population dynamicists Fisheries management • Fisheries managers The integrated process of information gathering, analysis, • Fisheries economists planning, consultation, decision- • Industry representatives making, allocation of resources • MCS professionals and formulation and implementation, with • Environmentalists enforcement as necessary, of • Aquaculture regulations or rules which scientist/advocates govern fisheries activities in order to ensure the continued productivity of the resources and the accomplishment of other fisheries objectives.
  • 11. FISHERIES MANAGEMENT “NON-WESTERN” • Science, fish stock based • Socially, not science based • Biased towards industrial • Small-scale and industrial fishing fishing • Top-down, seeks tight, • Bottom-up, dispersed, centralist, uniform State heterogeneous social rather control than State control  may suit some fish stocks,  may suit some fish stocks, fishers but not others fishers but not others • Aquaculture development  Implicit belief in tradition  cautious, science based, env • Aquaculture development concerns  laissez-faire, practice based
  • 12. FISHERIES MANAGEMENT “NON-WESTERN” • Fish population dynamicists • Applied social scientists and biologists • often re-badged biologists, • Fisheries managers economists • Fisheries economists • Development assistance • Industry representatives experts (recent) • MCS professionals • Small-scale fishers organizations • Environmentalists • Aquaculture • Aquaculture scientist/advocates scientist/advocates
  • 13. FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FISHERIES GOVERNANCE • Fish population dynamicists • Applied social scientists and biologists • often re-badged biologists, • Fisheries managers economists • Fisheries economists • Development assistance • Industry representatives experts (recent) • MCS professionals • Small-scale fishers organizations • Environmentalists • Aquaculture • Aquaculture scientist/advocates scientist/advocates
  • 14. FAO (1997) FISHERIES GOVERNANCE The term “governance” covers • Applied social scientists both: (i) the activity or process of governing; (ii) those people • often re-badged biologists, charged with the duty of governing: economists and (iii) the manner, method and system by which a particular • Development assistance society is governed. In fisheries it experts (recent) is usually understood as the sum of the legal, social, economic and • Small-scale fishers political arrangements used to organizations manage fisheries. It has international, national and local • Aquaculture dimensions. It includes legally scientist/advocates binding rules, such as national legislation or international treaties as well as customary social arrangements.
  • 15.  Fisheries Management • New modern solutions, based on economic concepts would deliver profits and sustainability in a virtuous cycle  e.g., limited entry, strong MCS, TACs/seasonal closures, ITQs Fisheries Governance • Traditional fisheries ‘management’ is the solution  E.g., sasi laut, pangalima laut, van chai,…  BUT Foale et al 2011 tenure and taboos in the Pacific, Davies and Ruddle 2012 • Marine protected areas are a panacea (conservationists) Both • Co-management will create a more inclusive, egalitarian and sustainable management process
  • 16. • Most current fisheries are mixed  “western” and “non-western” characters  mixed types and scales, even in the “west”  advanced technologies, globalized markets and loose State management measures  the mix does not suit many fish stocks or fishers• Fisheries and aquaculture are embedded in other social/economic/ecological systems and their histories• Elinor Ostrom’s coupled socio-ecological systems  Homo cooperaticus vs Homo economicus  An approach to finding key variables associated with self- organization in commons resources
  • 17. when history confronts us with negative lessons? Dilbert 5 November 2012
  • 18.  Increasing use of network models in fisheries management analysis • From sociology, material semiotics, research and innovation system studies • More process and less structurally oriented than SES Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is popular  Links people and natural systems  Translation as the process of forming a network  Network development and translational stages have historical overtones  Increasing use in fisheries studies,  E.g., scallop culture (Callon 1986), studies on MSC (Bear and Eden 2008), NZ quota systems (Rees 2005), Indian cage culture (Ramachandran 2009), “cyborgization of the fisheries” (Johnsen et al 2009)
  • 19. Drawing from actor-network theory Adding a glossary of terms
  • 20.  The Actor-Networks of “management” • “Actants” – human and non-human factors  The resource and its characteristics  Technology  People (including women), collectives, markets  Management systems and relations Translations • At critical changes • Stages with drivers and motivations Outcomes
  • 21.  Translations – stages of the change • 1. Problematisation  defines the problem and actors who, by defining the problem and how to deal with it, make themselves indispensible • 2. Interessement  during which the primary actor(s) recruit other actors for roles which recognize the centrality of the primary actors own role • 3. Enrolment  during which roles are defined and actors formally accept and take on these roles, and • 4. Mobilisation  during which primary actors become spokespeople for passive network actors (agents) and mobilize them to action.
  • 22.  Need = demand for basic needs including food, employment, income, tax, conflict resolution, social and moral status Greed = wants, market demand, profits, market control Speed = competition, technology innovation, economic efficiency, productivity
  • 23.  Need = demand for basic needs including food, employment, income, tax, conflict resolution, social and moral status Greed = wants, market demand, profits, market control Speed = competition, technology innovation, economic efficiency, productivity
  • 24. Northern Australian trepang fishery Southern Bluefin TunaSoutheast Asian small pelagic fish
  • 25. Picture: FAO 2008 Chief source of information Charles Campbell McKnight 1976The Voyage to Marege’: Macassan trepangers in northern Australia.
  • 26. THE ACTOR-NETWORKS OVERVIEW • Sessile, accessible, multi-species The resource characteristics • Lucrative, distant markets Technology • Dive fishery • Simple processing • Distant fishing owners, male crew  Women stayed at home People, collectives • Importers (China) • Local communities  Including aboriginal men and women Management systems • Capital owners • Australian, Dutch colonial, Northern Territory authorities
  • 27. TRANSLATION - STAGES OVERVIEW Pre-Makassan fishing  Little or no exploitation by first • To mid 1700s Australians • Few local uses, no external markets Makassan and colonial  Major translations phase • Makassans led early stages • Later, Australian authorities • Mid 1700s to 1907 dominated Post-Makassan  Low level of Australian fishing to 1945, then little until late 1980s • Early 1900s to present  Northern Territory fails to gain • Now only 3 licences, attempting aquaculture • Markets resurged with Asian wealth
  • 28. TRANSLATION MAKASSAN PHASE (LATE) Makassan’s had established 1. Problematisation • S. Aust sub-collector of customs markets, technology on arrival in Northern Territory launched bid • Developed worker, for power and assets on basis of controlling trepang fishery community relations with 2. Interessement aboriginal people • Enlisted colonial support for law, ship, officers to tax industry From 1870s, (South) 3. Enrolment Australian authorities • protection of aborigines, cattle established regulations to tax station interests co-opted by Australians; Makassans co-opted catch and imported goods Dutch consul to negotiate 4. Mobilisation • By 1907, declining stocks • Both Australian and Makassan and heavy taxes ended sides engage in policing, tax fishery collecting/amerliorating behaviour
  • 29. OUTCOMES MAKASSAN PHASE  Networks of the Makassan northern Australia trepang fishery fell apart • Markets, labour, technology, etc were not replicable by white or original Australians • Resource was depleted • Chinese market languished for decades under wars and poor economies Smoking a ‘Macassan” pipe, NT.  Other fisheries took over to Source: McKnight, 1976 supply what markets remained
  • 30.  FromNorthern Territory Fishery Status Report 2004, p. 98 By 1907, the South Australian government had ceased issuing licences to Macassans, possibly due to the emergence of a local industry.
  • 31. GOALS OF ACTORS MAKASSAN PHASE Need  Makassans: • markets to meet but had depleted Greed closer resources Speed • technology, skills, know-how • profitable thru efficient labour, Sustainability technology  Australian colonial authorities • saw resource as theirs and wanted recompense until they could harvest it themselves • means to impose rules  First Australians • subsistence, tools, cultural artifacts  Markets (China) • wanted goods but sources fungible
  • 32. MANGNGELLAI DAENG PRAUS, RAFFLES BAY 1839,MARO, 1969 L. LE BRETON
  • 33. MADAMAN, 2 PRAUS AND MUSLIM CEREMONY,TREPANG BOILERS MAKASSAR 1914
  • 34. POBASSOO, WM WESTALL, ALFRED SEARCY, LATE1803 1800S
  • 35. Pole and line fishing of SBT juveniles in the hey-day of the Australian fishery. Photo Kevin McLoughlin, BRS,AUSTRALIAN FISHERIES RESOURCES (1993) p. 365
  • 36. THE ACTOR-NETWORKS OVERVIEW • Single stock, mobile, long lived • V. high value, Japan chief market The resource characteristics • Stock at <5% of virgin biomass Technology • Longline, pole and line • Cage grow-out of juveniles • Multi-national fleets, owners, People, collectives crew • Importers control price, market • Women marginal, invisible in communities, factories, markets Management systems • Capital owners pressure gov’ts
  • 37. TRANSLATION - STAGES OVERVIEW  Japanese fishing starts south of Java Pre-international management  Australia starts fishing inshore juvs • From 1930 to about 1980  Global catch peaks in 1960s (81k t)  Japan, Australia and NZ trilaterals Trilateral management • Industry actors are major influence  Other countries became active • 1979 to 1994  Stock assessments difficult, disputed  CCSBT tough to negotiate Convention on the  Stock fails to recover; CITES attempt  Serious catch under-reporting Conservation of SBT  Culture efforts in train  Current quota 10 k t • 1994 to present
  • 38. TRILATERAL & CCSBTTRANSLATION PHASES Trilateral parties hold 1. Problematisation • Stock assessment scientists greatest influence, led by prepare the management ground Japan 2. Interessement • But new players have • Government managers looked to power to further undermine scientists to shore up national positions, find solutions; fishing stock industry fought for advantages Eventually, CCSBT rules 3. Enrolment found not to have been • Government, science and industry positions entrenched respected by the parties 4. Mobilisation • Main actors survived into next stage despite new entrants (conservation, new countries)
  • 39. OUTCOMES CCSBT PHASE  The battles continue, all parties hope for signs of recovery, or at least an increase in their quota … SBT distribution. FAO
  • 40. GOALS OF ACTORS CCSBT PHASE  Australians Need • had rights to resource in EEZ Greed • technology, know-how, profitable Speed industry to protect  Japanese Sustainability • saw resource as historical right • innovated to lower costs • dominates market, makes the rules  Other countries • jostle to gain catch share  CCSBT • peaceful allocations, sustainability  Markets • Want SBT and sources not fungible  Scientists, conservationists • Still trying
  • 41. TUNA MAKES THE TOWN A COMPLEX INDUSTRY2012 Tunarama Ambassador Entrants(formerly Miss Tunarama)
  • 42. TUNA MAKES THE TOWN A COMPLEX INDUSTRY A Man2012 Tunarama Ambassador Entrants(formerly Miss Tunarama)
  • 43. TSUKIJI AUCTION OF PORTACAP LINCOLN FATTENED TUNA
  • 44. TSUKIJI AUCTION OF PORTACAP LINCOLN FATTENED TUNA A Woman
  • 45. PROCESSING AFTER THEAUCTION SUSHI BAR
  • 46. Malacca Strait, C Class purse seiner, Pulau Pangkor, Perak State, Malaysia
  • 47. THE ACTOR-NETWORKS OVERVIEW The resource characteristics • Strong local markets • Multi-species, multi-gear fishery • Stock status poorly known Technology • Mainly industrial at different scales • Simple processing People, collectives • Embedded in local communities • Many foreign crew, large employer • Women in services, processing, Management systems markets • National regulatory systems • Sporadic enforcement, except cross-border transgressions
  • 48. TRANSLATION - STAGES OVERVIEW Pre-industrial fishing  Myriad of methods • From early 1900s to 1970s,  Lift-net systems gradually depending on area replaced with mechanised, especially purse seines Industrial colonial • Early 1900s to post WWII  Japan and colonial powers supported mechanisation Modern • Starting 1950 to 1970s,  Increasing intensification depending on country, to and mechanisation present
  • 49. TRANSLATION, OUTCOMES MODERN PHASE Population and economic growth drive demand Industry functions with little government interference • Except in acute events • Despite legislation Science has soft voice • Stock status poorly known Major overcapacity • Political, racial risks of reducing capacity are high • Aquaculture preferred means to fill fish gap
  • 50. GOALS OF ACTORS MODERN PHASE Need  Catching sector • Ready market for affordable fish Greed • Technology continually upgrading Speed • Fishing owners large players Sustainability  Processing, marketing • From villages to supermarkets • Price pressures in supply chain?  Government • Reluctant to reduce capacity • Interest in high value fish, aquaculture  Society • Women in processing, marketing sector, in family business roles • New conservation, civil movements
  • 51. NEW PURSE SEINER, P. MIGRANTS SORTING IKANPANGKOR BILIS, LANGKAWI
  • 52. KEREPOK LEKOR THIS WEEK’S SPECIALSSELLERS, TERENGGANU AT TESCO MALAYSIA
  • 53. Don’t ignore the “ugly truths” butturn need, greed and speed into useful levers
  • 54.  The actor-network approach • Resonated with perceptions and analyses • Provides useful framework Need, greed and speed accounted for most of the past translations • Sustainability has been a more minor human goal To influence fisheries management • certainty, or science or education won’t save the world • Can’t ignore the “ugly truths” of need, greed and speed – they have to also provide the positive levers for change to sustainability
  • 55.  Need = demand for basic needs including food, employment, income, tax, conflict resolution, social and moral status Greed = wants, market demand, profits, market control Speed = competition, technology innovation, economic efficiency, productivity
  • 56. “The Needy and the Greedy” by Handy Jager 1989 http://www.stors.tas.gov.au/au-7-0074-00022 Thanks to Tony Harrison and his excellent work on Australian, especially Tasmanian, fisheries history for preserving this personal account. The first sentence in this account is as follows:Firstly let me state I consider there are two kinds of fishermen - "the needy" and "the greedy" and I can assure you there are no shortage of either in the industry.
  • 57. A wonderful picture of Torres Strait Island women processing trepang can be seen in: W. Saville Kent. 1893. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia: It’s Products and Potentialities. http://archive.org/details/greatbarrierreef00kent