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Resource Dependency and Community Stability in Coastal Fishing Communities of Southeast Asia

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Bailey, Conner; Pomeroy, Caroline
Conference: 1993 Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society
Location: Portland, Oregon
Conf. Date: August 1993
Date: 1993
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/723
Sector: Fisheries
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): fisheries
coastal regions
Abstract: "The term 'resource dependency' has come into common usage to denote conditions under which particular communities or regions are heavily reliant on one type of economic activity (e.g., farming, mining, fishing, or logging). Interest in resource dependent communities is a well established tradition among social scientists. Particular attention has been paid to the connection between community stability and the status of natural resource systems in North America. In the U.S., for example, social and economic problems associated with timber dependency recently have been accorded nationwide attention due to structural changes affecting forest-based industries of the Pacific Northwest. These changes underscore what social scientists long have known: dependency creates vulnerability, especially in the context of physical isolation and the absence of alternative employment prospects that characterize many if not most timber dependent communities. "The argument advanced in this paper is that similar analyses of problems associated with resource dependency can and should be applied to coastal fishing communities of the Third World. Examining these communities in the context of resource dependency draws our attention to the connection between sustainable resource use and community stability. However, because conditions are different, we should expect that the dynamics between resource base and conditions in human communities also will differ. One purpose of this paper is to expand application of resource dependency as a conceptual framework beyond the limited geographical bounds of the current literature. By so doing we hope not only to shed new light on the concept but also to better illuminate the human dimensions of small-scale fisheries in Southeast Asia. "In this paper, we briefly outline current conditions regarding technologies, resources and development policies affecting coastal fisheries in Southeast Asia. We then address factors that have caused continued rapid growth in numbers of small-scale fishers in the region. This is followed by a discussion of occupational diversity within the households and communities of coastal Southeast Asia."

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