Investigating Social And Cultural Drivers Of Pacific Coral Reef Resilience

dc.contributor.author Dacks, Rachel
dc.contributor.department ZOOLOGY (MARINE BIOLOGY)
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-28T20:45:38Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-28T20:45:38Z
dc.date.issued 2018-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62846
dc.title Investigating Social And Cultural Drivers Of Pacific Coral Reef Resilience
dc.type Thesis
dcterms.abstract Coral reefs and their associated human communities are inextricably linked in social-ecological systems (SES). Globally, there are many cases of fisheries management failure when the human dimension is not properly incorporated into management planning. As such, a growing body of evidence suggests that fisheries should be managed for social-ecological resilience, or the ability of SES to resist, recover, and adapt from disturbance while maintaining structure, function, and feedbacks. However, few attempts have been made to use SES approaches in management design, that incorporate locally relevant sociocultural factors, at the scale in which fishing activities are determined. This dissertation focuses on coral reef fishing communities in the Pacific Islands, where indigenous communities have been established for centuries or millennia and which have a long history of both natural and social disturbances, making them especially suited for understanding how social-ecological resilience has been maintained over time. I addressed the following questions: 1) from a Pacific Islands perspective, what are the relevant sociocultural factors that influence resilience and how can such factors be measured?; 2) what role do fisheries play in sharing networks, important structures for social-ecological resilience; and 3) which social-ecological indicators of resilience predict household fish catch? In visioning exercises, members of place-based communities identified several factors that have largely been absent from resource management and conservation interventions, that could be broadly classified under the concepts of: “Connectedness to people and place” and “Indigenous and local knowledges, skills, practices, values and worldviews.” I assessed social cohesion, which is part of “Connectedness to people and place” in 18 communities in Fiji across a socioeconomic gradient using social network analysis (SNA) of resource sharing networks. I found that natural resources are widely shared, but that villages in closer proximity to a large, urban center had less cohesive sharing networks. Further, mean household fishing frequency was positively correlated with two measures of network cohesion. As such, fisheries management that takes sharing network properties into account should be prioritized to maintain social resilience. To determine drivers of household fishing, I used data collected from 20 villages across Fiji in structural equation models, and found that importance of fishing to income, household fish consumption, livelihood diversity, travel time to market, and coral reef area, all positively affected estimated household-level fish catch. These results contrast with findings from other larger-scale studies in identifying that households further from markets had higher fishing frequency. My results highlight the role of middlemen in these small-scale fisheries, who have been largely overlooked as drivers of small-scale fisheries catch. Findings of this research demonstrate the importance of understanding how locally important sociocultural factors, at a fine spatial scale, influence coral reef SES. Such an understanding is necessary for designing successful small-scale fisheries management measures in participation with local communities.
dcterms.description Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
dcterms.language eng
dcterms.publisher University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
dcterms.rights All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
dcterms.type Text
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