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Capturing Fugitive Resources in a Globalized Economy: The Case of Marine Aquaculture in Hawai`i

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Suryanata, Krisnawati; Umemoto, Karen
Conference: Tradition and Globalisation: Critical Issues for the Accommodation of CPRs in the Pacific Region, the Inaugural Pacific Regional Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Conf. Date: September 2-4, 2001
Date: 2001
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/265
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): IASC
marine resources
indigenous institutions
property rights
Abstract: "Technological development in breeding and growing Pacific threadfin (mo`i) in open-ocean cages has opened up the possibility of a new growth industry for Hawai`i. However, two types of challenges must be overcome before this potential could be realized. First, the issues of equity and overlapping claims associated with marine aquaculture production must be resolved. The new mode of production requires new property institutions that incorporates not only the rights of access and extraction that are common to marine tenure, but also exclusive individual claims (over the fish stock inside the cages) by aquaculture operators and exclusive cultural claims (over the fish species) on behalf of native Hawaiians. Second, commercial marine aquaculture production must be placed in the context of a globalized economy that generally favors large trans-national corporations over local independent producers. Developing marine aquaculture without acknowledging this pervasive trend would result in an industry whose profitability is short lived once the technology is reproduced in other lower cost areas. "The paper explores opportunities to build policies and programs in Hawai`i that address the potential social and cultural obstacles while simultaneously building economically viable strategies for marine aquaculture producers. Drawing from studies in agro-food systems and actor-network theory, we examine ways of facilitating problem-solving among local stakeholders in order to appropriately apply new technology and maintain strategic positions in dynamic networks that support the new industry. The challenge is to strike the delicate balance between favoring local enterprises rooted in cultural traditions, maintaining competitiveness and ensuring environmental and aesthetic standards."

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