Samudra Report

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Issue No:79
  • :0973–1121
  • :August
  • :2018

Samudra Report No.79, August 2018

Sri Lanka / Co-operatives

Wellbeing Aspirations

Fisheries co-operatives in Sri Lanka need to be restructured into true co-management platforms to ensure the sustainable use of coastal zone resources

This article is by Oscar Amarasinghe (, President of the Sri Lanka Forum for Small-Scale Fisheries (SLFSSF), Sri Lanka

It is now recognized that fishing is not simply catching fish and earning an income, but a way of life which is especially true with small-scale fisheries, which comprise nearly 90 per cent of all fisheries in developing countries. All activities in fishing are firmly embedded in culture, values, customs and traditions of fishing communities, and thus the decisions concerning fishing are generally sociocultural constructs rather than those based on profit-maximizing rational choices. For natural scientists, fishing is an issue of ecosystem health; for social scientists it is a case of social welfare and wellbeing, while for governors and managers, it is policies, laws and management mechanisms for sustainable resource use. However, for fishers it is a particular way or life which meets their wellbeing aspirations – a much broader composite goal. The oft-noted complaint of fishers is that their diverse wellbeing aspirations are not...

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