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West-African Coastal Societies and Fishery Spaces

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Cormier-Salem, Marie Christine
Conference: Reinventing the Commons, the Fifth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bodoe, Norway
Conf. Date: May 24-28, 1995
Date: 1995
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2359
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Africa
Subject(s): fisheries
coastal resources
Abstract: From introduction: "West-African small-scale fishing is characterised by a very remarkable dynamic. It is designed as the blue gold of a lot of West-African countries. This sector is very important, economically (high increase of catches, market integration) and socially (increase of fishermen population). This sector is also characterised by its diversity. A long range of the studies have underlined the complexity of West-African fishing systems, each of them based on specific ecosystems, resources exploitation, techniques, commercial network and social organisations. Fisheries intensification, fishing systems diversification and migration patterns extension are for sure the major phenomena of the last 40 years. These changes lead to question the forms of resource regulation. "From a certain point of view, open property resource and predator behaviour of migratory fishermen are considered as the conditions of this dynamic. Fishery resources over-exploitation and/or conflicts between fishermen communities (outsiders vs indigenous, migratory vs sedentary, inland vs maritime fishermen etc.) could be seen as the lonely issues. However, without denying these risks, most of the studies about West-African small-scale fishing emphasize the efficiency of community-based management and control of resources. "The aim of this communication is to show the complexity of resources regulation and spaces appropriation among West-African societies. Through the case study of the Southern Rivers (the West-African coast from Senegal to Sierra Leone), the attention will be first focused on methodological approach. Then a new definition of the notion of fishing territory will be suggested and discussed."

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