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The Tragedy of the Commoners: The Decline of the Customary Marine Tenure System of Tonga

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Malm, Thomas
Conference: Symposium and Workshop about Managing Common Resources, What is the Solution?
Location: Lund University, Sweden
Conf. Date: September 10-11
Date: 2001
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8057
Sector: Fisheries
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): marine resources
customary law
population growth
tragedy of the commons
common pool resources
Abstract: "The purpose of this paper is to outline how a rapid process of modernization, in combination with urbanization and population growth, have resulted in a breakdown of the traditional marine tenure systems and an over-exploitation of marine organisms. Although there are cases in Oceania where marine areas adjoining villages have remained under communal control even after having become legal Crown or state property in modern times, Tonga exemplifies how Crown/state ownership has come to replace communal ownership but been less able than the local communities to regulate the use of the marine resources."

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