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Do Fishers Have Territories? The Use of Fishing Grounds at Aventureiro (Ilha Grande, Brazil)

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Seixas, Cristiana Simao; Begossi, Alpina
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/832
Sector: Fisheries
Region: South America
Subject(s): IASC
artisanal fishing
Abstract: "Fisher behavior is important in studies of fishery resources. The understanding of fishing strategies and fisher decisions about where, when, and length of time of fishing are important for the comprehension of fishing activities. Models that predict fishing responses to management, such as restrictions on effort and fishing grounds, also require this kind of information (Vignaux 1996). In this sense, the concept of territoriality is valuable in understanding artisanal fisher behavior and fishing strategies (Begossi 1995, 1996; Castro and Begossi 1995; Cordell 1985, McGrath et al. 1993). "Territory defense for reproductive or foraging purposes is very common in ecology. It is also common in human ecology. According to Akimichi (1984), the main purposes of human fisher territoriality are social and economic equity to resource access, avoidance of fights and conflicts, and resource conservation. Human territoriality has been reported in several areas previously considered as open-access (Acheson 1981; Akimichi 1984; Cordell 1985; McCay and Acheson 1987; Berkes 1989; Levieil and Orlove 1990; McGrath et al. 1993). The sea may be an open- access for some fishery types, but for others, individuals or communities have resource-tenure systems (Acheson 1981; McCay and Acheson 1987; Berkes 1989). These systems may be established by means of formal as well as informal rules. In some areas, however, fishers have local rules for the conduct of a fishery without the use of territories or other means of establishing tenure. In the common property literature, a number of mechanisms other than territories have been known to regulate the local use of fishery resources (Berkes 1989; Ostrom 1990; Bromley 1992). "The purpose of this study was to analyze the fisher behavior at Aventureiro (Ilha Grande, RJ, Brazil) in terms of the fishing spots used. Specifically, we intended to observe if there were fishing grounds used exclusively by the same fishers or families, and if these fishers always used the same fishing spot. Additionally, we intended to analyze the circumstances under which fisheries took place, i.e., in terms of local geography, laws, informal rules, kin- relationship, etc."

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