Migratory fishermen: A case study in interjurisdictional natural resource management

Journal Article

The need for interjurisdictional management of natural resources arises because both the natural resources themselves and the users of those resources move across political and administrative jurisdictions. Since the users of the resources, and not the resources themselves, are the entities whose behavior is most often regulated, sound policy and management requires dependable data on the nature and extent of those behaviors. This paper describes the migratory fishing behavior of small-scale inshore shrimp fishermen from North Carolina who migrate south across state boundaries to harvest shrimp in South Carolina. Based on data collected through surveys, personal interviews, and ethnographic fieldwork and analyzed using formal social network techniques, the basic social organization and fishing patterns of this group are presented. These are then analyzed with respect to physical and cultural environmental factors underlying their migration. Finally, the relationships between the fishermen, their communities, and their fishing patterns and the three different potential management jurisdictions under which they catch or land fish are explored. Migratory fishing patterns are found to depend on a combination of physical, occupational, economic, political, and social structural factors. Migratory fishing increases flexibility for fishermen, but creates hardship on the fishermen's communities and presents a number of difficulties for fishery management agencies. The paper concludes with suggestions for taking migratory fishing behavior into account in an interjurisdictional management framework. © 1990.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Johnson, JC; Orbach, MK

Published Date

  • 1990

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 3-4

Start / End Page

  • 231 - 252

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0951-8312