Accepted paper:

The ritual use of scientific models to increase fisheries in South Western Madagascar

Author:

David Picard (University of Lausanne)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores the ritualistic use by South Western Malagasy fishing populations of NGO-introduced scientific fisheries models to increase catches, determine "good" fishing grounds and manage risk.

Paper long abstract:

The paper explores the ritualistic use of scientific models by South Western Malagasy fishing populations to increase fisheries and income generated as a result of the integration to collector networks and world markets. Following the observation of the 'miraculous' success of an octopus reserve implemented initially as a demonstration by an international NGO, many villagers of the coastal area of South Western Madagascar started similar temporary conservation enterprises, in the hope that these would provide similar results. The paper explores the ritualised governance of sea resources (via the ownership of spirits inhabiting fishing grounds) and the transposition of the model underlying this governance in the new context marked by marine conservation programmes and efforts to generate alternative livelihoods through different forms of fishing and the integration to international markets for dry fish, shark fin, sea cucumber and octopus.

panel W120
Economy and ritual