Livelihoods and customary marine resource management under customary marine tenure: case studies in the Solomon Islands
In many ways, coastal marine resources have provided an important source of protein, income and even employment for coastal rural Solomon Islands communities. Fishing, for instance, has always played a very important role in these communities' culture and tradition. Subsistence fishing is traditional in most rural coastal communities. Small-scale fishing is also wide-spread. Traditionally marine areas and resources were managed by the custodians of the adjacent land and the traditional leaders in some local communities. While small-scale fisheries are managed by the Government, much of the enforcement responsibility is in the hands of the community leaders, given the realities of what that Government can provide. This research has explored the interaction between rural coastal livelihoods and marine resource management under Customary Marine Tenure (CMT) in one area of Temotu Province, Solomon Islands. Specifically the research seeks to explore, explain and describe how the livelihoods of the rural coastal villagers influence the use, access and management of marine resources and vice versa. Particular attention has been given to: first exploring the traditional marine resource management under CMT and livelihoods in the three villages; second, how the changes in the villagers' livelihoods system affects the customary marine resource management in the three case study villages; third, how changes in customary marine resource management influences the livelihoods of the villagers and finally the nature of the relationship between livelihoods and customary marine resource management is described for the first time for this part of the Solomon Islands. The research results showed that villagers' livelihoods have changed over the past decade and much of these changes have affected the customary marine resource management in the three case study villages. Consequently, customary marine resource management under CMT is no longer effective. The changes in customary marine resource also have implications on the villagers' livelihoods. For this reason the study argues that when trying to understand the factors affecting customary marine resource, the entire livelihoods system of the people should be considered. The study states that the nature of the interactions between livelihoods and customary marine resource management is a two-way relationship, dynamic and very complex. Should there be further marine resource development, the study suggests that understanding the livelihoods of the people concerned is important for better management.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsdevelopment; livelihoods; customary marine resource management; marine resources; customary marine tenure; fishing; Temotu Province; Solomon Islands
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