The Incident in Dullah Laut: Marine Tenure and the Politics of Village Leadership in Maluku, Eastern Indonesia

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"The marine resource management discourse limits its concern for property rights to their role as instruments of resource management. Through the analysis of a conflict over communal marine tenure at Dullah Laut village in Maluku, Eastern Indonesia, this paper highlights the socio-political and economic values of communal marine tenure. It argues that communal marine tenure in Dullah Laut village is not considered merely as an instrument for controlling marine territory and resources but also as a form of 'political capital.' In this role, marine tenure has been used in the power struggle by local elites over control of the village headship. In this circumstance, the practice of communal marine tenure is defined and re-defined to suit the political interests of those involved in the power struggle. As a result, the management aspect of marine tenure is not considered important. In fact, customary property rights were traded for political and economic support from a foreign fishing operation--backed up by military and government officers--which most likely uses cyanide in its operation."



marine resources--case studies, common pool resources--case studies, conflict--case studies, fisheries--case studies, community participation--case studies, property rights--case studies, indigenous institutions--case studies, state and local governance, social capital, corruption, pollution