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Selling the Sea, Fishing for Power

Selling the Sea, Fishing for Power: A study of conflict over marine tenure in Kei Islands, Eastern Indonesia OPEN ACCESS

Dedi Supriadi Adhuri
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: ANU Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2jbkt1
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  • Book Info
    Selling the Sea, Fishing for Power
    Book Description:

    By analysing various conflicts, this book discusses the social, political, economic and legal attributes that are attached to the practice of traditional (communal) marine tenure. Selling the Sea pushes the discourse beyond the conventional approach which looks at marine tenure only as a means of resource management, and offers a more comprehensive understanding of what marine tenure is. For those working in the areas of marine resource management and fisheries, this book is a critical but also complementary reading to the conventional discourse on the issue.

    eISBN: 978-1-922144-83-6
    Subjects: Environmental Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Foreword (pp. xi-xii)
    James J. Fox

    Dedi Adhuri’s Selling the Sea, Fishing for Power is a book of critical importance. It addresses major issues in the management of marine resources, marshals an impressive array of diverse evidence to present its argument, and then cogently sets forth a considered approach to understanding comparable forms of engagement in local marine management. It is a convincing and relevant reminder of the pertinence of politics in coastal development.

    This book is an ethnographic study of several coastal communities in the Kei Islands of eastern Indonesia. Central to Dr. Adhuri’s argument is an insistence that systems of local marine resource management...

  2. In the Kei Archipelago in Southeastern Maluku Province (Map 1-1), conflict over communal/traditional² marine tenure is commonplace. While the incident in Sather is one of the worst on record,³ less violent conflicts have occurred in other villages (Van Hoëvell 1890; Lasomer 1985; Thorburn 2000; 2001). During 13 months of fieldwork research in 1996–97, I was witness to three such conflicts that arose in Dullah Laut Village on the Kei Kecil group of islands.

    Personal experience with conflicts surrounding resource ownership and analysis of their documentation has enabled me to grasp the concept and practice of communal marine tenure and how...

  3. I was not welcomed with the same excitement on my first visit to the Kei Islands. This was not only because I shared similar skin colour to the people of Kei or that I landed at a different spot, but was more likely due to the people of the Kei Islands’ familiarity with one and a half centuries of change since Wallace’s visit in January 1857.

    This chapter will highlight important changes that have occurred over the last century as well as introduce the Kei Islands and its people. A principal focus of this discussion will involve demographic and social...

  4. 3. Dullah Laut (pp. 39-60)

    The territory of Dullah Laut includes a group of islands that lie to the northwest of Dullah Island (see Map 1-2).¹ The islands that comprise this territory include: Dullah Laut (Duroa); Moa; Adranan (Dranan); Rumadan Warwahan; Rumadan Warohoi; Sua; Baer; Ohoimas; and Watlora (Ruin) (Map 3-1). The main island of the territory, Dullah Laut, is the largest of the group with an area of 8.1 km². Except for Rumadan Warwahan, Baer, and Ohoimas Islands, each of which is about 1.35 km² in area, each island is somewhat different in size. Rumadan Warohoi, at approximately 2.34 km², is the second largest....

  5. The oral history that describes the formation of a particular domain is referred to as toom.¹ Kei people believe that the events mentioned in a toom actually took place in the past. These events are important because they explain the process of creation of their social world. For the Kei people, toom is not only a history of their origin but also the most important source of traditional claim over positions and objects. Reference to a particular narrative of origin is required to legitimate any claim, thus for the people of the Kei Islands, the narrative of origin is the...

  6. As mentioned in the introductory chapter, the focus of this book is the politics of communal marine tenure in the Kei Islands. While the preceding chapters set out a broad context of the Kei people, this chapter will provide a specific understanding of communal marine tenure. The knowledge of marine tenure’s general principles and practice will be crucial in understanding the politics of marine tenure that will be elucidated in the next four chapters.

    Two notes worth mentioning before I start explaining customary marine tenure. First, I will make comparisons between general principles and the practice of marine tenure in...

  7. A day before I left Dullah Laut, I was involved in a raid of an ‘illegal’ fishing company that was preparing for a fishing operation in the Dullah Laut sea territory.² This incident developed into a serious conflict involving not only villagers and the fishing company but also military officers. At the village level, the conflict appeared to create three opposing factions. The involvement of military officers added to the complexity of the conflict because they represented outsiders’ interest in the problem.

    Although, the nature of this conflict was quite complex, encompassing many issues within the community and also relating...

  8. The above quotations represent a popular recommendation for both central and local Indonesian governments to legalise the existence of customary marine tenure in Maluku and in Indonesia in general. In fact, this recommendation is one of the main elements in the creation of co-management (McCay and Jentoft 1996; Jentof et al. 1998) which refers to a management practice where government and fishing communities work together in crafting, implementing, and evaluating the policies related to marine tenure. Thus, such a recommendation is not unique to Maluku or Indonesia but worldwide.

    There are two assumptions supporting this recommendation. First is that there...

  9. The introduction and integration of the market economy into local communities is often identified as one of the causes of the breakdown of traditional sea management practise. For example, Johannes (1978, 1981) observed that the cash economy introduced by Westerners had degraded traditional marine tenure in Oceania. He argued that the introduction of a market economy encouraged competition for cash which led to increased exploitation of marine resources through the adoption of more effective and efficient fishing technologies and techniques. ‘Under such conditions’, Johannes (1978: 357) wrote, ‘a conservation ethic cannot thrive. Conservation customs practiced voluntarily by the individual erode...

  10. This chapter will discuss a conflict between Sather and Tutrean villages on the northern coast of Kei Besar Island (Map 1-2). This conflict is very important for a comprehensive understanding of the problem of communal marine tenure in the Kei Islands. This is not only because the conflict was very cruel and had persisted through almost a century, but because the conflict questions the very foundation of traditional communal marine tenure.

    By looking at the history of the conflict and examining the failure of attempted solutions initiated by the Dutch and Indonesian governments, this chapter will argue that even in...

  11. McGoodwin’s findings should have come as no surprise. More than two decades before, Hardin (1968) had warned that this crisis might occur. However, the crisis is still disturbing because since Hardin’s predictions, academics and resource managers from a range of disciplines have been trying to find solutions to avoid the crisis, and McGoodwin’s study shows that they have not yet found an effective strategy. We might then pose the question: What is wrong with the discourse on fisheries management?

    Following Hardin (1968) who argued that ‘free for all’ common property lay at the core of the problem of the discussion...