Voices, lenses and paradigms: understanding ...

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Section title Voices, lenses and paradigms: understanding fisheries development in the Pacific
Section author(s) J. Veitayaki, Irene Novaczek
Book title Pacific voices: equity and sustainability in Pacific Islands fisheries.
Book editor(s) Irene Novaczek, Jean Mitchell, J. Veitayaki
Start page 1
Date 2005
Abstract Despite concerns over the past decade regarding the decline of Pacific inshore fisheries and the lack of attention to the fishing activities of women in the region, data on both topics remains rare or superficial. Research is often directed towards those fisheries which earn foreign currency and promote modernization, yet inshore resources provide essential protein to the majority of Pacific Islanders and women are the key labour force in subsistence fisheries. Documenting women's as well as men's histories, roles and perceptions is thus essential to understand the impact fisheries developments have had in the past and to ensure more equitable developments in future. Such documentation by indigenous researchers ensures finer elaboration of the often unspoken complexities between coastal peoples and their inshore marine environments. Through case studies presented in this volume, the rate and degree of change in inshore fisheries over the past century is shown to have been profound, creating tensions within many Pacific communities. Technology, culture, religion and the cash economy have all influenced gender and generational roles, socio-economic conditions and perceptions of authority within communities in both positive and negative ways. Islanders have often adopted development models from elsewhere that have not served them well, particularly women. Conversely, traditional communities of the Pacific have much to teach contemporary Western societies about self-sufficiency, sustainability and community-based social supports.

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