Nationalisation, Property Rights and the Dilemmas of Coastal Commons Management in Kerala

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"Across world resource management is experiencing an approach towards top to down; i.e. incorporating more communitarian arrangements in policy and decision making. However; in India and Kerala since 1980, has experimented a series of aquarian reforms and policies for marine resource management which is bottom to top approach. The new inland fisheries policy of 2010 is the last nail to the coffin. These reforms tend to disregard the institutional needs of natural resource management in general and common property resource management in particular. Nationalisation of water bodies and the creation of modern forms of private property for fishing combined with exposure of local markets to global requirements led to overriding of resource. This have caused continuous decline in resources and undermined possibilities for collective action in the region.Traditional fishermen here have no legal say even though the gear/access rights were with them all overriding rights rest with the governments.This has lead to degeneration of property rights; insecure livelihoods and resource degradation. This article reviews the incentives and constrain faced by traditional fisherman in the wake of the policy reforms for common property resources management. How the communities bargain and adapt to institutional reforms for livelihood security. As well we envisage alternative directions for policy intervention for resource sustainability."



institutions, common pool resources, community