Fache, Elodie and Breckwoldt, Annette ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5976-4537 (2023) Women’s Active Engagement with the Sea Through Fishing in Fiji. Anthropological Forum . pp. 1-23. DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/00664677.2023.2258452.

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Abstract

Fiji’s iTaukei (Indigenous) women contribute significantly to small-scale coastal fisheries, and are therefore integral to successful fisheries (co-)management, yet their role still remains underestimated. This paper explores an original pathway to highlight iTaukei women’s role in Fiji’s small-scale coastal fisheries; a pathway that, through a ‘dwelling perspective’, emphasises the socialities that are inseparable from this role. It is based on data collected during two distinct fieldwork periods, 2003–2004 and 2016–2018, in a village located on Gau, Fiji’s fifth biggest island, in Lomaiviti Province. An overview of the fishing practices of the iTaukei women living in this village shows that fishing can be seen as both a gender-differentiated and a more-than-human, dynamic field of sociality. Furthermore, we argue that fishing is these women’s main mode of active engagement with their marine environment, conceived as inseparable from land, and all its sentient constituents. This mode of engagement reflects the relational ontology inherent in the iTaukei all-encompassing concept of vanua, which includes a sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship. This mode of engagement and its ‘procurement’ dimension are adjusted over time through ‘friction’ with conservation regulations and ideas that are both internal and external to the fishing community. These conservation regulations and ideas are related to community-based marine resource initiatives, as well as to national fisheries management concerns and measures (including species-specific fishing bans). They give a supplemental dimension to women’s interactions and engagement with the sea and its sentient constituents, far from reducing those to a mere divide between ‘nature’ and society/sociality.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA5
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Social-Ecological Systems Analysis
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00664677.2023.2258452
ISSN: 0066-4677
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2023 07:27
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2023 07:27
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/5256

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