Governance of Fisheries Conflicts and Resources – Multiple Approaches

Despite growing concerns over the health of marine ecosystems, capture fisheries still constitute an important economic sector in the Global South, providing for considerable employment and food security. Many of these capture fisheries are, however, wracked by social conflict involving governments as well as groups of fishers with opposing interests and cultures. Building on the results of the REINCORPFISH project (see, this panel explores various approaches to understanding the origins of conflict as well as opportunities for their resolution. Starting point is the realization that many fisheries – including those in South Asia and South Africa, from which our case material derives – are characterized by forms of unsynchronized polycentric governance, legal pluralism, power difference, and intense political activity. The conflicts that emerge at multiple levels have important effects for the wellbeing of the coastal population. Their addressal – and the achievement of responsible development – necessarily involves the fisher contestants themselves, as well as government agencies and civil society parties.