How commoditization and cross-cultural values influence the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Sahir Advani B.Sc., The University of Mumbai, 2008 M.Sc., The University of Mumbai, 2010 M.Res., The University of Glasgow, 2011 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) February 2020 © Sahir Advani, 2020 ii The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, the dissertation entitled: How commoditization and cross-cultural values influence the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India submitted by Sahir Advani in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Resource Management and Environmental Studies Examining Committee: Dr. Mimi E. Lam, Centre for the Study of the Sciences & the Humanities, University of Bergen, Norway; Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, UBC Co-supervisor Prof. Derek S. Johnson, Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba Supervisory Committee Member Prof. Daniel Pauly, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, UBC University Examiner Prof. Charles Menzies, Department of Anthropology, UBC University Examiner Additional Supervisory Committee Members: Prof. Tony J. Pitcher, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, UBC Co-supervisor Prof. William W.L. Cheung, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, UBC Supervisory Committee Member iii Abstract Globalization, notably through the international seafood trade and commoditization of marine resources, impacts the sustainability of small-scale fisheries and fisher livelihoods. Foremost amongst these impacts are changes in how fishing communities relate to and value marine resources and ecosystems. This dissertation explores the impacts of global seafood markets on the values of four cultural groups involved in fisheries in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI), India. The main aim of this research is to understand how cultural differences, settlement history, market accessibility, and involvement in fishing affect the values that communities ascribe to marine resources and the social-ecological sustainability of those interactions. The multicultural and historically complex nature of fisheries in the ANI provides a unique opportunity to study the variation in market integration and values ascribed to marine resources across different communities, space, and time. The socio-economic and socio-cultural values of four cultural groups that engage in small-scale fishing in the ANI underpin this research. Fish commoditization was examined through the names that respondents from various cultural groups used for commercially important marine species, with commoditized names being more likely to be used than vernacular names by individuals belonging to groups that settled more recently or that had more experience fishing or selling fish. While market access did not influence the likelihood of using commoditized names, shifts in economic value have adversely impacted the livelihoods and food security of certain cultural groups in the ANI. The value landscapes of the cultural groups in the ANI vary with settlement history, gender, occupation, and age. The fisheries that cultural groups engage in, here termed “cultural fisheries,” are influenced by their values, which in turn influence their fishing practices and sustainability. A Rapfish analysis modified for cultural fisheries found that indigenous subsistence fisheries are more sustainable than commercial fisheries in the ANI. The insights from this value-based research are synthesized as policy implications and recommendations for fisheries scientists, managers, and policymakers, as well as social-ecological advice for local communities. iv Lay Summary Multicultural fishing communities can have a diversity of values that influence the sustainability of their fishing practices. This dissertation explores the factors that influence why certain cultural groups consider some values to be more important than others. It also seeks to understand if global seafood markets influence the values of local communities. For example, do community values shift prioritizing their relationships with marine species and ecosystems to the profits they can obtain from fishing and selling fish? The implications of these insights are synthesized as recommendations to local fishing communities and policymakers on how to better manage their fisheries to reflect the values of local fishery stakeholders. v Preface This dissertation is the product of extensive ethnographic field research and analyses by the author, Sahir Advani, who completed it with support and advice from his supervisory (and examining) committee and colleagues. I accept all responsibility for the validity and accuracy of the research presented in this dissertation. I determined the aims and study design of the research presented in the dissertation, with critical guidance from my co-supervisors and inputs from my supervisory committee. I conducted all fieldwork and data collection, gratefully assisted by several field assistants and translators. Staff at Dakshin Foundation, Bangalore, India and the Andaman and Nicobar Environment Team (ANET), Wandoor, India provided logistical assistance and guidance for fieldwork. Saw Charlee and Mr. Ravi created the artwork included in the dissertation. I conducted all analyses and authored the dissertation, with critical and significant inputs from my co-supervisors, Dr. Mimi E. Lam (Centre for the Study of the Sciences & the Humanities, University of Bergen, Norway; Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), UBC; hereafter MEL) and Professor Tony J. Pitcher (IOF, UBC, hereafter TJP). Chapter 2 is intended to be a sole-author publication by me in a peer-reviewed social science journal. I received critical inputs from MEL and TJP for this chapter. Chapter 3 correlates fish naming practices with commoditization and values to investigate a hypothesis originated by MEL. I am currently drafting a manuscript based on it, with TJP and MEL as co-authors, which will be submitted to a peer-reviewed fisheries journal. All authors contributed towards the methodological design and questionnaire development. I conducted all fieldwork and statistical analyses, with guiding insights and suggestions from MEL and TJP. Committee member Professor Derek S. Johnson (Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba, hereafter DSJ) advised on the ethnographic fieldwork and Joe Watson from UBC offered statistical advice. Chapter 4 will be modified for publication as an in-depth empirical case study of values and cultural identity in a peer-reviewed journal. I will be the lead author of the manuscript and the co-authors will include MEL, TJP, DSJ, and Professor Lawrence Ward (hereafter LW) from UBC. I developed, with MEL and TJP, the methodological design and questionnaire. DSJ provided valuable advice on the ethnographic approach and considerations of socio-cultural contexts in my field research. I adapted the vi value-prioritization methodology developed by MEL, TJP, LW and co-authors to create locally contextualized and cross-cultural value cards for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. I conducted all the analyses provided in this chapter, with critical guidance and advice from MEL and TJP, as well as LW, notably on the clustering analyses of value prioritizations and sensitivity analysis of grouping value rankings by cultural groups. Chapter 5 will be modified and validated for publication as an original contribution on cultural fisheries as marine social-ecological systems in a peer-reviewed journal. I will be the lead author of this manuscript, with TJP, MEL, and Professor William W.L. Cheung (hereafter WWLC) as co-authors. This chapter utilized the Rapfish methodology pioneered by TJP. I modified the Rapfish sustainability attributes to reflect ANI contexts and assess cultural fisheries. WWLC provided critical inputs to assess the bioeconomic vulnerability and the local discount rates of cultural groups. TJP provided guidance with implementing the Rapfish routine, leverage analysis, and Monte-Carlo uncertainty estimation in R. MEL helped to design and refine the questionnaire that generated the raw data used to assess the cultural fisheries sustainability attributes. Aspects of Chapter 6 will be communicated to relevant stakeholders through publications, policy briefs, and workshops. The main chapter findings will be synthesized in a policy-oriented manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Section 6.2 will be submitted as a policy brief to fisheries management agencies in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. Information in Section 6.3 will be conveyed to fishing communities in the islands through workshops conducted in collaboration with Dakshin Foundation and ANET. All fieldwork research presented in this dissertation was conducted after receiving approval from the Behavioural Research Ethics Board at the University of British Columbia under certificate numbers H16-00053-001 and H16-02574. The Nicobar Islands are a designated Tribal Reserve, and entry into the islands is strictly regulated by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Regulation 1956. Tribal Area Permits numbered 325/2017 and 647/2018 were obtained from the offices of the Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman, before landing and conducting any research in the Nicobar Islands. vii Table of Contents Table of Contents Abstract .................................................................................................................................................. iii Lay Summary ......................................................................................................................................... iv Preface ..................................................................................................................................................... v Table of Contents .................................................................................................................................. vii List of Tables .......................................................................................................................................... ix List of Figures ........................................................................................................................................ xi Acknowledgements .............................................................................................................................. xiv Dedication ............................................................................................................................................. xvi Chapter 1: Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Value theories and methodologies ........................................................................................ 2 1.2 Value landscapes and operationalizing values ..................................................................... 7 1.3 Research objective ................................................................................................................ 8 1.4 Fieldwork and research ethics .............................................................................................. 9 1.5 Researcher identity ............................................................................................................. 10 1.6 Overview of dissertation ..................................................................................................... 12 Chapter 2: Understanding histories of cultural groups and marine commodity fisheries in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands ............................................................................................................ 14 2.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 14 2.2 Methods .............................................................................................................................. 16 2.3 Results and Discussion ....................................................................................................... 18 2.4 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 54 Chapter 3: A fish called dollar: Commoditization and the transformation of cultural values for Plectropomus leopardus ..................................................................................................................... 56 3.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 56 3.2 Methods .............................................................................................................................. 61 3.3 Results................................................................................................................................. 64 3.4 Discussion ........................................................................................................................... 74 3.5 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 77 viii Chapter 4: Uncovering the value landscapes of multicultural fishing communities and the socio-economic and socio-cultural factors influencing value heterogeneity ............................................... 79 4.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 79 4.2 Methods .............................................................................................................................. 82 4.3 Results................................................................................................................................. 98 4.4 Discussion and Conclusion ............................................................................................... 130 Chapter 5: Sustainability assessment of cultural fisheries through a modified Rapfish approach ... 138 5.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 138 5.2 Methods ............................................................................................................................ 141 5.3 Results............................................................................................................................... 148 5.4 Discussion ......................................................................................................................... 155 5.5 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 158 Chapter 6: Synthesis of research ....................................................................................................... 159 6.1 Theoretical and policy implications .................................................................................. 160 6.2 Policy recommendations ................................................................................................... 166 6.3 Advice to local communities ............................................................................................ 171 Bibliography ........................................................................................................................................ 175 Appendices........................................................................................................................................... 216 Appendix A ....................................................................................................................................... 216 Appendix B ....................................................................................................................................... 225 Appendix C ....................................................................................................................................... 235 ix List of Tables Table 2.1: Details of fishing families settled in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) through Fishermen Settlement Scheme (1955). Source: Department of Fisheries (DoF), India (2016). ............ 30 Table 2.2: Recent and commonly used estimates of fishery potential of the Andaman and Nicobar Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). .......................................................................................................... 52 Table 2.3: ANI Administration’s fisheries development targets to augment fish catch between 2014 and 2018. Source: DoF (2013). ..................................................................................................................... 53 Table 2.4: Perceptions of fishing communities in the ANI, expressed as percentage agreement. Source: Fishery Survey of India (FSI) (2011) ..................................................................................................... 54 Table 3.1: Seventy-one interviews conducted between January and April 2017 by site and cultural groups included in the study. Market accessibility, calculated as minimum travel time to the capital city, is based on estimates from Jaini et al. (2018). ................................................................................ 63 Table 3.2: Percentage of study respondents from the four cultural groups that provided at least one commoditized or market-associated name for each marine organism. Most commonly provided commoditized (bold) and vernacular names for each marine organism are in first column. ................. 66 Table 3.3: Frequency of names used to describe or call P. leopardus by respondents from the four cultural groups. Names were classified as commoditized or vernacular (i.e., market or non-market, respectively) names. ............................................................................................................................... 67 Table 3.4: Number of study respondents that provided at least one commoditized or only vernacular (i.e., market or non-market, respectively) names for P. leopardus. Names that were classified as commoditized or vernacular are provided in Table 3.3. ......................................................................... 67 Table 3.5: General Additive Models (GAMs) of factors contributing to study respondent’s likelihood of providing commoditized names for P. leopardus. Study site was included as a random factor in our GAM using a smoothed spline treated as a random effect. Most parsimonious GAM in bold, based on lowest Akaike Information Criteria (AIC). ............................................................................................ 69 Table 3.6: Mean effect size and 95% confidence interval of parameters included in most parsimonious GAM of factors contributing to a respondent’s likelihood to use commoditized names for P. leopardus. ................................................................................................................................................................ 69 Table 3.7: Pair-wise Fisher’s exact test of independence between commoditized vs. vernacular names for P. leopardus across all cultural groups. ............................................................................................ 70 x Table 4.1: Locally-contextualized questions and responses used to determine the dominant value orientations of cultural groups in the ANI. ............................................................................................. 83 Table 4.2: Value types, phrases, images and descriptions used in value-prioritization exercises. ......... 87 Table 4.3: Number of respondents interviewed from each cultural group, study site, and level of commodity chain. Numbers in parentheses refer to number of females. ............................................... 93 Table 4.4: Results of statistical tests of the preference of two types of value orientations for cultural groups in the ANI. Significant G-test goodness-of-fit results indicate that individuals from certain cultural groups displayed a distinct preference for some value orientations. ....................................... 100 Table 4.5: Heterogeneity in respondents’ prioritizations within each group, based upon Kendall’s coefficient of concordance (W) for all respondents and subgroups of culture, occupation, and study site. .............................................................................................................................................................. 101 Table 4.6: Results of Principal Component Analysis (PCA), with PCs, contributions of individual values to the PCs (loadings), variance explained by each PC, and standard deviations (s.d.). The values for the first six PCs with the greatest loadings are in bold. .................................................................. 106 Table 4.7: Probability of each cultural group’s PCA centroid of rankings belonging to a normal distribution of 1000 randomly-generated group PCA centroids. .......................................................... 108 Table 4.8: Summary statistics for overall prioritizations of each value. Values arranged by median ranks. ..................................................................................................................................................... 110 Table 4.9: Differences in rankings by cultural groups for each value, based upon Kruskal-Wallace analysis of variance. Values listed in order of overall importance. ...................................................... 112 Table 4.10: Significant (*) pairwise differences in value rankings between cultural groups, based upon Dunn’s test of multiple comparisons using rank sums (Benjamini & Hochberg false discovery rate). Cultural group with higher median rank indicated first. ....................................................................... 113 Table 4.11: Significant ordinal mixed-effects models describing the categorical socio-economic and socio-cultural variables that contributed to differences between rankings of certain values. .............. 115 Table 4.12: Median ranks of values based upon socio-economic and socio-cultural variables. Significantly different categories, based on results of ordinal mixed-effects models, are in bold. ...... 116 Table 5.1: Summary of modified Rapfish attributes and their descriptions used in this study to assess the sustainability of cultural fisheries in the ANI. Scoring guidelines are provided in Appendix C.1 142 Table 5.2: Leverage of modified Rapfish attributes, expressed as mean standard error (S.E.), by each evaluation field. Details of attributes given in Table 5.1. ..................................................................... 151 xi List of Figures Figure 2.1: Map of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) and surrounding Asian countries. .......... 18 Figure 2.2: Kanaya erected next to a village on Kamorta Island. This is one of the few sites where this practice continues to be followed in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. Photo credit: Sahir Advani ... 21 Figure 2.3: Fishers’ perceptions of the number of fishing vessels in Wandoor, with a clear doubling in number after the December 2004 tsunami as a result of aid interventions. Source: Advani (2013) ...... 47 Figure 2.4: Marine fish catch reconstruction of the ANI between 1950 and 2014. Source: Hornby et al. (2015). ..................................................................................................................................................... 48 Figure 2.5: Number of licenced fishing vessels and fishers in the ANI between 2002 and 2016. Source: DoF, ANI (2017). ................................................................................................................................... 49 Figure 2.6: Seafood exports from the ANI between 2001 and 2016. Categories of marine products are coarsely defined, for example, between 2004 and 2013 Chilled Fish also includes Groupers, and prior to 2012, Frozen Fish also includes Frozen Mackerel and Tuna. Source: DoF, ANI (2017). ................. 49 Figure 3.1: Map depicting the four dominant cultural groups at eight study sites. The capital city, Port Blair, is the major hub for air traffic and shipping in the islands. Inset depicts location of the ANI, India in relation to South Asia. ........................................................................................................................ 62 Figure 3.2: Non-metric Multi Dimensional Scaling (nMDS) ordination plot (Stress=0.1015) of the eight study sites and four cultural groups of study participants, based on Gower distances between the names attributed to eleven marine species. Ellipses (95% s.d.) depict cultural groups. Axis 1 (NMDS 1) is best explained by travel time to market, while Axis 2 (NMDS 2) is best explained by the number of years of settlement of each family. ......................................................................................................... 65 Figure 3.3: Effect of parameters used in the General Additive Model (GAM) to estimate the odds ratio of using a commoditized name for P. leopardus. Solid line denotes the boundary of the odds ratio or likelihood. 95% Confidence Interval (CI) indicates the level of uncertainty around the measure of mean effect. ...................................................................................................................................................... 70 Figure 3.4: Example of changes in maximum ex-vessel prices for P. leopardus (circles) and “white fish” (triangles) between October 2006 and February 2015. Loess smoothing used to display average maximum prices. Data obtained from a fisher’s sales receipts and adjusted to account for historical exchange rates (OECD, 2018). ............................................................................................................... 72 Figure 3.5: P. leopardus receives more care in handling on board vessels and marketing at landing sites when compared to other groupers and fish (A) Each fish is placed in its own plastic bag before being xii laid flat in an ice box with fresh ice to preserve its gills and skin colour (B) When landed, each fish is removed from its plastic bag, arranged carefully in rows and covered in ice, so that it may be auctioned or inspected by middlemen (C) Other grouper species are haphazardly piled next to P. leopardus and not preserved with ice. ............................................................................................................................ 73 Figure 4.1: Example of value-prioritization exercise with (A) standard set of value cards; (B) additional participant-provided values of Authority (represented by comb) and God (represented by envelope). 95 Figure 4.2: Broad value orientations of the four cultural groups engaged in fishing in the ANI based on two different value orientation frameworks: (A) de Groot and Steg’s (2008) environmental orientation, and (B) Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s (1961) human-nature orientation. ............................................... 99 Figure 4.3: (A) Optimal numbers of k-means clusters of respondents’ value-prioritizations determined via gap statistic; (B) Visualization of respondents’ value-prioritizations within two clusters, showing no clear trend. ....................................................................................................................................... 102 Figure 4.4: nMDS of value-prioritizations indicating some clustering according to cultural groups. Ellipses represent 95% confidence intervals (CIs) derived from standard deviation (s.d.). ................. 104 Figure 4.5: (A) Prinicipal Component Analysis (PCA) of respondents’ value-prioritizations, with cultural groups highlighted with 95% ellipses and colour. (B) 36% of variance in rankings is explained by the first 2 PCs with greatest loading from Leadership and Wealth, respectively. Arrows depict the degree of correlation of each value, with positively correlated values (e.g., Wealth and Food Security) grouped together, and negatively correlated values (e.g., Leadership and Hedonism) positioned oppositely to each other. ....................................................................................................................... 105 Figure 4.6: PCA ordination of cultural group centroids (Original centroids) and centroids of randomly generated groups (Random centroids). Ordination of respondents’ value-prioritizations coloured by cultural group also presented. ............................................................................................................... 107 Figure 4.7: (A) Density plot of distances between Original cultural centroid and 1000 Random centroids for each cultural group. (B) Z-scores representing scaled distances between cultural and random centroids for each cultural group. Vertical dashed lines indicate values of mean distances between cultural and random centroids (thick lines) and their Z-scores (thin lines) for each cultural group. .................................................................................................................................................... 108 Figure 4.8: Overall fisheries value landscape of the four cultural groups in the ANI. Density plot explains overall distribution of prioritizations. Values are arranged from top to bottom according to overall median importance of all respondents, with median ranks (red line) and first and third quartiles (black lines) represented. ...................................................................................................................... 109 xiii Figure 4.9: Prioritizations of values for each cultural group. Median rank indicates a value’s typical rank within a group. Density plot above each boxplot displays overall distribution of ranking. Thick line within boxplot indicates the median rank, with the box representing the interquartile range. The whiskers or lines indicate the highest and lowest rank, but exclude the outliers. Individual’s ranks that were greater than 1.5 times the interquartile distance from the edge of the box were classified as outliers and were represented by small circles. Values arranged in order of overall importance for all study respondents in the ANI (Figure 4.8) from top to bottom. ........................................................... 111 Figure 4.10: Frequency and type of values added and excluded by study respondents. Number of respondents coloured by cultural group. Excluded values expressed as negatives numbers. .............. 117 Figure 4.11: Proposed sorting grid with positive kurtosis for 15 items (thick-lined grid), expandable to 20 items (thin-lined grid). The thin-lined portions could also be presented as additional grids if respondents could not bring themselves to (de)prioritize certain value cards. ..................................... 136 Figure 5.1: Rapfish kite diagram of the perceived sustainability of each cultural group’s fisheries. .. 149 Figure 5.2: Median values and 50% inter-quartile ranges derived from uncertainty estimates of uniform Monte Carlo sampling for each Rapfish field and each cultural group’s fisheries. ............................. 149 Figure 5.3: Two-dimensional Rapfish plots of MDS ordination of fisheries of four cultural groups in the ANI displayed as large, solid coloured circles. Uniform Monte-Carlo (MC) estimates displayed as smaller, empty circles. .......................................................................................................................... 150 Figure 5.4: Correlation matrix of each cultural group’s median value rankings (horizontal axis) and their median sustainability scores in six Rapfish fields (vertical axis). Marginally significant correlations are coloured. ...................................................................................................................... 153 Figure 5.5: Scatterplot matrix of median value ranks (horizontal axis) and median sustainability scores in six Rapfish fields (vertical axis) for each cultural group. Values are arranged left to right in order of their overall importance to fishing communities in the ANI. Value ranks are between 1 and 12, with 1 being the highest rank, while sustainability scores are between 0 and 100 with 100 being the most sustainable. Thus, cultural fisheries with the highest sustainability score and greater value ranking would be in the top left of each scatterplot. .......................................................................................... 154 xiv Acknowledgements I would first like to thank my supervisors, Drs. Mimi Lam and Tony Pitcher, for their support and guidance these past five years. When I first approached them in 2013 with an interest to conduct research on this topic, they very kindly agreed to take me on. Through the course of my doctoral research, they have tolerated my long absences in the field, tangential research interests, and setbacks with patience and humour. I thank them once again for their mentorship, both in the lab and outside. I am Mimi’s first PhD student and I’m happy that our supervisor-student relationship has evolved to one of collegial friendship. Tony has been a very supportive supervisor, from recommending that I take some time off work after a bout of dengue fever to providing critical feedback on my dissertation while in the ER. Through their actions and insights, Drs. Lam and Pitcher have demonstrated what it means to be a good academic and conscientious researcher. Drs. Derek Johnson and William Cheung have been remarkable pillars of support as members of my supervisory committee. Their guidance and patience throughout the development of my research and dissertation writing have been valuable. Dr. Johnson readily provided critical insights into anthropological theory and practice, and was always available when I needed advice or motivation. The generosity of Drs. Mathias Kaiser and Lawrence Ward in terms of providing intellectual inputs and opportunities to discuss and critically reflect on my research are greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank the Trustees at Dakshin Foundation. You all have greatly influenced the direction my research has taken by posing critical questions but also giving me free reign to fumble along. Your insights on conducting research that is locally-contextualized, culturally-sensitive, and meaningful have been very helpful. You have also offered spaces to stay through troubling times, bounce ideas, and enjoy sumptuous meals, for which I am very grateful. Drs. Manish Chandi and Madhuri Ramesh have been a wealth of knowledge regarding conducting fieldwork in remote regions with multicultural groups. Manish, your insights about the islands, their inhabitants, and approach to conducting research have been a source of inspiration. I really appreciate your willingness to introduce me to the intricacies of Nicobari society and life. ANET has been my home-away-from-home for several years now: this is due largely to the amazing hospitality and comradery offered by the field staff. There are too many of you to name, but I’d like to xv thank each and every one of you. I would also like to thank the many administrative staff and researchers who have been connected to ANET and Dakshin over the last decade. You’ve all been an inspiration to work with and I’ve really enjoyed your company and friendship. Thank you also to the many friends in the islands that have made stressful Port Blair days bearable. Thank you Roshni Yethiraj for your assistance with processing and producing the value cards. I’d also like to thank my friends and colleagues at the University of British Columbia, particularly Jeff, Ravi, Scott, Tanvi, and Fabio. You’ve made navigating life through grad school memorable. Thank you for your willingness to listen to my rants, and your positivity when life got me down. My parents and family have actively supported my life in grad school and have willingly dealt with my short and messy arrivals in their homes while transiting through to the field. Thank you for patience for all those long silences when I was on ‘island time’ or ‘Vancouver time’. Thank you for all the love and support that you’ve provided for all these years. Thank you, Charlotte, for being my rock these past couple of years, for bearing with my absences, for your affection and humour, and for encouraging me to get this done. The warmth of your family and the fuzz therapy on offer are greatly valued. Finally, I would like to thank the research assistants and fishing communities of the islands that helped make this research possible. I am deeply indebted to Isaac Mountin, David Froster, Ebenezer Felix, Chitranjan Mandal, Vallabha Rao, Sneha Prakasamma, Chiranjeevi, and Saw Bugalu for your assistance in conducting interviews and translating them. I’m also very thankful to the numerous people who opened up their homes to me while in the field, particularly Saw John, Isaac, Akshay and Nargis, David, Captain Frazer, and Ishika Ramkrishnan. Fieldwork would have been very different without your hospitality. A special thank you to all the study respondents and fishing communities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Your patience and eagerness in answering my questions, interest in my research, willingness to discuss controversial and sensitive topics, and welcoming warmth to your communities are highly appreciated. I sincerely hope that the research on your values presented in this dissertation will help sustain your livelihoods and the fisheries of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. xvi Dedication To Aai and Dada 1 Chapter 1: Introduction In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI), India, an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, there is a fish, Plectropomus leopardus, that the locals call dollar. In the past, this fish was not important, and only when it began to be exported was it valued by the locals and called ‘dollar’. But only some of the islands’ multicultural inhabitants call it ‘dollar’: typically, those who have settled more recently in the islands, have not been involved in fishing for that long, and live closer to the big markets for exported seafood. This thesis tells the story of fishing communities in the archipelago, their interactions with the fish called ‘dollar’, what the islands’ multicultural groups value from fishing livelihoods, the effects their varied fishing practices have on sustainability, and how these factors relate to the long-term sustainability of fisheries in these islands. Fisheries are complex social-ecological systems (SESs) (Berkes 2011) that often involve multiple actors from various cultural groups at different levels in seafood value chains. Small-scale fisheries are very important and make valuable contributions towards society and human well-being (Johnson et al. 2018, 2019). Coral reef fisheries, as a subset of small-scale fisheries, provide livelihoods and employment to an estimated 6.1 million fishers worldwide (Teh, Teh, and Sumaila 2013). Despite the importance of these fisheries, they often are threatened by globalization, overfishing, and unsustainable management. Moreover, interactions with external markets for seafood result in several negative social-ecological outcomes for small-scale and coral reef fisheries. The effects of external markets on coral reef and small-scale fisheries mostly have been considered in terms of very simple and linear relationships between markets and fisheries. These include road development and access to markets (Stevens et al. 2014) or distances between reefs and the nearest market town (Brewer et al. 2013, 2012; Cinner et al. 2013). Improved understandings of non-linear effects of seafood markets and infrastructure continue to link market accessibility to the degraded condition of coral reefs and reef fisheries in the Indo-Pacific region (Darling et al. 2019) and at the global level (Cinner et al. 2016; Maire et al. 2016). However, there still remains a need for better considerations of social aspects within fishery value chains (Fabinyi, Dressler, and Pido 2018). Examples of these include the inequitable distribution of benefits across small-scale fishery value chains globally (Bjørndal et al. 2015), unsustainable exploitation, and increasing fisher debt for small-scale fisheries linked to international luxury seafood markets (Crona 2015; 2016). While some of these negative effects are relatively easy to account for and monitor, there may be more insidious effects of 2 interactions with seafood markets, such as changes in the values of fishing communities, that also need to be considered. When interacting with new seafood markets, fishing communities may place greater importance on knowledge of market dynamics and fish prices than knowledge of fish behaviour and cultural values attributed to marine resources (Murray, Neis, and Johnsen 2006). This also can be considered as commoditization, or the tendency to favour market logic and relations over past relationships between societies and ecosystems (Manno 2000, 2010). Understanding commoditization involves focusing on the objects being commoditized and the relationships that are transformed in the process. This is because the regimes of value that form when objects are commoditized are not consistently translated across cultures and contexts, space and time (Appadurai 1986). In fishing terms, one fisher’s bycatch is another fisher’s prized catch. It is therefore important to consider the socio-economic and socio-cultural contexts when fish are transformed by global markets from worthless things to prized seafood commodities. Fish species destined for export markets become seafood commodities and, depending on their circumstances, get commoditized (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Moreover, it has been theorized that the integration of Asian and Pacific small-scale fishing communities into global commodity chains, together with the commoditization of marine resources, could erode traditional management systems (Ruddle 1993). These changes in cultural values towards fish and marine ecosystems need to be recorded, as they ultimately will affect the long-term sustainability of those resources (Lam and Borch 2011; Lam and Pitcher 2012a). It is also important to account for the diversity of values that may exist at various nodes within seafood values chains (Lam 2016), as well as the values of sustainability upon which these chains operate (Bremer et al. 2016). Interactions with global seafood markets may serve as a means to initially explore the values of fishing communities and cultural groups, before comprehending their values in relation to the sustainability of fisheries. In the next sections I provide a brief overview of values theory and methodology that have informed this research and then discuss how these theories and approaches have been operationalized in the present body of research. 1.1 Value theories and methodologies The field of values research is a mess (Kenter et al. 2019). Theories on what values are and how they may be operationalized vary across disciplines like economics, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc. (Brosch and Sander 2016). The diversity of theoretical applications of values has led to 3 the development of multiple taxonomies that attempt to structure the field and navigate the mess (Jones et al. 2016; Tadaki, Sinner, and Chan 2017; Rawluk et al. 2018). The burgeoning fuzziness of the field has also meant that value theories remain largely inaccessible or ignored by natural scientists and environmental practitioners (Ives and Kendal 2014). There seems to be consensus, however, that despite the lack of coherence, researchers need to adopt transdisciplinary perspectives when applying values research to environmental social sciences (Johnson et al. 2019; Kenter et al. 2019; Lam et al. 2019). Due to the diversity of theories of values and the adequate coverage of the diversity in reviews (Brosch and Sander 2016; Hitlin and Piliavin 2004), I will briefly present a working definition of values and then describe aspects of values theory that influenced this dissertation’s research approach. As there are several definitions of values, yet no clearly accepted one, a working definition produced through the Value Isobars project (Kaiser 2012) is appropriate to base this dissertation upon, as it has also been utilized in other transdisciplinary considerations of values in small-scale fisheries (Johnson et al. 2019; Lam et al. 2019). This definition states: “Values are reference points for evaluating something as positive or negative. Values are rationally and emotionally binding, giving long-term orientation and motivation for action” (Kaiser 2012). The Value Isobars project also developed a definition for ‘social values’ which can be thought of as socially collective beliefs and systems of beliefs that operate as guiding principles in life (Tsirogianni and Gaskell 2011). While considering the plurality of values and the contexts that helped determine value plurality, Tsirogianni and Gaskell (2011) also traced the development of influential theoretical and empirical aspects of values research. The findings of Tsirogianni and Gaskell (2011) and the Value Isobars project (Kaiser 2012), as well as the value-prioritization methodology and clustering analysis of Lam et al. (2018, 2019), have greatly influenced this dissertation’s approach to understanding, measuring, and analyzing values, as discussed below. One of the earliest theorists of values, the ethnographer Clyde Kluckhohn (1951), suggested that values were conceptions of the desirable, distinctive of an individual or characteristic of a group, that influenced the selection of behaviours or actions (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004; Tsirogianni and Gaskell 2011). Kluckhohn’s description of values was influential at the time because of its focus on behaviours and rewards as well as its consideration of individuals and groups (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). His theories on cultural values were expanded upon by two cultural anthropologists at Harvard, Florence Kluckhohn (Clyde Kluckhohn’s wife) and Fred Strodtbeck. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961) were interested in exploring the variability in values, particularly across cultures. By examining value 4 orientations, they emphasized the directive nature of values, and suggested that they were complex, rank-ordered principles, with cognitive, affective, and directive elements that were used by human cultures and societies to solve problems related to their environment (R. F. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck 1961; Tsirogianni and Gaskell 2011). Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961) identified five human problems that existed in all cultures for which there were three value orientations to resolve these problems. These problems and orientations were examined through a structured questionnaire, but with the analyses limited to value orientations within only one dimension at a time. Furthermore, while their emphasis on variability and heterogeneity of values was novel for the time, their reliance on interviews and observations to explain variability were independent of the questionnaire and further limited their analyses (Tsirogianni and Gaskell 2011). These methodological drawbacks and poor operationalization of theories led to the waning application of their research, though their theories did influence the work of other prominent value scholars such as Milton Rokeach and Shalom Schwartz (Tsirogianni and Gaskell 2011). Tsirogianni and Gaskell (2011) suggest that the variability and plurality in values has not received adequate attention in the field of values research. Both Rokeach and Schwartz, when expanding upon the work of Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961) suggested that there are a limited number of core values which are distributed differently across populations due to individual variations in importance placed on single values (Schwartz 1992; Rokeach 1973). Both researchers independently attempted to create singularly defined typologies of values that could be considered to represent universal values, and relied upon predominantly quantitative methods to expose the proposed rigidity and contradictory nature of values. These conceptualizations of values as abstract concepts effectively displaced the importance of contextual factors and the plurality of values (Tsirogianni and Gaskell 2011). Moreover, their attempts at asking individuals to rank their values, often expressed abstractly in surveys, were based on the assumption that individuals were aware of the roles that values played in their lives. Tsirogianni and Gaskell (2011) recommend that value researchers move on from such unitary conceptions of values and instead embrace more pluralistic perspectives of values. They also highlight the need to explore the role of social, group, institutional, and cultural contexts, and historical processes in shaping values (Tsirogianni and Gaskell 2011). Influenced by the work of Clyde Kluckhohn (1951) and Milton Rokeach (1973), Thomas Brown suggested that there were two important distinctions in the kinds of values – those that were ‘held’ by 5 individuals and those ‘assigned’ to objects (Brown 1984). He also proposed that certain values arose from a relational realm and only recently has the concept of relational values been re-considered (Brown 1984; Chan et al. 2016). While relational values represent relationships between people and their environment and include eudemonic or ‘good life’ values, they are still being developed with several aspects of their formulation requiring additional clarity (Chan, Gould, and Pascual 2018), and thus may still be too nebulous to operationalize in empirical values research. On the other hand, aspects of held and assigned values have been defined and frequently used in values research and could potentially assist in understanding the values of fishing communities (Johnson et al. 2019). Held values can be considered as the ideals that underlie individuals’ modes of conduct and environmental beliefs. They are usually expressed as what is desirable for a good life and are thus highly abstract. Held values are taken to be “biologically and culturally inscribed phenomena” that endure across an individual’s lifetime (Satterfield and Kalof 2005; Brown 1984). Assigned values, on the other hand, can be specific to a place, an object, and an event, and are thus less stable across an individual’s lifetime. Assigned values are easier to identify and therefore have been the more commonly utilized set of values in economic and ecological studies of resource management and pro-environmental behaviour (Satterfield and Kalof 2005; Sagoff 1998). Brown (1984) suggests that individuals assign values to objects based on their perceptions of the object and all other relevant objects, their held values, and the context of the valuation. In the case of small-scale fisheries, held and assigned values can have multiple interpretations and play varied roles (Johnson et al. 2018, 2019). It has been suggested that held values, as moral principles, influence assigned values, which in turn influence environmentally consequential behaviours of resource management (Lockwood 1999; Seymour et al. 2010). Within societies or cultures, held and assigned values and their potentially linked resource management behaviours are dependent upon pre-existing cognitive structures, physical and social environments, and the history of economic and political relations between and within groups. It also has been suggested that the aggregated behaviours of a culture in relation to the environment stem from the cognitive, environmental, and historical contexts of individuals identifying with that culture (Atran, Medin, and Ross 2005; Dietz, Fitzgerald, and Shwom 2005). However, as with assigned values, these behaviours are not static and may vary across generations and even across lifetimes (Le Guen et al. 2013), indicating that researchers need to pay close attention to values in conjunction with their resource management behaviours. 6 The relative importance of held values is influenced by the cultures and societies that individuals are members of and, in turn, the biological environments that shaped these cultures and individuals (Satterfield and Kalof 2005; Brown 1984). Therefore, to understand a cultural group’s values and their potential impact on the environment, one needs to first understand the diversity of value prioritizations that exist within individuals belonging to that cultural group. Secondly, the socio-economic, socio-cultural and environmental factors that influence individual value-prioritizations also need to be accounted for (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). Understanding the distribution of multiple levels of values across individuals, cultures, and populations can help understand the (de)motivations for pro-environmental behaviour and be utilized in research of SESs (Jones et al. 2016; van Riper et al. 2018). Furthermore, notions of held values can be quite abstract and their framing in academic surveys often lack sufficient context (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). To arrive at an appropriate understanding of the general public’s value priorities, a consideration of the contexts that values are framed in needs to be given adequate thought (Lam et al. 2019). Rich, contextualized framing of values related to the environment are possible through the use of thick descriptions, rich narratives, and statements that place resource management in the context of certain values (Satterfield 2001; Song and Chuenpagdee 2015). Research on social values holds great promise in its application for environmental management (Ives and Kendal 2014) and fisheries management in particular (Johnson et al. 2019; Lam et al. 2019). An understanding of values present in fishing communities and cultural groups can lead to fisheries sustainability and societal well-being in a variety of ways that are explored in this dissertation. By considering a diversity of actors and their interactions with natural resources, values research can provide insights for sustainable, ethical, and socially resilient natural resource management (Lam 2016, 2019). Values may serve as nuanced metrics in historical understandings of communities and SESs, thereby helping researchers and policymakers understand the processes by which these systems were shaped and their future trajectories. Values can help understand and monitor cultural attitudes towards natural resources, particularly in the context of globalization and commoditization. Understanding the diversities and similarities in the values of multicultural stakeholder groups can effectively steer natural resource management policies, by illuminating key common goals of all resource users and areas of contention or trade-offs where values conflict (Lam et al. 2019). Moreover, understanding which socio-economic and socio-cultural factors influence the prominence of certain values can serve 7 as a means to rapidly assess local cultural values and shape future engagement with resource users. As values play an important role in influencing behaviours, research on the values of cultural groups can aid our understanding of resource utilization practices and their sustainability (Lam and Borch 2011; Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Considering the multifaceted values of fishing communities can also help determine effective resource governance strategies as well as alleviate sustainability challenges in the associated fisheries (Song 2018). Comprehending the values of multicultural stakeholder groups shapes our understanding of desired end states of SESs and can thus influence the resilience of these systems (Armitage et al. 2012). Ultimately, understandings of shared and conflicting stakeholder values can help effectively frame policies, influence sustainable resource management and ethical governance (Lam et al. 2019). 1.2 Value landscapes and operationalizing values The ‘value landscape’ was conceived as part of the Value Isobars project (Kaiser 2012). It was based upon the notion that the dynamics of different social values could be mapped out. The shared and conflicting values possessed by individuals and societies, when mapped onto the value landscape, could be considered to be peaks and valleys or regions of convergence and repulsion of values (Kaiser 2012). Moreover, values in their roles as narratives, could help inform individuals and societies of their moral origins, the direction they want to go, and what their good life might look like (Meisch and Potthast 2011; Bremer, Haugen, and Kaiser 2012). While the value landscape approach was first utilized for the value-based governance of European science and technology (Kaiser 2012), it was subsequently used to map the values of aquaculture-related livelihoods in Bangladesh (Bremer et al. 2016) and to map indigenous community and industry stakeholder values in a value- and ecosystem-based management approach to the Pacific herring fishery conflict in Canada (Lam et al. 2019). It has been extended to examine relationships between individual value-prioritizations and group identities, preferences, and behaviours (Lam et al. 2018). This research uses the value landscapes approach to understand the value-prioritizations of four cultural groups engaged in small-scale fishing in the ANI. Since cultures or societies may assign different relative values to objects based on their relationships with them (Brown 1984), in Chapter 3, I explore the values that fishing communities and fishery stakeholders assigned to marine species in the context of commoditization and settlement history (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). In Chapter 4, building on the methodologies of Lam et al. (2018, 2019), an approach to contextualizing values into locally- and culturally-relevant imagery and phrases is 8 described alongside methods to measure individual value-prioritizations of fishing communities and fishery stakeholders. The socio-economic and socio-cultural factors that influence value-prioritizations are also accounted for to determine predictors of resource management behaviour. Aspects of Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s (1961) value orientations were initially utilized to obtain a preliminary understanding of the values of cultural groups involved in fishing in the ANI. Open-ended interviews were used to develop locally-contextualized phrases of resource management (Satterfield 2001; Song and Chuenpagdee 2015) that represented cross-cultural values. These phrases and their underlying values were cross-referenced with other relevant value frameworks that represented universal aspects of values (Schwartz et al. 2012), values of aquaculture value-chains in Bangladesh (Bremer et al. 2016), value types in fisheries governance (Song, Chuenpagdee, and Jentoft 2013), and the values of indigenous and commercial fisheries (Lam et al. 2019). The value-prioritizations of cultural groups in our study are mapped out on value landscapes (Kaiser 2012; Meisch and Potthast 2011; Lam et al. 2018, 2019) and considered in the context of socio-economic and socio-cultural factors that potentially influence them (Tsirogianni and Gaskell 2011; Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). In Chapter 5, the sustainability of the fishing practices and behaviours that cultural groups in our study site have engaged in are assessed using a modified Rapfish approach (Pitcher et al. 2013) for each cultural group’s fisheries and considered in the context of their values. Since findings from values research can shape narratives of what stakeholders consider important for their lives and the environment, while also helping to frame policies and influence sustainable resource management, the policy implications and recommendations to the local communities from this research are synthesized in Chapter 6. 1.3 Research objective This doctoral research tests the following hypothesis: Communities with longer histories of settlement in a place will forge stronger relationships with local marine resources, such as the indigenous Saami in Norway (Lam and Borch 2011), and thus will be less likely to commoditize or unsustainably fish them (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). This research attempts to explicitly link these hypotheses through an examination of the commoditizing influence of seafood markets and the role of contextual socio-economic and socio-cultural factors in influencing value-prioritizations in India. The dissertation’s research approach utilizes various aspects of values theory and methodology to uncover the values of four cultural groups engaged in small-scale fishing in the ANI. This doctoral research also aims to understand the influence of a variety of factors like demographic and cultural differences, settlement history, market accessibility, and involvement in fishing on the values that cultural groups ascribe to 9 marine resources and the social-ecological sustainability of those interactions. The overarching hypothesis (Lam unpublished, Lam and Pitcher 2012a) this dissertation explores is that cultural groups with long histories of settlement and interactions with marine resources would: i) Be less inclined to commoditize resources, ii) Place a higher value on the sustainability of marine resources, and iii) Engage in sustainable fishing practices. 1.4 Fieldwork and research ethics This doctoral research was initiated after prior experience and interactions with fisheries and fishing communities in the ANI. I have conducted research on fisheries in the archipelago since 2012, with an initial focus on the grouper fisheries and influences of export markets. This research was conducted in close collaboration with Dakshin Foundation, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization based in India. I was previously hired as a Research Assistant at Dakshin Foundation and continue to work with them as a Junior Adjunct Research Fellow. The organization offered logistical support by way of access to their office in Bangalore, accommodation at their field station Andaman and Nicobar Environmental Team (ANET), access to research facilities and field assistants in the islands, and mentorship and advice from their staff. I benefited from prolonged engagement with local communities, interactions with staff from Dakshin Foundation and ANET, and guidance and advice from my supervisory committee. I have received funding to conduct doctoral fieldwork from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada and the Robin Rigby Trust for Collaborative Coastal Research. These funding agencies did not influence the design or analysis of any aspects of this research. I also have been fortunate enough to receive a one-year doctoral scholarship from the J.N. Tata Endowment Fund and a four-year doctoral fellowship from the University of British Columbia. I undertook three periods of fieldwork in the ANI for the doctoral dissertation. An initial two-month pilot fieldwork in February and March 2016 was used to discuss research plans with researchers and local communities in the islands and to identify suitable study sites. The second field season was for seven months between October 2016 and May 2017. This field season was used to collect data for Chapters 2, 3, and 5 and informed the design of tools used in Chapter 4. Fieldwork consisted of prolonged study participant observation of fishing communities from four cultural groups in eight 10 study sites. I conducted 71 semi-structured interviews to understand the histories of interactions with marine commodity fisheries and local naming taxonomies with commercially important marine species. The third field season was for a period of nine months between October 2017 and July 2018, and was prolonged due to a bout of dengue fever at the start of the field season and travel to attend a conference in June 2018. Fieldwork was conducted at the same eight study sites with the four cultural groups and involved additional study participant observation as well as meetings with fishery managers and policymakers. I conducted 101 semi-structured interviews to explore study participants’ value-prioritizations during the final field season. All research was conducted after clearance from University of British Columbia’s Behavioural Research Ethics Board under certificate numbers H16-00053-001 and H16-02574. The Nicobar Islands are a designated Tribal Reserve, and entry into the islands is strictly regulated by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Regulation (ANPATR) 1956. The necessary Tribal Area Permits, to land and conduct research, were obtained before conducting any research in the Nicobar Islands. Permission to conduct research in each village was obtained from the Captain and Chairperson of the village Tribal Council. All study participants were informed about the risks of participation in the study, their ability to withdraw from the study, and the methods for the collection, anonymization, analysis and storage of their personal information. Verbal consent to participate in the study was obtained before any study-related questions were asked. 1.5 Researcher identity When conducting reflexive ethnographic research, researchers should consider subjectivity and positionality, which deeply influence the process and outcomes of the research (Bernard 2006). This entails considering and recognizing the subjective biases in one’s observations and the power relations between the researcher and the study subjects. I am an urban, upper-middle class Indian, and third-generation ‘military brat’ on both sides of my family. What this means is that my upbringing has been heavily tinged with colonialism and capitalism. When I was in the third grade my parents sent me to the only English-medium school in the small town that my father was transferred. This school was a convent run by nuns. While I was fluent in my mother tongue, Marathi, and Hindi prior to the third grade, after my two years at the convent, I was fluent in only English and spoke broken Marathi and Hindi. My family, including my grandparents, accepted this, while my elder sister continued to 11 converse with my mother and grandparents in our mother tongue. I believe that this was the start of the process of being disconnected from my Indian heritage. The military in India continues to be very hierarchical, yet identities based on caste or religion are actively discouraged. Growing up, I had a range of friends whose families followed Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism and I was invited to be a part of their celebrations in breaking fast, eating communion, and celebrating their ancestors, respectively. However, growing up in the elite sections of the military made me conscious of class. This consciousness sometimes leads to awkward and inhibited interactions with marginalized sections of society. But more often than not, this uneasiness is due to my self-consciousness of the privileges that have been granted to me. I have had the opportunity to study internationally in South Africa, the UK, and now in Canada. However, I also have been privileged to work with conscientious researchers in India who work closely with rural communities, and they have done their fair share in bringing me down several notches. At the field research station in the Andaman Islands, where I have spent the majority of my research career, a sense of community has been fostered between the local field assistants and the visiting researchers and administrative staff. Power hierarchies still exist in terms of the division of labour, but I consider the staff there to be akin to family and have been an active participant in their celebrations and sorrows. My academic career has been sinuous, and I have gone from being a marine ecologist studying the effectiveness of marine reserves in conserving fish biomass to someone floundering through small talk and interviews about grouper fisheries to the present stage of attempting to conduct multi-sited ethnographic research with four cultural groups. Several individuals have moulded this transition, especially the folks at Dakshin Foundation, but also my colleagues at UBC and my supervisory committee. Along the way I have come to accept the fact that I have transitioned from being a protectionist to a conservationist to a social scientist. The extended amounts of time that I have spent with small-scale fishers in the Andamans and my recent interactions with indigenous communities in the Nicobars have helped me navigate through some of the difficulties I have in recognizing my identity and my biases. I will never be completely free of the awkwardness and uneasiness when first interacting with people unlike myself. And I will always be self-conscious of my inability to converse fluently in Hindi, my university education, and 12 my life in a developed country. But I hope to apply some of these in the conduct of meaningful research and consider the values of fishing communities whilst pondering my own. 1.6 Overview of dissertation The dissertation consists of this introductory chapter, four main chapters, and a final summary chapter. Details of each of the chapters are provided below. In Chapter 2, I provide a historical social-ecological review of the development of fisheries and related key events in the ANI. This chapter serves as a background section of the dissertation and equips the reader with sufficient information about the cultural groups and major commodity fisheries in the archipelago. In the chapter, I first offer a historical overview of the four major cultural groups that have settled and engaged with fishing in the ANI. I then describe the major marine commodity fisheries that have developed in the islands over the years and the interactions of the cultural groups with these fisheries. I also discuss the impacts of the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami on fishing communities and fisheries in the islands, recent developments in fisheries infrastructure and exports, and the discourse and development agenda surrounding fisheries in the islands. The chapter aims to highlight the complex socio-cultural histories of these fisheries and aspects of fisheries management and policies in the archipelago. In Chapter 3, I explore the transformations in cultural groups’ assigned values towards commoditized marine species. I first highlight differences in the naming taxonomies for commercially important marine species amongst cultural groups and consider the use of commoditized names for each species. I then use the example of the highly lucrative global seafood commodity, Plectropomus leopardus, and explore its degree of commoditization by some cultural groups in the ANI. Shorter histories of settlement in the islands and less experience in fishing and related activities were important factors explaining the probability of using commoditized names. I also contextualize each cultural group’s values towards P. leopardus before and after it was commoditized. This chapter highlights the importance of understanding the values of fishing communities towards marine resources to better address fish commoditization and potentially combat its effects. In Chapter 4, I examine the value priorities of cultural groups towards marine ecosystems and fisheries, while also investigating the socio-economic and socio-cultural factors driving the variability in their 13 value priorities. The development of a tool to measure value-prioritizations using locally and culturally contextualised value phrases and artwork is first outlined in this chapter. Examining the value landscape of fisheries in the ANI revealed cultural differences in value-prioritizations. The indigenous group, the Nicobari, differed to a greater extent in their value rankings from other recently settled and commercial fishing groups. When the socio-economic and socio-cultural factors driving variations in value rankings were examined, settlement history, gender, occupation, and age were found to be important driving factors for certain values. The findings of this chapter will be useful to policymakers and local fishing communities in developing value-based management strategies and narratives for fisheries development and sustainability. In Chapter 5 of the dissertation, the fishing practices and behaviours of the archipelago’s four main cultural groups are considered to produce a sustainability assessment of each cultural group’s fisheries. Study respondents’ perceptions of fishery resource status and development are incorporated alongside expert opinions and observations to assess the sustainability of the islands’ cultural fisheries. Fisheries sustainability is assessed using a modified Rapfish framework that uses six sustainability dimensions including: ecology, technology, economic, ethical, social, and institutional. Indigenous and predominantly subsistence fisheries are found to be the most sustainable while most commercial fisheries can be considered as unsustainable in nearly all dimensions. This chapter provides policymakers with a holistic overview of fisheries sustainability in the archipelago and important dimensions for policy interventions, possibly by operationalizing the values of local fishing communities. Chapter 6 synthesizes the findings of the dissertation by discussing the theoretical implications of the research along with its strengths and limitations and provides directions for future related research. I highlight the policy implications of the dissertation and provide suggestions to fishing communities in the ANI on how they may operationalize the information about their values and the sustainability of their fisheries. 14 Chapter 2: Understanding histories of cultural groups and marine commodity fisheries in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands 2.1 Introduction Marine ecosystems and human societies have developed over long periods of time with frequent interactions between each other, often through fishing (Pitcher and Lam 2015; Jackson et al. 2001). Fisheries are significant components of marine SESs, as they encompass interactive social values and behaviours with ecological and ecosystem attributes (Berkes 2011). Historical perspectives of marine SESs from the viewpoint of important actors engaged in fishing and seafood trade, as well as the fisheries for commercially important species, can provide insights into the present status of the ecosystem and SES as well as future societal interactions and system states. Tracing the trajectories of change within marine SESs, while considering human interactions with marine ecosystems for subsistence, commercial fishing, and globalized seafood trade, can provide a better understanding of the future consequences of fisheries. Humanity has considerably altered marine ecosystems (Jackson et al. 2001), and rebuilding marine ecosystems to their former historical diversity and abundance may be an important goal for fishery management (Pitcher and Pauly 1998). Ecological aspects of marine SES can be understood through a variety of ways, including archaeological studies of interactions between ancient people and marine ecosystems (Braje et al. 2017), modelling historical ecosystems (Ainsworth et al. 2008), and by collecting first-hand knowledge from fishing communities (Hind 2015). Historical perspectives on marine SESs can offer insights into past interactions, both sustainable and unsustainable, between human societies and marine ecosystems (McClenachan and Kittinger 2013), as well as help to understand economic drivers and consequences (Nayak 2014), identify worrisome trends like sequential exploitation (Huitric 2005), and guide fisheries management efforts (Blythe, Murray, and Flaherty 2013). In fact, historical analyses of fisheries and marine systems in a globalizing world are so important towards developing sustainable management that special journal issues (Ommer and Paterson 2014) and large, multi-institution projects (Schwerdtner Máñez et al. 2014) have been devoted to the subject. Detailed considerations of local contexts that have shaped the trajectories of fisheries change can offer insights to researchers, policymakers, and fishery managers on aspects of the system that are poorly understood, as well as opportunities to learn from past mistakes while managing for the future. 15 Historic changes in data-poor marine SESs, such as small-scales fisheries in developing countries, can be understood by collating information from a variety of sources. As ecological data on marine species targeted and changes in catch rates may be limited in such cases, data on social contexts of fisheries sourced from fishers and other actors in the fishing industry can effectively supplement this paucity. The knowledge of fishers and the fishing industry can contribute significantly to fisheries management (Hind 2015) and understandings of marine SESs (Murray, Neis, and Johnsen 2006). Actors in the fishing industry, such as fishers, fish vendors, middlemen and exporters, can provide valuable information normally not recorded by natural scientists or fisheries management agencies, such as circumstances under which new markets for seafood commodities started and the social changes that arose through interactions with global seafood markets. Proximate factors of marine SES change, such as fishing, are influenced by distal social drivers that include: i) demographic factors, such as cultural heterogeneity and fisher density; ii) economic modes of production, such as markets for seafood commodities; iii) technological factors, like fishing gears and fleet range; iv) socio-cultural contexts and societal values, and; v) institutions and governance systems (Kittinger et al. 2012). These social contexts and drivers can provide a wealth of information about ecological changes and fisheries sustainability (Pitcher et al. 2013). Within considerations of local contexts of marine SESs, special attention needs to be given to the overarching socio-economic and socio-cultural drivers that underlie and shape the system and the emergent markets for seafood commodities that frequently disrupt these systems. Socio-economic and socio-cultural contexts can have unseen or unconsidered impacts on resource management practices. For example, in parts of the Solomon Islands, the settlement patterns of coastal communities, together with their kinship ties and cultural attitudes, shaped resource management practices and influenced the state of marine resources at small, local scales (Aswani 2002). Studies that explore histories of marine SESs need to be attendant to local social contexts and cultural values, as these factors have historically shaped these systems, helped determine future trajectories of SESs, and are indicative of desirable states of the system (Armitage et al. 2012). Tracing the changes in markets for seafood commodities can inform our understanding of rapid changes in marine SESs, as this driver can influence the serial exploitation of marine species historically and spatially (Berkes et al. 2006; Scales et al. 2006), is interlinked with technological improvements and globalization (Pitcher and Lam 2015), and may cause shifts in the knowledge systems and values of fishers (Murray, Neis, and Johnsen 2006; Murray 2011; 16 Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Considering marine SESs in relation to these social drivers, particularly socio-economic and socio-cultural contexts and seafood commodity markets, can better frame their history and future trajectories, while informing their management. The marine SES of the ANI has received inadequate attention despite the archipelago’s complicated history of human settlement, pattern of sequential marine exploitation (Jaini et al. 2018), and the fact that the archipelago has been declared an ecologically important marine Hope Spot (Mission Blue 2014). There exist several, divergent perspectives on development in these islands including military expansion, tourism development, environmental conservation, etc. However, the views of local communities continue to be overlooked (Oommen and Ramesh 2019). Social scientists and historians have explored the patterns of settlement of various cultural groups at different periods of time and the implications for modern society, resource management and governance systems in the archipelago (C. Anderson, Mazumdar, and Pandya 2015; Heidemann and Zehmisch 2016). Yet, interactions between the archipelago’s cultural groups with marine ecosystems and fisheries remain unexplored, despite an envisioning of the archipelago as ‘a sea of islands’ (Abraham 2018). Development of fisheries in the Andaman Islands have been documented (Advani et al. 2013) and the key drivers of the archipelago’s export-oriented fisheries have been determined to be the history, culture, infrastructure, and market access (Jaini et al. 2018). However, considerations of fisheries have not until this point closely examined the social contexts of various cultural groups’ engagement with fisheries in the islands. In this chapter, I explore the marine SES of the ANI through a consideration of historical developments in the archipelago’s dominant cultural groups, fisheries for marine commodities, and fisheries management. The main aim of this chapter is to provide a nuanced perspective of the socio-economic and socio-cultural history of fisheries in the ANI and establish context for the remaining chapters of the dissertation. 2.2 Methods This chapter illustrates the development of fisheries for major marine export commodities and fisheries management in the ANI using the backdrop of settlement histories of various cultural groups in the islands, together with their involvement in these fisheries. It draws upon information from published research, grey literature, policy documents, interviews and ethnographic fieldwork. While published research provides insights into the chronological development of fisheries, information sourced from interviews and ethnographic fieldwork contextualise the involvement of multiple cultural groups with 17 fisheries for marine commodities. These accounts provide a nuanced perspective of the lived histories of engagement with marine resources and provide an initial glimpse into the underlying values of cultural groups with marine commodities. Furthermore, a consideration of the framing of policy documents and reports and papers by government scientists and policymakers provide insight into the development agenda for fisheries in the ANI. This research was conducted using a multicultural and multi-sited ethnographic approach (Marcus 1995). While I have studied fisheries in the Andaman Islands since 2012, fieldwork for my doctoral dissertation and this chapter was conducted over a period of 18 months across three field seasons between February 2016 and July 2018 (see section 1.3 for details). One hundred and forty-four study participants were interviewed across the length of the islands for my doctoral research alone. These individuals were from the four cultural groups that are largely involved in the archipelago’s fisheries: Nicobari, Karen, Bengali, and Telugu. Respondents also occupied various levels in the seafood commodity chain, ranging from fishers, fish vendors, middlemen, export company staff, and managers. My ethnographic fieldwork entailed a range of fishery- and community-related activities that included: day-long fishing trips for reef fish; nocturnal hunting for mangrove crabs; skin-diving off dug-out canoes to spearfish octopus; hauling crates of bait fish to be frozen in ice plants; visiting shark processing facilities that reeked of ammonia; observing catch-landings at dawn and dusk; firing and painting dug-out canoes; participating in boat-blessing ceremonies; building churches and tucking into Easter feasts; attending weddings and late night kirtans; and drinking numerous cups of tea and glasses of toddy over hours upon hours of intriguing conversations. The variety of ethnographic activities I engaged in provides a first glimpse of the complexity of cultures and fishing practices in the ANI. The content of this chapter is greatly influenced by all these interactions. The rest of this chapter is chronologically organized with sections based on the histories of settlement of major cultural groups, the initiation of fisheries for export commodities, the consequences of the 2004 tsunami, and attendant major changes in fisheries policy with aid development. The chapter concludes with a consideration of how this nuanced perspective of the socio-economic and socio-cultural history of fisheries in the ANI informs the research presented in the rest of the dissertation. 18 2.3 Results and Discussion The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Figure 2.1) are an archipelago in the middle of the Bay of Bengal. Despite being far east from the Indian mainland, they are governed by India and were part of the British-Indian colonial empire until 1947. The Andaman Islands are divided into four major areas – North, Middle, South, and Little Andaman – while the Nicobars consist of the Northern, Central, and Southern group of islands. These 572 islands account for approximately 28% of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the most of any state or union territory in the country, and the islands themselves make 24% of the Indian coastline. The archipelago is home to diverse marine habitats that include mangroves, seagrass beds, large coral reef banks, and vast stretches of open ocean in which more than 282 commercially important marine species are found (Rajan 2003). The coastal and marine ecosystems, together with the local political and social history, have shaped these islands and their inhabitants. Figure 2.1: Map of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) and surrounding Asian countries. 19 The four major indigenous groups in the Andamans are the Jarawa, Great Andamanese, Onge and Sentinelese, while tribes in the Nicobars are the Nicobarese and the Shompen (E.H. Man 1883; UNESCO 2010). These communities used to hunt for turtles, dugongs, fish, and glean shellfish off the reefs encircling the islands. The subsistence fishing gears and practices of indigenous groups in the Andaman Islands received considerable attention by early anthropologists like Radcliffe-Brown (1922). However, archaeological evidence indicates that indigenous communities in the Andaman Islands infrequently subsisted on marine fauna (Cooper 1997) and they have rarely engaged with commercial and commodity fisheries in recent decades. The Nicobarese, on the other hand, have well-documented fishing practices, are licensed fishers, and are gradually engaging with markets for marine commodities. 2.3.1 The Nicobarese The Nicobarese migrated from Southeast Asia, likely the Burma-Malay region, 18,000 years ago and inhabited 12 of the 24 Nicobar Islands (Thangaraj 2005). Within the larger Nicobari culture, there are sub-cultures unique to islands or island groups. There are six distinct dialect groups, with variations in cultural practices, kinship, and social systems. For example, the culture and dialect of Chowra island is distinct from those on Teressa and Bompoka to the south and the eastern islands of Kamorta, Nancowry, Trinket, and Katchal (Singh 2001). They were originally an animistic society and most cultural taboos and resource management practices revolved around seasonal changes in resource availability. In the following paragraphs, I examine significant resources, cultural practices, trade, and notions of leadership between the two Nicobari sub-cultures that are considered in this thesis – Chowra and Kamorta. Nicobari societies had to develop resource management practices that were within the limits of their island’s resources. Accordingly, certain resources are considered more valuable due to their scarcity, and complex rules and regulations evolved to maintain and regulate access to these resources (Chandi 2016a). In the hierarchy of important resources, fish (and other marine organisms) are not as important as resources like coconut plantations, pigs, chickens, and canoes. Fish were not considered a limited resource, were frequently consumed in the Nicobari diet, and were harvested using spears, hook-and-lines, and gleaning off reefs. Most fish were not as culturally symbolic as pigs (Chandi 2016a), but sharks were considered important and respected marine entities by the Nicobarese. Globally, sharks 20 serve as symbols and resources closely linked to cultural identities and values (Skubel, Shriver-Rice, and Maranto 2019), and Nicobari fishers often ask sharks for forgiveness or to calm down while they are being hauled on board. Spearfishers believe that when spearing fish, especially sharks, it should be speared well and not get away injured, as its injured spirit would return to harm then, their family, or their animals and crops (Respondents 18, 25, 31, 32). Shark fins were often discarded at sea, as it was believed that domestic animals and children would be destructive and disobedient if they consumed shark fins. However, shark meat is considered nutritious and is fed to pregnant or lactating mothers to promote lactation (Respondents 18, 32, 33). Beyond taboos related to the consumption of seafood, access to fishing areas was regulated by elders and shamans with the restrictions integrated into cultural practices (Chandi 2016a). Fishers from other islands, including non-indigenous commercial fishers, were sometimes allowed to fish on reefs adjacent to the islands. Elaborate systems of traditional marine management thus developed across Nicobarese societies that included spatial, temporal, species, night fishing, gear, size, and other regulations (Patankar et al. 2015; Singh 2003). On the islands of Kamorta, Nancowry, and Trinket, the Kinleava festival is celebrated at the start of the season of north-east winds, usually around November. On reefs in front of villages, 20m tall poles decorated with coconut leaves, kanaya(s), are erected to signify that the village has organized its Kinleava festival, is gathering together for a feast, and that fishing in front of the village is not allowed (Figure 2.2). In conjunction with the kanayas, a large fish trap called inyun is placed in a calm lagoon and emptied every alternate day until the waning of the moon. The fish are consumed by the members who empty the traps. When the last trap is emptied, flying fish (Cypselurus comatus) are speared by young men and used as bait to catch giant barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) (Singh 2003, 2001). 21 Figure 2.2: Kanaya erected next to a village on Kamorta Island. This is one of the few sites where this practice continues to be followed in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. Photo credit: Sahir Advani On Chowra, no fishing or consumption of fish is allowed in June to observe Vӧniķlӧ fāp leach. After the time has elapsed, the big canoe or hodi in each collective has to be re-fired and made ready for a big hodi race the next day. A couple of hours before the race, fishing is permitted to provide for a communal feast following the race. The schedule of fishing, racing, and feasting is repeated the next day before the fishery is reopened by the community. Fishing restrictions exist for other festivals like the Chicken festival in May and Pig festival or Panuhӧ-note in November (Respondents 30, 31; Chandi, 2016). In October, fishing trips were made to the islet called Batti Malv or tarahilla between Chowra and Car Nicobar. One or three trips could be made using canoes built exclusively on Chowra with only five hodis used in each fishing trip. The crew also had to be odd numbers of three, five, and seven. It was believed that if these restrictions were not followed, a giant octopus would grab hold of the offending canoe and sink it (Respondent 31). There are commonly believed consequences of non-compliance with customary resource extraction practices across Central Nicobar culture that involve attacks by giant octopodes and sharks and harm befalling fishers and their families (Patankar et al. 2015). Trade has shaped life and hierarchies in Nicobari societies for centuries. While networks of trading relations existed across Nicobar island communities (Singh 2003; Chandi 2016a), the islands were also on prominent historical maritime trade routes between India and the Malacca Strait and East Asia. The 22 significant position of the islands, their sheltered harbours, and freshwater supplies meant that they were sought after by colonial powers in the 17th century. Bouts of malaria led to several unsuccessful colonization attempts by Danes and Austrians in the latter half of the 17th century (Singh 2003). To control trade in the region, in 1869, the British formally took over ownership of the Nicobar Islands from the Danes and established a small penal settlement on Kamorta Island (Vaidik 2010; van der Beek and Vellinga 2005). Malay and Burmese traders would visit the islands to barter iron and cloth for sea cucumbers, edible swiftlet nests, and ambergris for Chinese markets (Haensel 1812; Singh 2003, 141–42). However, fish were usually bartered or shared locally for consumption and only in recent decades were they sold within the community (Chandi 2016a). To facilitate trade deals with passing vessels, the Nicobarese chose ‘headmen’ or ‘captains’ to represent the interests of the village (Ramanujam, Singh, and Vatn 2012; Haensel 1812). These ‘captains’ had agency in their commercial dealings with outsiders (Singh 2003), and their prominent role was recognized by colonial powers (Wintle 2013). To effectively administer the Nicobarese, the British Government began appointing headmen or captains in islands and villages in 1883 (van der Beek and Vellinga 2005). A hierarchy of multiple captains continue to be involved in local governance of Nicobari communities, but there have been changes in the authority and identity of captains in recent years (see section 2.3.12). Changes in Nicobari culture occurred with colonization, trade, and development. Around 1930-40, people on Chowra began fishing for Lamteh, or marlin (Istiompax indica), but prior to that, they were “afraid to catch it and did not think it was edible” (Respondents 31, 111). A seasonal marlin fishery developed on Chowra, after an islander determined the appropriate bait and method to catch them from an outrigger canoe. Currently, the marlin fishing season in May has been integrated with the ‘Chicken festival’ that occurs around the same time, and nearly all respondents on Chowra stated that Lamteh was their favourite and most valuable fish. Because of the degree of skill required to catch it and its perceived culinary value, it was also one of the first fish to be sold on Chowra, with prices based on the thickness of the steak. Christianity started to root itself in Nicobari culture in the early 1920s, and over time, altered several cultural practices and resource management beliefs (Singh 2001). On Chowra, Christianity was accepted on 6 November 1963 and is marked by Sia Abednigo day, named after the late missionary and teacher on the island (Chandi 2016a). At around the same time, diving mask technology was introduced to Chowra. When a couple of enterprising locals were able to fashion themselves diving masks, an active skin-diving spear fishery started on Chowra (Respondent 31). This 23 subsistence fishery targeted commonly speared marine organisms, including sea cucumbers (Holothurians), octopus, sweetlips (Haemulidae), and other reef fish. Other than intermittent trade for sea cucumbers and a few instances of opportunistic trade in Trochus (Trochus niloticus) shells with Malay and Burmese poachers, the Nicobarese did not engage with markets for marine export commodities until the 21st century. There were no significant changes in the fisheries on Chowra and Kamorta until the 26th December 2004 tsunami, which wreaked havoc on all the Nicobar Islands, but especially in the southern group. Post-tsunami changes in Nicobari culture and fishing practices and their consequences are discussed in a later section. 2.3.2 The Karen In order to clear forests and establish new settlements, and thus to expand the British colony on the Andamans, the British brought in labour from the surrounding colonies in the early 1900s (Vaidik 2010). The Karen, originally a mountain tribe from Burma, were enticed to come to the islands through an advertisement published in a Karen newspaper. In 1925 and 1926, 13 and 50 Karen families, respectively, were brought over to the islands and established the first Karen settlement in Middle Andaman, called Webi or ‘hidden city’ in the Karen language. The Karen were a new introduction to the social milieu of the islands at the time – one that had consisted of indigenous groups, convicts, British government servants, and Indian settlers (Maiti 2004; Mittal 2015). The Karen community was peaceful with few instances of clashes with indigenous groups and even some instances of intermarriage. For the most part, the Karen kept to themselves, especially with the settlement of additional cultural groups in North and Middle Andaman after 1949 (Mittal 2015). Interviewed respondents mentioned how in the 1950s, they would be afraid of interactions and harassment by settlers from mainland India (Respondents 49, 68). The Karen started cultivating paddy, hunted for wild pig and deer in the forest using hunting dogs, and fished for freshwater species using traps. Over time, they became actively involved in marine activities, and established niches for themselves within the archipelago’s multicultural fisheries. Relatively isolated from their home culture in Myanmar and due to their small population, the Karen actively engage in maintaining their social life and culture. Because the Karen are predominantly Christian, several churches and church-related activities function as focal points for Karen social life. The community is relatively small compared with other cultural groups in the Andamans, with only 24 2000 Karen recorded in a 2004 survey (Maiti 2004). Karen as a language was not formally taught in schools (until recently). Opportunities to travel back to their homeland have been infrequent for most Karen due to political conflict between India and Myanmar. Increasing instances of intercultural marriages has been viewed as a threat to the Karen cultural and group identity (Maiti 2004). Faced with cultural deterioration, the Karen are currently engaged in several activities to revitalize their culture. The Karen language has been officially taught in government schools in the area since 2010 (Rao 2018). More recently, the community has established traditional medicine gardens and spaces to revive handicrafts, such as weaving, basket-making, and cooking. With increased access to the Internet, the Karen are able to reconnect to their cultural roots in Myanmar by accessing Karen songs and nursery rhymes. Through these efforts, the Karen are re-establishing their cultural identity in the multicultural Andaman society, as well as within the islands’ fisheries. Through their interactions with marine ecosystems and fishing, the Karen have moulded their cultural identity on the Andaman Islands. The predominance of the church in Karen social life has influenced their fishing activities, with most fishing trips ending on Saturdays so that fishers can attend Sunday mass (Respondent 43). Their strong work ethic, first recognized by the British in the Andaman lumber industry (Chandi 2001; Maiti 2004), was also recognized by fish traders, who would hire Karen to fish marine commodities in remote parts of the islands. “Despite the education that could get them well-paid white collar jobs” (Roy 1995), the Karen readily sought employment in skin-diving fisheries for marine commodities. Women and children would often accompany men on these long fishing expeditions, and these voyages helped the community develop detailed mental maps of the Andaman seascape. Presently, due to their work ethic and familiarity with diving, Karen are a large component of the diving and tourism industry in the Andaman Islands. Despite their sustained engagement in fishing activities for nearly every marine commodity, the Karen actively distance themselves from a fishery-dependent identity. They do not consider themselves as fishers and refer to other cultural groups, like the Telugu, as the real fishers (Respondents 43, 58). While fish is an important part of the Karen diet, with many culturally important seafood dishes, several respondents mentioned that if marine resources in the islands were to be depleted, they would turn to other sources of protein from the forests or their farms (Respondents 43, 53, 53, 58). Despite not considering themselves as fishers, the Karen have had an important influence on fisheries in the Andamans in terms of technological innovations and specialized cultural fisheries. 25 The Karen played an important role in the development and motorization of fishing fleets in the Andamans. Through insights from a Burmese convict-turned-free-settler, the Karen modified the model of the Burmese dug-out canoe and, using local lumber, began producing the Karen dug-out canoe or Khlee (Chandi 2001). These dug-out canoes were initially propelled using oars and sails, until they were motorized in the 1970s by a few Karen men who retrofitted a water pump engine to the boat, and used a manually-filled drum of water to cool the engine (Respondent 66). This design has been refined over the years, and in the 1990s and early 2000s, the majority of fishing vessels in the Andaman Islands were the motorized Karen dug-out canoes. The Karen are also the only cultural group in the Andaman Islands to produce salty fermented seafood paste, a dish common in other parts of South East Asia. There are two types of fermented shrimp or fish paste, and both are known as gnappi. The Karen are the principal fishers of the nauplii larvae of Acetes indicus, locally known as bushy jhinga, which they harvest by ploughing a mosquito net strung between two bamboo poles through brackish water mudflats. The collected shrimp larvae are then dried, salted, and crushed into a paste that is slightly fermented. The other gnappi fish paste is produced from drying and salting reef fish before crushing them into a paste. In the past, large and abundant groupers like Plectropomus leopardus, were commonly used to prepare gnappi before they became more valuable as a commodity (see Chapter 3). Gnappi is a local marine product that is produced predominantly by the Karen and sold to other communities including some in the Nicobar Islands (Lal Mohan 1983). The Karen have engaged in fisheries for nearly all marine commodities, except sharks, and presently have carved a niche for themselves as spearfishers for lobsters and groupers. Their involvement in the various marine commodity fisheries is discussed in later sections. The two Karen communities considered in this study are Webi and Karmatang X. While Webi was the first village where the Karen settled, Karmatang X was one of a series of colonial logging camps where the Karen settled and established their homesteads. Both sites are similar in terms of settlement history and socio-economic and socio-cultural aspects, but differ slightly in their access to marine systems and markets. While Karmatang X is located near the coast and can thus access fishing grounds more easily, Webi is located inland with fishers accessing the sea through tidal creeks. Fishers in Webi engage in fishing trips of shorter duration and sell their catch locally, while those from Karmatang X undertake fishing expeditions that can be up to 2 weeks long, with fishers camping at various sites along the Andaman coast and selling their catch at major ports (Respondents 43, 63). In the last few years, based on the Karen’s experience working in the dive industry, a few boats from Karmatang have started 26 compressor diving (Respondent 117). The subtle differences between these two sites will aid the analyses in the following chapters of the thesis. 2.3.3 The Bengalis Between 1949 and 1960, the Indian government rehabilitated Bengali Hindu refugees from East Bengal (current day Bangladesh), and settled them at various sites in the Andaman Islands. Families were settled with the intent of agricultural expansion in the islands and were provided with five acres of paddy land and five acres of hilly land. The colonization of Bengali refugees in the Andaman Islands started in 1949 in the southern cleared parts of the islands, with colonization moving northwards 1953 onwards (Sen 2011). In subsequent years, with voluntary migrants from West Bengal settling in parts of the islands and growing family sizes, additional areas in the islands were encroached upon. The early Bengali settlers found themselves in isolated parts of the islands, wedged in between alien forests and seas, with little additional support from the government (Zehmisch 2018). Several studies of the Bengali settler community suggest that these factors have shaped present-day Andaman Bengali culture, community, and identity. While most government records and literature cast the rehabilitated families from East Bengal as Bengali Hindu refugees, it has been argued that such a categorization ignores caste- and religion-based identities, as well as their agency (Lorea 2018; Mazumdar 2016; Sen 2011). The majority (80-85%) of Bengali settlers that were rehabilitated to the Andaman Islands were of the Matua sect and Namasudra caste (Mazumdar 2016). The Namasudras were a low-caste community in the Hindu Brahminical hierarchy, inhabiting Gangetic marshlands in eastern Bengal and engaged in boating and fishing before transitioning to cultivation in the nineteenth century (Bandopadhyay 2010). The Matua sect came to be founded in the late nineteenth century and rejected notions of caste identity and religious hierarchies. In addition to stressing upon sexual morality and structured family life, a “rational motivation for accumulation of wealth” was also formulated to help uplift the community (Bandopadhyay 2010). Thus, Bengali communities in the Andaman Islands consider themselves, for the most part, caste-free (Mazumdar 2016; Zehmisch 2018), but some signs of caste differences remain apparent in their ritualized, religious performances (Lorea 2018). Despite isolation from their mainland culture and inhabiting spaces alongside other communities in the Andamans, the Bengali sense of community has been maintained through active performance of Matua kirtans or congregational music festivals (Lorea 2018) and visits to other parts of the islands to attend Bengali religious festivals (Zehmisch 2018). 27 During these meetings, tales from the homeland in Bangladesh or visits to the mainland are recounted as most Bengalis in the Andaman Islands have not had the means to leave the islands or visit their place of origin. These practices have reinforced the sense of community within this cultural group (Mazumdar 2016; Lorea 2018; Zehmisch 2018). The culture of Bengali Matuas has transformed and adapted to maritime life while still maintaining traditional cultural elements. Meals associated with religious festivals in mainland India are vegetarian, while in the Andamans, Matua festivities dictate that fish has to be served in several forms on the final and most significant meal of religious gatherings (Lorea 2018). Bengali names for culturally important freshwater fish, such as Rui (Labeo rohita) and Mrigal (Cirrhinus cirrhosus), have been ascribed to marine fish commonly sold in Andaman markets, such as Aprion virescens and Aphareus rutilans, respectively. At the onset of any fishing trip, most Bengali fishers in the islands splash the prows of their boats with saltwater whilst praying to “Mother Ganga” to bless their fishing trip (Respondent 38; personal observation). Refugees rehabilitated to an alien environment would normally be viewed as victims of loss, but Bengali refugees in the Andamans have maintained their sense of community through religious gatherings and adaptations to island life by establishing farms and villages that are distinctly Bengali. Scholars have used various techniques to understand the process of identity formation and place-making amongst the East Bengal refugees in the Andamans. Through an examination of oral histories of displacement and resettlement, Sen (2011) notes that rather than dwelling on memories of their homelands and loss, the Bengali community in the Andamans expressed their identity as agricultural pioneers replete with notions of agency and selfhood. Madhumita Mazumdar’s (2016) exploration of the Matua community’s attachment to place in the Andaman Islands indicates that their notion of home was intricately tied to ideas of religion, community, and respect for each other. Meanwhile, Phillip Zehmisch uses the lens of place-making to explore Bengali practices of shaping the Andaman landscape in the image of their homeland, their reinforcement of notions of Bengali culture, their interactions with other communities, and their involvement in politics. His findings reveal that Bengali place-making practices in the Andamans are “dynamic and sociocultural and ecological reconstructions of Bengali-ness” that involve a fusion of mainland and Andaman elements (Zehmisch 2018, 86). Large parts of the Andamans, particularly North Andaman, lacked commercial activities until recently. For Bengali communities settled in these regions, the place-making labour of early settlers has in turn transformed into a disconnected relationship with the landscape built on considerations “of ‘risk’ and ‘profit’ in the discourse of the descendants of settlers” 28 (Ramakrishnan 2019). Their present-day envisioning of the landscape and environment is not as pristine nature, but one where people produce their livelihoods. Furthermore, increased migration and encroachment from non-Matua Bengalis from West Bengal, such as the ‘Das’, has led to resource conflicts between settler families and migrants arriving in the islands after 1978, while also reinforcing notions of settler identity (Ramakrishnan 2019). These studies indicate that Bengali involvement in the archipelago’s fisheries needs to be considered from a historical and socio-economic and socio-cultural point of view, as well as through a lens focused on their interactions with the local ecology, other communities, and within the community itself. The two Bengali communities considered in this study are Wandoor in South Andaman and Taal Bagaan in North Andaman. These sites were selected to examine differences in market access, as Taal Bagaan was connected by a motorable road only since 2017, while Wandoor was connected to Port Blair and its major fish markets since the 1960s. The community in Wandoor was established in 1950 by Bengali refugee settlers due to its proximity to an existing Burmese village in Mamyo (Sen 2018). A government census official happily stated: “Some of the 1950 and 1951 batch have volunteered to go to jungle areas which they will themselves clear and till... It is refreshing to see the little community of Mondals at Wandur [sic], hacking away trees and growing an excellent crop on the newly cleared lands” (Gupta 1955, XLIV). Meanwhile, the settlement of Taal Bagaan was established in the late 1960s as a result of encroachment. Bengali settlers who were provided land in nearby settlements, like Kishorinagar and Rangat, began clearing reserved forests and establishing vegetable gardens in the area that is now Taal Bagaan. Taal Bagaan was also situated near a creek, providing initial settlements with opportunities to fish (Respondent 60). As the settlement began to grow and establish itself with increased migration of people and areas of forest cleared for cultivation, the settlement was eventually recognized and regularised by the government in the 1980s. Originally, the Bengali communities in both Wandoor and Taal Bagaan fished for subsistence using cast nets or handlines. However, with the security provided through farming and growing cash crops, like betel nuts (Areca catechu), the Bengali community turned to fishing for marine commodities and have been involved in nearly every export-oriented fishery. With their “rational motivation for accumulation of wealth” (Bandopadhyay 2010), Bengali fishers would readily enter into commercial fisheries, strike deals with fish traders, and in some instances, become fish traders themselves. They also utilized the developed local knowledge and technologies of other cultural groups in the islands to 29 speed their entry into fisheries. For example, they learned how to manufacture skin-diving goggles and motorize boats from Karen and Burmese settlers and how to fish using longlines from Telugu fishers (Respondents 37, 60). When shark fin and grouper fisheries peaked in the late 20th century, Bengalis from West Bengal would seasonally migrate to participate in these fisheries, with some eventually settling and adding to the Bengali identity in the islands. As mentioned previously, the influx of migrants and encroachment by the ‘Das’ community is causing resource conflicts within the Bengali community on the islands (Ramakrishnan 2019). Bengali adaptability, agency, and place-making practices, coupled with the involvement of Bengali fishers in several marine commodity fisheries and trade, have considerably influenced the archipelago’s fisheries. 2.3.4 The Telugus With no commercial fishery in the islands to feed the local populace in the mid-1900s, a Fishermen Settlement Scheme was introduced in 1955 by the local administration. This resulted in 322 fishing families being settled in various parts of the ANI between 1960 and 1996 (Department of Fisheries 2016; Table 2.1). These families were provided with financial assistance for their relocation, fishing gear, house construction, and subsistence allowance (A. Singh and Andrews 2003). Since the 1980s, several more fishing families and individual fishers have migrated to the islands from coastal states in mainland India. The majority of these fishing families, both government-settled and voluntary migrants, have been from the Telugu community in Andhra Pradesh, and in particular, from the Srikakulam district. The reasons for the willingness of fishers from this region to migrate to the ANI are based on the social-ecological conditions in their original homes and their histories of migration, both of which are explored in the following paragraphs. Telugu fishing communities in the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh were socially, physically, and financially marginalised. They are mostly from the Vadabalija caste, a low caste with poor social mobility in the Hindu Brahminical hierarchy, and are seafarers, landless, and treat the sea as their prime asset (Salagrama and Sarma 2004). Srikakulam has long had the distinction of being the least developed district in Andhra Pradesh, with poor infrastructural development and access to basic amenities, like electricity and water. Fisheries in this region were mostly small-scale operations that ranged from beach seines to simple hook and lines on a treacherous portion of the coastline. Moreover, the system was also subject to frequent “fish famines and failures of fishing seasons” (Salagrama and Sarma 2004, 8), leading to starvation and financial hardships. Together these factors have contributed 30 to waves of migration of fishers and families from this region to other areas in the sub-continent to seek fishing and non-fishing livelihoods. These waves of migration have been to regions that include: erstwhile Myanmar and Malaysia in the early twentieth century; other parts of India, including the Andamans, between 1947 and 1970s; large ports on the western coast of India from the 1980s onwards (Salagrama and Sarma 2004; Karnad 2017); and the ANI since the early 2000s. As Salagrama and Sharma (2004) note, each stream of migration to different regions was dominated by villages or clusters of villages (mandals), highlighting the strength of kinship relations between pioneering migrant fishers and subsequent family members and neighbours who followed. From a 2001-03 survey of migrant fishers from Srikakulam (Salagrama and Sarma 2004), of the total migrants to the Andamans, 60% were from Sompeta mandal, 28% from Kaviti, and 11% from Mandasa. Interviews conducted between 2016 and 2018 revealed that the majority of Telugu fishing community members in the islands were from Sompeta and several had followed uncles, fathers, and other village members to the islands in search of better prospects (Respondents 4, 72, 95). With a lower number of Telugu women in the islands, many fishermen bachelors married women from the mainland and established their households in the islands. Table 2.1: Details of fishing families settled in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) through Fishermen Settlement Scheme (1955). Source: Department of Fisheries (DoF), India (2016). Year No. of families settled Geographic origin Region of settlement 1960-63 34 Kerala South Andaman 1968-69 9 Andhra Pradesh South Andaman 1971-72 10 Andhra Pradesh 5 in Campbell Bay & 5 in Little Andaman 1972-73 3 Tamil Nadu South Andaman 1973-74 11 Andhra Pradesh 6 in Campbell Bay & 5 in Little Andaman 1976-79 37 Andhra Pradesh South Andaman 1979-80 10 Andhra Pradesh 8 in Campbell Bay & 2 in Havelock 1981-83 37 Andhra Pradesh 29 in Middle Andaman & 8 in South Andaman 1983-85 27 Andhra Pradesh 24 in North Andaman & 3 in Havelock 1987-88 38 Andhra Pradesh South Andaman 1990-92 39 Andhra Pradesh North Andaman 1995-96 20 Andhra Pradesh Middle Andaman Migration to better fishing and livelihood opportunities in the ANI was viewed by Telugu fishers as far more desirable to the harsh working conditions and poor socio-economic conditions in Srikakulam and in other parts of India in the early 1970s (Respondents 8, 98). Compared to all previous migratory routes, migration to the islands was “considered to be the best not only because it allowed the fishers to 31 shift into an occupation that they understood well, but also made them owners of their fleet, besides providing them with free accommodation and other perks” (Salagrama and Sarma 2004, 17). Additionally, there existed a large niche for bait and schooling pelagic fisheries that remained untapped in the islands in the 1970s. Migration to the islands also differed from other migrations where many fishing families settled into the space and created ‘resident migrant communities’ which involved infrequent migrations back to Srikakulam. Nearly all the Telugu fishers interviewed in the islands stated that they would visit their home villages every five years to attend religious festivals. Most of these visits would coincide with school holidays and fishing closures for the monsoons, with entire families and, in some instances, large portions of villages in the islands visiting their home temples and villages in mainland India for a few months. Some respondents suggested that the purpose of these visits was also to re-establish their names and lineage in their ancestral villages (Respondents 10, 11, 71). In addition to establishing a commercial fishery in the ANI, the Telugu community expanded the local fishing industry in other ways. Prior to the 1960s, the islands had a limited commercial fishery, few boatbuilding yards and fish markets, and a shortage of labour to support a fishing industry. The Vadabalijas from Srikakulam had centuries of experience in carpentry and boatbuilding. They introduced larger plank-built or taktha dungis that supplemented the existing bonga dungis or dug-out boats manufactured by the Karen. The larger plank-built boats were deemed to be more sea-worthy and were used to access isolated bays and open-ocean seamounts. There also existed few physical markets for fresh fish in the islands in the 1970s and most fish-vending was conducted door-to-door. As the only commercial fishers in the islands, males from the Telugu fishing community first undertook this activity and were known as sanghawallas. While Telugu women would process and sell fish in their villages in Srikakulam, they were initially hesitant or not permitted by their husbands to do so in the multicultural and alien society of the Andamans at the time (Respondents 82, 98). After several years of settlement and learning the archipelago’s lingua franca, Hindustani, Telugu women in Junglighat began selling fish, followed by Telugu women in other parts of the islands, such as Campbell Bay. Presently, the majority of local fish vendors in the islands are Telugu women. With the assistance of NGOs and the Fisheries Department, Telugu women fish vendors have organized themselves into co-operatives and self-help groups that provide financial assistance or legitimize loan applications during financial hardships. 32 The two study sites that explore the connections between the Telugu community and fisheries in the ANI are Junglighat and Rajiv Nagar. Junglighat is now part of the urban sprawl of Port Blair in South Andaman and is the entrepôt for fisheries trade in the islands. Meanwhile, Rajiv Nagar is the southern-most of all the study sites and is in the town of Campbell Bay on Great Nicobar Island. Junglighat is located on the original site where the Andaman Homes used to be when Port Blair was a penal settlement. The Andaman Homes were special encampments built on the periphery of the penal settlement and were meant to ‘civilize’ the indigenous groups on the islands, such as the Great Andamanese (Vaidik 2010). The area came to be known as Junglighat by the Indian settlers and convicts because it was the site where the junglis or ‘savages’ were kept. Today, Junglighat is the largest fisher settlement and port in the archipelago. Many fishing-related businesses, such as shops for fishing gear and engine parts, fish transport vehicles, cold storage facilities, middlemen’s offices, and fish exporters’ warehouses, are located here. The predominantly Telugu community who settled in Junglighat by encroaching on the land has occupied the site for more than 45 years, and the settlement is now legally recognized. In 2003, it was considered to be the most densely populated area of Port Blair, with an estimated population of 12,120 (A. Singh and Andrews 2003). As the fisher population of Junglighat has kinship and cultural ties to several villages or mandals in Srikakulam, a multi-tiered system of local governance, involving several village councils, exists to mediate disputes and organize cultural activities (Respondents 82, 140). In the 1980s, two influential fishing-related Co-operative Societies were started in Junglighat, with their membership extending to other villages in South Andaman, including Wandoor. These societies operated for nearly 10 years and assisted fishing communities with accessing loans and subsidies, before becoming defunct due to infighting amongst the leaders (Respondent 82). In 1971, five Telugu fisher families were settled in the town of Campbell Bay on Great Nicobar Island (Respondent 11). Due to its remoteness and vulnerability to seismic activity, the Telugu fishing community who settled here experienced frequent immigration and emigration. A magnitude 6.1 earthquake in 1982 (Agrawal 1983) caused several of the 50 Telugu fishing households to emigrate to Junglighat and Srikakulam. In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, the original settlement that was on the shores of Campbell Bay was relocated in 2009 to higher ground at the current site of Rajiv Nagar. Nearly 30 additional families have settled in Rajiv Nagar after 2009, and the present population of the community stands at 709 people occupying 140 houses (Respondent 11). Each household in the community has ties to Sompeta and their original villages are within an hour’s radius from each other. 33 There exists a strong sense of community, with a locally elected village committee that mediates disputes, maintains village infrastructure, and petitions the local administration (Respondents 11, 14). As in Junglighat, in the initial years of settlement in Campbell Bay, it was considered unsafe for women to venture out alone or sell fish. Only in 1993 on Great Nicobar Island did women from the Telugu community start selling fish to the small settler population and government servants (Respondent 98). Presently, female fish vendors in Rajiv Nagar have organized themselves into five co-operative societies that are independent of the single, male-dominated fishing co-operative. Both male and female co-operative societies continue to function and assist their members in accessing loans to maintain houses, develop businesses, and purchase fishing gear (Respondents 10, 98). Fisheries in both Telugu communities initially targeted schooling pelagics, like anchovies, sardines, and mackerel, using shore seines and gill nets in the sheltered bays close to the village. As these stocks began to deplete and boats were motorized, the fleet began targeting shoals in other sheltered bays and would also engage in a seasonal fishery on the western coasts of the islands between November and May (Respondents 5, 8). Fishers from Junglighat would temporarily camp with their boats near Wandoor, and middlemen from Junglighat would drive over to collect their fish to sell in the major markets in Port Blair. In the early days of the commercial fishery, when cold storage facilities had low capacities, glut catches of fish would often spoil, as there was no space to store them and the species targeted were not amenable to drying (Respondent 82). Most Telugu fishermen did not participate in the marine commodity fisheries that involved skin-diving, as they valued their identity as boat-based fishers and considered skin-diving for Trochus or sea cucumbers to be beneath them (Respondent 73). As other export-oriented fisheries and market infrastructure began to develop in the islands, each cultural group began participating in these activities to varying degrees – a pattern that is explored in the following sections. 2.3.5 Trochus fishery The British colonized the Andaman Islands in 1858, establishing a penal settlement in South Andaman. In light of the convict population, hardly any fishing boats were permitted to operate in the region, and thus fish were scarcely part of the diet at the settlement (Seton-Karr 1928). Two gastropods, Trochus niloticus and Turbo marmoratus, were the first marine commodities exported from these islands. The gastropod fishery was formally established in 1929 by the local administration, after Japanese fishers discovered ‘mother-of-pearl shell-beds’ and started harvesting large quantities of these shellfish 34 (Dorairaj and Soundararajan 1998; Anonymous 1939). Trochus shells were valuable commodities, as they were used to make mother-of-pearl buttons and other handicrafts. They were gleaned from the shore and extracted by skin-diving to depths between 10 and 20m. Tenders were given to shell-collecting agencies to operate in demarcated shell-fishing zones. A prominent trading company in the archipelago, M/s Akoojee Jadwet and Co. in Port Blair, played an important role in developing the fishery by getting its shell-collectors to hire skin-divers from the Karen and Bengali communities (Respondents 60, 64). Other than a few instances, the Nicobari and Telugu communities did not participate in the commercial Trochus fishery. The Nicobarese would occasionally eat the meat of Trochus and other gastropods, and would crush the shells to make lime (Respondents 20, 32). As the Trochus fishery was established around the time of their settlement and the later demarcated zones were close to their villages, the Karen became actively involved in skin-diving for Trochus and Turbo. In the early days of the Trochus fishery, Karen families would glean shells from the shore or would row large distances to access distant shell grounds. Some respondents, who were children when the fishery was operational, stated that they would glean Trochus during the school summer holidays with the income from sales contributing to paying their school fees (Respondents 85, 89). Trochus shells used to be sold by the maund (approximately 37 kg) with prices ranging from approximately Rs 25/maund in the 1950s to Rs 1500/maund in the 1980s in Middle Andaman (Respondents 57, 64). Trochus were thus a valuable marine commodity for the Karen community. They also served as a source of protein, as processing of shells involved boiling the organisms to kill them and prying out the bodies, which the Karen would readily consume. When Trochus stocks began declining, several fishery management rules and policies, introduced sporadically in 1938, 1939, 1955, and 1978, regulated the number of licences issued, demarcated shell fishing zones, moratoriums and seasonal closures, minimum size limits, and traceability and inspection systems. Despite these regulations, the stocks of both Trochus and Turbo dwindled over the years (Appukuttan 1977; Advani et al. 2013). In response, the permitted quota of shells to be extracted from each zone was reduced from 25 to 15 tonnes in 1978 (Nayar and Appukuttan 1983). Management measures like alternating two-year tenders of extraction from zones also were introduced. However, some Bengali individuals would ignore the rules and harvest shells for three to five years at a stretch. When the allocations of tenders for shell-fishing zone six near Wandoor was stopped in 1995, fishers 35 continued harvesting shells illegally and curtailed their activity only in response to frequent apprehension by enforcement agencies (Respondents 38, 70). Turbo was possibly extirpated in the late 1990s as surveys conducted in 1978 and 2010 failed to record any specimens (Dorairaj and Soundararajan 1998; Ramakrishna, Raghunathan, and Sivaperuman 2010). The declining stocks of Trochus and Turbo may have been due to improper management measures, a lack of enforcement, and opportunistic poaching. Due to plummeting stocks of both species and inadequate protection from overfishing and poaching, Trochus niloticus and Turbo marmoratus were added to Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, in a notification dated 5 December 2001, effectively shutting down the Trochus fishery in the islands. The Trochus fishery was a valuable source of income for many of the initial settler communities, and in some instances, was their first introduction to fishing. For the Bengalis, the Trochus fishery was also one of the first commercial fisheries that they participated in, encouraged by shell-collecting agents from M/s Akoojee Jadwet and Co. In Wandoor, entire families would glean the shores for Trochus shells, while men could easily access adjacent shell beds using a rowboat and skin-diving. Several individuals in the community made large fortunes harvesting shells and selling them to licenced agents. For instance, many rich boat owners in the present-day fishery made their fortunes diving the shell beds alongside their fathers (Respondent 38). Fishers in Taal Bagaan learned about the Trochus fishery from shell-collecting agents in Mayabunder who were also part of the M/s Akoojee and Jadwet Co. trading network (Respondent 60). Karen fishers and shell agents taught a few individuals in Taal Bagaan how to manufacture home-made goggles and spears for skin-diving, and when the Karen motorized their boats, fishers in Taal Bagaan were among the first few non-Karen who bought the motorized boats and harnessed the technology (Respondent 60). The Trochus fishery in the ANI serves as an example of an export-oriented commodity fishery that was operational for a long period of time and subject to many management measures, ranging from spatial, temporal, input and output quotas, and size limits. Despite these measures, the fishery ultimately declined and was closed to protect the harvested species. The Trochus fishery also served as an important introduction to fishing for communities like the Karen and Bengali, and the trade relations it fostered continued to function within other fisheries in the archipelago, like the sea cucumber fishery. 36 2.3.6 Sea cucumber fishery Sea cucumbers have been targeted for subsistence and trade for centuries in the ANI. Historically, Nicobari villages traded sea cucumbers with Malay and Burmese boats (Haensel 1812), while continuing to rely on them for subsistence. Limited and unofficial trade in sea cucumbers also occurred in the Andaman penal settlement between 1789 and 1947 (D. B. James 1989), potentially with Malay and Burmese traders who supplied markets in China. When an official sea cucumber fishery started in the islands in the late 1900s, it was brief, at a small-scale, yet lucrative enough to engage other cultural groups. Between 1975 and 1978, settlers from Tamil Nadu started a cottage-level industry to export processed and dried Holothuria scabra and Holothuria atra (D. B. James 1989). During this period, many Karen and a few Bengali Trochus fishers began targeting sea cucumbers due to their ready availability, high economic value, and overlap with the Trochus fishery (Respondents 65, 70). Processing was fairly simple and involved de-gutting the organisms, boiling them in sea water, and then drying them in the sun or with smoke for three to four days. The processing was limited to a few dry months of the year in order to produce a good end product (D. B. James 1989, 1987). Women from both the Karen and Bengali communities were involved with the processing of Trochus and sea cucumbers. The quality of sea cucumber products from the islands was better than mainland India and received 10-15 times higher prices (D. B. James 1983). However, the sea cucumber fishery was officially closed in 1978 due to a clause in the Andaman and Nicobar Shell Fishing Rules 1978 that did not permit the extraction of any other species, including sea cucumbers, in the designated shell-fishing zones. Based on the productivity of holothurian fisheries in mainland India, government fisheries scientists advocated for lifting this ban with the statement: “Unfortunately the Andaman and Nicobar Administration completely banned the collection of holothurians… Considering the vast number of islands with very good resource of holothurians, this does not appear to be a wise move since the holothurians are short-lived species and if they are not exploited they will die and decompose” (P. S. B. R. James and James 1994). This request was not considered, as there was a concern amongst the administration and security forces in the islands that the sea cucumber trade in the islands was encouraging the entry of poachers from Thailand and Myanmar. Despite the ban, illegal local trade in sea cucumbers continued to flourish in the islands. Sea cucumbers were priced at Rs 30-50 in the 1980s, with their price increasing to Rs 500-800 in the late 1990s (Respondents 57, 70). While Trochus was collected during the day, sea cucumbers were collected at 37 night while skin-diving with a torch tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, making it a risky and undesirable practice for many. Local fishers engaging in sea cucumber poaching were predominantly from the Karen and Bengali community, with a few Telugu fishers also participating. Fishers from several communities in the islands continued to illegally harvest Trochus and sea cucumbers after the bans and limited their activity due to fears of apprehension and because other profitable and legal fisheries developed. On Great Nicobar Island between 1990 and 1995, a few Telugu fishers would glean sea cucumbers from the shore and process them at home due to the low levels of enforcement and the high price being offered (Respondents 9, 15). In 2001, all holothurians, Trochus and Turbo were added to Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, creating a nationwide ban on fisheries and trade for these products. Contrary to the expectations of such measures, this pushed the trade further underground. As an additional example of the profitability of illegal trade, in 2017, traders in Chennai offered fishers in the islands Rs 4000/kg for processed sea cucumbers (Respondent 15). Poaching of sea cucumbers and other marine resources by Myanmarese and Thai vessels continues to occur, evinced by their regular apprehension by the Coast Guard (Ganapathiraju 2012). However, due to their historical ties to the sea cucumber trade, Karen and Bengali fishers are often viewed with suspicion by security forces and lumped into the category of poachers (Abraham 2018). Fishing communities in the islands are well aware of the restrictions on the extraction of certain species (Patankar 2019), but due to a lack of enforcement and awareness about protected species overall, incidents of local poaching and illegal fishing continue to occur. 2.3.7 Elasmobranch fishery Fisheries for elasmobranchs (sharks, rays, and skates) have existed for centuries on the ANI. Early anthropological accounts of indigenous fishing gear record specialized spears for shark fishing and spear tips made from stingray tails (Man & Pitt Rivers, 1882). Sharks were frequently caught and considered powerful guardians in Nicobari culture (see Section 2.3.1). While the first documented, but incidental landings of elasmobranchs in the Andaman Islands was in 1967 (P. S. B. R. James 1973), there was no local demand for shark meat. Telugu fishers began targeting sharks in the 1970s and initially used large cotton nets to entangle pelagic sharks. They learned how to fashion pelagic longlines from the few Tamil fishers in the islands who had prior experience fishing sharks in mainland India (Respondents 57, 73). Sharks were mostly targeted for their fins, which were priced at Rs 125/kg of dried fins in 1970, with the bodies being discarded at sea to ensure adequate space in the hold (Respondent 70). Certain species of elasmobranchs, like the Giant guitarfish (Rhynchobatus 38 djiddensis), were extremely valuable, with their fins priced at Rs 300/kg in 1970 (Respondent 38). With increasing trade and demand for shark fins, the average prices of shark fins reached Rs 2500 in the early 2000s. The fisheries for shark fins were very lucrative, but were dangerous and involved spending several weeks out at sea, fishing and camping on isolated beaches to dry the shark fins. In the 1980s, targeted shark fisheries had spread across the archipelago as far south as Great Nicobar, and Bengali fishers also entered the fishery and learned the practice of shark longlining. A flourishing shark fishery arose in Wandoor in 1982, with Bengali labour being brought over from West Bengal by middlemen to work in this fishery. As dried shark fins were non-perishable commodities, it was easy for fishers to stockpile shark fins until traders came to their village to collect them (Respondent 38). Localized fisheries for deep-sea oil sharks, Centrophorus spp., also occurred at various places in the islands, with the most notable one situated a few nautical miles away from Junglighat above a deep-sea canyon. Over the course of two years, a fleet of 40 boats fished at the site, to the extent that “at night you could only see signal lights. Ships would have to go around [the fleet] as they had blocked off the navigational channel.” (Respondent 90). After two years of fishing, the local population of Centrophorus was extirpated. The sharks that were caught were processed for their liver oil. Over the years, populations of commonly targeted species of sharks in the archipelago plummeted, such as the sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, and whitetip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus, while the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, has potentially been locally extirpated (Andrews and Vaughan 2005; Advani et al. 2013; Tyabji, Jabado, and Sutaria 2018). The incentive to develop elasmobranch fisheries in the islands was not only in response to market demands, but also due to the insistence of government fisheries institutions. Researchers from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) advocated for the surveys of shark stocks in the Andaman Islands and the development of fisheries for these commercially important species in the 1970s. Despite uncertainty about the role of elasmobranchs in marine ecosystems and their population status, shark depredation on other commercially important fish stocks caused researchers to remark: “it is clear that these resources can be exploited on a larger scale than at present by extending fishing operations to deeper waters, by intensifying fishing in the sheltered waters… around Andaman Islands using stronger gill nets and longlines with suitable hooks and further exploratory fishing to chart new grounds for sharks, rays, and skates to provide more food and earn increased foreign exchange by export of quality products. Without fear of overfishing, it 39 may be advantageous to catch these fishes in greater quantities, for it not only helps the industry but keeps in check the populations of these destructive fishes from their ravages on important pelagic fisheries.” (P. S. B. R. James 1973). Pelagic longline surveys in recent decades have recorded higher catch rates of sharks in Andaman and Nicobar waters compared to other parts of India. However, these surveys have also documented sharp declines in the relative abundance of pelagic sharks between 1982 and 2010, leading the authors to call for better management of these fisheries (Varghese and Mhatre 2015; John and Varghese 2009; Sajeevan and Sanadi 2012). Attempts to manage these fisheries have ranged from bans (Vivekanandan 2001), closed seasons, protection of vulnerable species (Advani et al. 2013), introduction of a fin-attached policy (Hausfather 2004), and a ban on fin exports (Kizhakudan et. al., 2015, p. 54). Concurrently, new species records and corrections of previous misidentifications continue to be published from the islands (Tyabji, Jabado, and Sutaria 2018). However, monitoring of elasmobranch landings and fishing effort in the archipelago continues to remain poor and local fishing communities’ interaction with these fisheries continues to be overlooked. Despite their threatened status, Mobulinae species caught as bycatch in tuna gillnets set by Telugu fishers are retained for sale of their meat and gill-rakers (Advani 2017). Fishers across the islands have noted the declines in shark catches (Andrews and Vaughan 2005) and some groups, such as the Bengalis, exited the shark fishery in the mid-90s due to dwindling catches and low economic returns. 2.3.8 Finfish fishery As the population of the Andaman Islands increased, so did the demand for fish in local markets and restaurants. In the 1970s, reef fish like Lethrinids and Serranids were not in high demand due to a perceived ‘oily taste’, while reef-associated and neritic species, like snappers, trevallies, and scombrids, were considered commercially important fish. Seer fish (Scomberomorus spp.), locally known as surmai, were highly valued in the local market and tourism industry, and were targeted by Telugu fishers using specialised gillnets called surmai jaal. Bengali and Karen fishers used handlines to catch small-bodied snappers and trevallies, like Aphareus rutilans, Aprion virescens, and Caranx spp., off reefs to sell in local markets or to subsist upon. When fish processing plants and cold storage infrastructure developed in South Andaman in the 1990s, targeted fisheries for large-bodied snappers and emperors began in Junglighat, Wandoor, and other nearby settlements. The fish processing plants would process, freeze, and ship fish fillets to mainland India (Respondent 1). Due to their limited 40 capacity, the plants would often have to turn away glut catches of Aphareus rutilans and ask fishers to take a break from fishing (Respondent 38). These infrastructural changes laid the foundations for the development of other export-oriented fisheries, like crabs, lobsters, and groupers. 2.3.9 Crab fishery Subsistence fisheries for crabs were common across all cultural groups in the islands before crabs became an exported commodity. The commonly caught species of crabs include Scylla serrata, the mangrove/mud crab, and Portunus pelagicus and Portunus sanguinolentis, blue and red swimming crabs, respectively (Karthivel 1983). Harvests of the coconut crab Birgus latro occur to a small extent by indigenous groups in the islands (Patankar and D’souza 2012). Demand for crabs, particularly S. serrata, developed in local markets in the Andaman Islands in the late 1980s. Telugu fishers in Junglighat would occasionally catch crabs in their nets, but would retain them for self-consumption. Young Bengali fishers, a few Karen from Webi, and fishers from other communities like the Ranchis, would harvest crabs from mangroves during the monsoon months by using metal hooks to pull the crabs out of their burrows (Respondent 74). Crab claws and legs were then bound together by string, and the crabs were kept alive by keeping them in cool and moist areas. The prices were initially quite low for crabs destined for local markets and were about Rs 30/kg, irrespective of their size. In the early 2000s, once flight connectivity between Port Blair and mainland India improved, live crabs were sent to markets in Calcutta and Chennai and exported onwards to China and Southeast Asia (Respondent 137). It was at this point that crab harvesting became a lucrative activity for communities in the islands; the trade, however, was restricted to the Andaman Islands, until transport linkages to the Nicobar Islands improved after the December 2004 tsunami. The tsunami and accompanying seismic activity affected the crab fisheries in the Andaman Islands and potentially also refocussed the trade further south in the Nicobars, an aspect discussed in section 2.3.12. 2.3.10 Lobster fishery In the mid-1990s, a spiny lobster (Panulirus spp.) fishery arose in the Andaman Islands, with sales intended for export markets or local restaurants (Kumar et al. 2010). Prior to this, lobsters were rarely consumed locally, as the public, including the Telugu and Bengali community, felt that the meat was “too sweet” for their liking (Respondents 72, 137). Karen skin-divers for Trochus and sea cucumbers would occasionally harvest lobsters by hand for their own consumption. When the export-oriented lobster fishery began, middlemen involved in the trade contacted Bengali and Karen skin-divers to 41 collect lobsters and provided them with gloves to handle the spiny lobsters. Lobsters would either be retained as bycatch in gill nets, gleaned from intertidal areas at night, or fishers would skin-dive and use iron bars to turn over rocks and boulders to access them (Andrews and Vaughan 2005; Kumar et al. 2010). Panulirus homarus, Panulirus polyphagous, and Panulirus versicolor were bought for Rs 70-80/kg and were frozen for shipment to mainland India (Respondent 130). While fishers were initially discouraged from spearing lobsters to maintain quality, as demand increased and lobster populations started declining, fishers were encouraged to spear them only in the head region in the early 2000s (Respondents 63, 117). Around this time, price categories for lobsters were introduced, where ‘XL’ lobsters above 300 g fetched a higher price. A few Karen boats would travel to remote reefs in the Andaman Islands to skin-dive for lobsters and would then off-load their catches to middlemen in Mayabunder and Port Blair (Respondent 117). The ANI Marine Fishing Rules (2004) introduced size restrictions on the harvest of crabs and lobsters, as well as limitations on the export of brooding and gravid females. However, due to a lack of monitoring, under-sized individuals and gravid females were often observed in exporters’ shipments (Andrews and Vaughan 2005). The lobster fishery continues to persist in the islands, with an average of ~10 tonnes of frozen lobsters exported annually between 2006 and 2016. While a few Telugu fishers now catch lobsters using gill nets, most Bengali fishers have stopped spearfishing for lobsters. Several Karen fishers continue to spearfish lobsters, but alongside the new fishery for groupers in the islands. 2.3.11 Grouper fishery In 1997, realizing the versatility of Karen and Bengali fishers, fish exporters approached the communities with offers to buy a commonly caught, but frequently discarded species of grouper, the leopard coral trout Plectropomus leopardus. With the aim to start a live reef fish fishery to supply global markets (Sadovy et al. 2003), fishers in North and South Andaman were taught proper handling techniques to keep fish alive in holding tanks before they were exported via a cargo vessel (Respondent 2). Difficulties in obtaining the necessary permits for the cargo vessel led to the venture being unsuccessful. Instead, from 2000 onwards, exporters shifted to transporting chilled groupers via air cargo (Mustafa 2011). While this fishery focused upon P. leopardus (see Chapter 3), other groupers like Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, Epinephelus malabaricus, and Cephalopholis sonnerati have also become important. The price for groupers was higher than most other locally caught fish (nearly 9-10 times higher in the case of P. leopardus; see Figure 3.4, p. 71), leading several fishing communities to start targeting this fishery. Moreover, in response to annual peak market demand during the Lunar New 42 Year, middlemen and exporters would incentivize participation in the fishery. In the initial years of the fishery, most fishers did not know the reasons for the increased value of groupers or where it was being exported, allowing middlemen to offer a relatively low, but stable price throughout the year. As the number of middlemen and exporters involved in the grouper trade began increasing, so did the competition (Respondents 2, 140). This caused middlemen and exporters to hike prices in the weeks prior to the Lunar New Year or “the festival” and incentivize fishers to catch more groupers during this period with “offers”. These offers took various forms, and ranged from bottles of alcohol alongside the regular rate, to local competitions where boats with the largest catch of groupers would win colour TVs and DVD players (Respondents 60, 61). The Karen previously consumed groupers caught during subsistence fishing trips, so it was easy for them to get involved in the commercial fishery for groupers. As catches of groupers on hook and lines started decreasing, Karen fishers who used to skin-dive for lobsters recognized a niche for themselves in the grouper fishery. Alongside spearfishing lobsters, these fishers would also spear large-bodied and sedentary groupers like E. fuscoguttatus and E. malabaricus, which had an above average price (Respondent 63). Today, the Karen are one of the few cultural groups in the islands who continue to spear lobsters and groupers for commercial purposes. Fishers from other cultural groups restrict their commercial fishing practices to the easier hand- and long-lining practices. Bengali fishers began targeting groupers due to their high value and ease of fishing on reefs close to the shore in the initial years of the fishery. During the heyday of the grouper fishery, in remote and unconnected villages like Taal Bagaan, middlemen would set up a seasonal camp on a sandbank where they would provide boats with ice, bait, fuel, and sometimes alcohol as incentives to fish groupers (Respondents 60, 61). In villages close to the central markets in Port Blair, migrant fishers from West Bengal would be brought to the islands by traders to fish during the peak grouper season (A. Singh and Andrews 2003). Not to be left behind, many Telugu fishers in Junglighat, who previously fished using only nets, switched over to fishing with handlines and longlines when the grouper fishery began. Faced with declining grouper catches, Junglighat fishers started fishing further away and would spend nearly ten days out at sea. Their connections to middlemen and exporters, and proximity to the market hub in Port Blair, ensured that they enjoyed higher rates for groupers. Junglighat is also the only fish landing site in the archipelago where the community has arranged for auctions of an entire boat’s catch to occur, leading to the formation of new roles in the marketing network. One of these roles is that of a “boat 43 agent” who mediates the auction and receives a commission for collecting payments from exporters and distributing the wages to the boat crew and owner, thereby providing fishers adequate time to rest and focus on fishing (Respondent 91). Middlemen and exporters participate in the auctions while being connected on cellphones to their buyers in mainland India and abroad. Within these auctions, middlemen and exporters are not allowed to weigh the catch or otherwise quantitatively assess the quality of individual fish, forcing them to assess visually the volume and quality and take on the risk themselves. A commercial grouper fishery has not started in any of the Nicobar Islands due to the long travel times and resultant quality deterioration of chilled fish being sent from these islands to Port Blair. Telugu fishing communities in Rajiv Nagar are well acquainted with the fishery and keen to participate in it (Chapter 3). If the proposed plans of declaring Great Nicobar Island a free trade zone and developing a transhipment terminal on the island are achieved (Simhan 2019), then it is likely that a grouper fishery will rapidly develop in these islands. 2.3.12 The 2004 earthquake and tsunami On the morning of 26 December 2004, an earthquake measuring ~9.2 on the Richter scale occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra, triggering a series of tsunami waves that struck the ANI, the eastern coastline of India, and other areas in the region. The loss of life, damage to property, and ecological changes to marine and coastal systems caused by the tsunami were greater in the Nicobar Islands than in the Andamans. The earthquake affected the entire archipelago and caused the northern and western parts of the Andaman Islands to uplift, while parts of southern Andaman and most of the Nicobar Islands subsided between 1.1 and 2.85 m (Meltzner et al. 2006; Nehru and Balasubramanian 2018; Sankaran, Andrews, and Vaughan 2005). The earthquake and tsunami drastically altered marine SESs in the archipelago both in the short- and long-term. The earthquake and tsunami caused extensive damage to coastal morphology, mangroves, and coral reefs in the ANI. Subsidence and upliftment of the islands changed the hydrology of bays, creeks, and coastal habitats. In the northern parts of the Andamans, entire sections of the reef were permanently lifted out of the water and large stands of mangroves began to die, as they were now above the high tide mark. In the Nicobar Islands, subsided portions of coastal forests and mangroves began to die off due to salinization and choking of pneumatophores (Dam Roy and Krishnan 2005; Sankaran, Andrews, 44 and Vaughan 2005). Recent surveys of mangroves in the Nicobars estimate that 97% of mangrove cover was lost due to these events (Nehru and Balasubramanian 2018). The force of the tsunami destroyed large swathes of coral reefs in the archipelago, particularly in the Nicobars, and the remaining reefs were smothered by silt and debris. The impact of the tsunami was more severe for coral reefs closer to the epicenter (Patankar et al. 2012). In terms of its impact on humans and the destruction of agricultural land, the Nicobar Islands were disproportionately more affected than the Andamans (Sekhsaria 2015). Furthermore, the effects of the earthquake and tsunami on cultural groups and fisheries in the islands varied. For the Nicobarese, in addition to the loss of life and material property, a significant amount of damage was experienced in their settlements and to the natural resources they depended upon. The period after the tsunami was one of cultural upheaval and livelihood rebuilding. Communities were made to stay in relief camps on adjacent islands or near settler populations for nearly six years and were not permitted to return to their original land by the government. These prolonged stays in relief camps and dependencies on cash doles and material goods undermined the capacities of Nicobarese to rebuild their lives. The influx of humanitarian aid and government intervention in the aftermath of the tsunami may have irreversibly altered indigenous culture, institutions, and resource management practices (Ramanujam, Singh, and Vatn 2012; Singh and Haas 2012; Saini 2013, 2015; Chandi 2016a). Thus, the tsunami and influx of aid changed the availability of fish, access to canoes and motorized boats, and the governance systems within Nicobari society. Nicobarese considered fish to be more abundant before the tsunami, with two-thirds of marine resources considered open-access and the remainder under community management tenures (Chandi 2016a). Post-tsunami, in light of lower abundance of marine resources, 100% of fish were considered to be under community management tenures (Chandi 2016a, 94). Moreover, the number of outrigger canoes decreased due to damage or loss from the tsunami, while the number of motorized boats increased as part of government relief and rehabilitation efforts. Vessels were considered essential for fishing, travelling to other islands, and collecting resources. Their ownership was largely based on group ties, but after the tsunami, was perceived as a private resource (Chandi 2016a). After the tsunami, the instances of non-compliance in marine customarily managed areas increased due to the scarcity of marine resources, the influx of aid, and less respect for the authority of Nicobari resource management institutions (Chandi, Mishra, and Arthur 2015; Patankar et al. 2015). While some 45 instances of non-compliance are from Nicobari fishers themselves, others are by Telugu fishers settled in parts of the Nicobars and from large mechanized trawlers and longliners from mainland India that fish close to settlements. Several Nicobari respondents recounted interactions with trawlers at sea, where large plumes of discarded bycatch were left in the wake of these trawlers. The increased interactions with commercial fishers in recent years have also contributed to the shift in Nicobari marine resource governance from open-access to community-managed regimes. As SESs in the Nicobar Islands restructure themselves in the aftermath of the tsunami and are influenced by globalization and commodity markets, additional changes to marine customary resource management are likely to occur. In a few Nicobari communities, like those on Kamorta, youth have started harvesting mangrove crabs (Scylla serrata) for commercial purposes and are well versed in the market lingo and processes of this trade due to their frequent trips to Port Blair to sell their harvest. Participation in this nascent crab fishery has been possible due to the post-tsunami development of infrastructure and transport linkages. The tsunami and subsequent aid also impacted other non-indigenous communities in the Nicobar Islands. For the Telugu community in Rajiv Nagar, the tsunami and subsequent infrastructural development altered livelihoods and the fisheries they engaged in. The pre-tsunami settlement for the Telugu fishers in the town of Campbell Bay was close to the shore. On the morning of the tsunami, seeing the water drawn back and exposing the reef, several fishers from the community ventured out to collect sea cucumbers and other marine organisms. These fishers were killed by the tsunami waves that followed and most of the fishing settlement was completely inundated (Respondents 10, 95). The fishing community lived in relief camps for nearly five years after the tsunami, during which time they received free rations for food and aid in the form of fishing boats and chest freezers. In 2009 they were resettled at their current site in Rajiv Nagar, which is at a higher elevation and further away from the shore and their boats. Due to government-provided shelter and the additional manpower required to crew the new boats, nearly 30 additional families settled in the village after 2009 (Respondent 11). The earthquake and tsunami altered the physical landscape of the islands and in turn caused several changes in the local marine ecology. In the months following the tsunami, communities across the Nicobars, and especially at Campbell Bay, observed dramatically increased catches of Chanos chanos, which came to be locally known as the ‘tsunami fish’ (Sekhsaria 2009; Patankar et al. 2015; Anonymous 2005). A commercial fishery for tiger prawns (Penaeus monodon) which was previously 46 rarely caught in the bay, also developed a few months after the tsunami (Anonymous 2005). Telugu fishers reported large, sustained catches of P. monodon for three years after the tsunami, until the stock collapsed with negligible catches since (Respondent 14). Similarly, catches of lobsters and crabs increased due to the damage of coastal habitats. Telugu fishers, who had previously targeted shoaling pelagic fish, began targeting both organisms using trammel nets placed at the mouths of mangrove creeks or close to reefs. Fisher families who had received chest freezers as part of tsunami aid began freezing lobsters and crabs to sell them to export markets in Port Blair. As the frequency of ferries between Campbell Bay and Port Blair increased in the last decade, these new crab traders began sending shipments of live crabs and frozen lobsters for export. At present, landings of finfish in Campbell Bay are in surplus of the demands of the local populace, and thus are being traded as frozen fish across the Nicobar Islands. The government-operated cold storage and ice factory, which was destroyed in the tsunami, was reconstructed in 2015 and has further promoted the trade of frozen fish in the southern part of the archipelago. The development of a transhipment port and free trade zone in Campbell Bay (Simhan 2019) will give additional impetus for the expansion of commercial fisheries in an area designated as a tribal reserve. The 2004 earthquake and tsunami affected fisheries in the Andaman Islands in multiple, non-linear ways. The upliftment of reefs and mangroves in North and Middle Andaman led to increased catches of crabs and lobsters soon after the tsunami. Mangrove creeks were no longer inundated by tides, making crab burrows more accessible, while disturbed reefs led to increased movement of lobsters (Andrews and Vaughan 2005). As mangrove stands in these regions began dying out due to inadequate water levels, crab populations reduced and forced nearby communities like the Karen and Bengali to shift away from crab harvesting. Most reef fishers in the Andamans reported no change in catch rates after the tsunami (Andrews and Vaughan 2005) and reductions in total catch volumes soon after the tsunami were attributed to an unwillingness to fish and damage to fishing fleets (Dam Roy and Krishnan 2005). In the years that followed the tsunami, the uneven distribution of relief aid by the government and NGOs also changed the characteristics of fisheries. A few months after the tsunami, nearly 50 NGOs were working with the local administration for relief operations and aid distribution. Based in the capital Port Blair, and with limited access to the Nicobar Islands, these aid agencies were keen to distribute relief material. In their ‘humanitarian fervour’ to distribute as much aid as quickly and visibly as possible, several aid agencies focused their efforts on 47 aid distribution in South Andaman (Reddy 2018). The items for distribution to fishing communities in the islands were small boats, nets, and GPS devices. These items were distributed to individuals regardless of their previous ownership of a boat or their involvement in fishing (Respondent 38). In villages like Wandoor, within a span of two to three years, the number of boats in the village doubled, as boats were distributed to crew members and migrant fishers, effectively doubling the fishing effort (Figure 2.3, Advani 2013). Illegal settlers, such as migrant fishers who had come to fish during the peak grouper season, were also provided with temporary tsunami shelters, which were eventually reinforced and made more permanent (Reddy 2018). Fishers who received a GPS as part of the aid package did not receive any training in how to operate them, and thus these devices were eventually sold or bartered for rations (Respondents 38, 71). The carcasses of NGO-provided chest freezers and ice boxes litter the fish markets, export warehouses, and port of Junglighat to this day and are a sign of the non-targeted delivery of aid following the tsunami. In other tsunami-affected countries, it was quickly determined that rebuilding fishing livelihoods through an over-supply of boats would result in overfishing, inequality, and unsustainability (Pauly 2005; CONSRN 2005; Christoplos 2006). In the Andaman Islands, the dramatic increase in the number of fishing boats coupled with the development of fisheries infrastructure and transport linkages have further increased the magnitude of seafood exports and altered the livelihoods of communities. Figure 2.3: Fishers’ perceptions of the number of fishing vessels in Wandoor, with a clear doubling in number after the December 2004 tsunami as a result of aid interventions. Source: Advani (2013) 48 2.3.13 Development of fisheries, exports, infrastructure, and marketing practices Marine fish catches in the ANI have shown a steady increase from 1950 to 2014 (Hornby, Arun Kumar, Bhathal, Pauly, & Zeller, 2015), with a dramatic increase in catches from 1980 onwards (Figure 2.4). Moreover, fisheries in the archipelago experienced significant development in the last two decades. With increased and uncontrolled migration of fishers to the islands and lucrative fishing opportunities, the numbers of licenced fishers and fishing vessels have dramatically increased, particularly after the 2004 tsunami (Figure 2.5). The recent increase in the size of fishing fleets in the archipelago has also affected the volume of exports of marine products in the last fifteen years (Figure 2.6). From 2005 onwards, chilled fish, elasmobranchs, and frozen fish have contributed the most to seafood exports from the islands. More recently, volumes of chilled groupers, frozen tuna, and mackerel were disaggregated from the records of chilled fish and frozen fish, respectively, highlighting their current commercial importance and their potential past contribution to these categories. Figure 2.4: Marine fish catch reconstruction of the ANI between 1950 and 2014. Source: Hornby et al. (2015). 49 Figure 2.5: Number of licenced fishing vessels and fishers in the ANI between 2002 and 2016. Source: DoF, ANI (2017). Figure 2.6: Seafood exports from the ANI between 2001 and 2016. Categories of marine products are coarsely defined, for example, between 2004 and 2013 Chilled Fish also includes Groupers, and prior to 2012, Frozen Fish also includes Frozen Mackerel and Tuna. Source: DoF, ANI (2017). 50 The proliferation in export volumes could be attributed to increases in fishing effort but also to the development of export-related infrastructure. With improvements in transport linkages and fisheries infrastructure, all coral reefs in the Andamans are within 12 hours of travel time to the nearest major market in mainland India, while 70% of the reefs in the Nicobar Islands are more than a day’s travel away (Jaini et al. 2018). These differences in market accessibility have likely influenced the development of export-oriented fisheries in parts of the archipelago. The influence of increased interactions with global seafood markets and commoditization on the values of various cultural groups engaging in fishing livelihoods in the islands are explored in Chapters 3 and 4. Compared to the Nicobars, the Andaman Islands have better cold storage and fish processing infrastructure. The development of this infrastructure is largely driven by private investment from Tamil or Telugu exporters with links to external capital and the export industry in mainland India (Jaini et al. 2018). The number of middlemen and exporters involved in seafood trade in the archipelago has also increased over the years due to the number of marine products being exported as well as increasing competition for high-value products, such as lobsters, crabs, shark fins, and groupers. Presently, there are 174 registered fish traders servicing the relatively small seafood export industry (Directorate of Fisheries Andaman and Nicobar, 2017). The large number of export-oriented fish traders has led to local shortages of seafood in the islands, as well as sky-rocketing prices for the little seafood that does remain for sale to the public (Kanjilal 2012). From the above examples, it is clear that market actors play a prominent role in connecting fishing communities to seafood export markets, as well as driving local fisheries and fishing livelihoods. Issues of inequities in the transmission of prices and markets are well documented in seafood value chains (Bjørndal et al. 2015). Fishing communities across the archipelago mentioned issues related to poor access to information about prices and market demand, and often stated that middlemen would deliberately suppress this information in order to make a greater profit (Respondents 7, 46, 70, 130). Moreover, fishers were often unaware of the end markets for their seafood products, the reasons for its high demand, and its final economic value. These factors further distance fishing communities from the seafood that they help produce, while also continuing to drive local fisheries towards unsustainability due to the insufficient revenue being generated at the bottom of the value chain. Taking loans or credit from moneylenders and middlemen was very common within the Bengali and Telugu fishing communities (Chapter 5). These loans would often have very high interest rates, further ensuring that fishing communities were locked into the annual cycle of fishing to pay back their loans. 51 2.3.14 Fisheries monitoring, management, and development discourses The first commercial fisheries of the archipelago, Trochus and Turbo, were monitored and managed by the Zoological Survey of India from 1930 onwards (Anonymous 1939). However, the first Fisheries Research Unit was established in 1949 and this institution became the Directorate of Fisheries (DoF) from 1975 onwards (Mustafa 1983). In mainland India, fisheries catch landings are monitored by state fisheries departments and the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) through multi-stage stratified random sampling (MSRS) (Sridhar and Namboothri 2012). But fisheries landings data in the ANI are monitored by the local DoF, with monitoring efforts facing several issues due to the remote nature of several landing sites in the islands, multitude of fisheries and gear types, and staff shortages. A CMFRI assessment of fisheries in the islands in 1989 stated that the methodology and process of collecting fisheries statistics needed to be strengthened with additional training required for government officials (P. S. B. R. James 1989). Concerns about scientific sampling methods for fish catch landings and the lack of estimates for the potential and scale of reef fisheries continue to exist among other fishery agencies (ANDFISH 2005). On the DoF’s official website, the stated objectives are i) to serve fishers and the public as a whole for the development of fisheries, and ii) to create employment avenues, increase fish production, and uplift the socio-economic status of fishing communities. The conservation and monitoring of fishery resources are listed under the DoF’s ‘Other Activities’ (DoF 2019). The DoF’s mandate is thus to ensure the welfare of local fishing communities through the provisioning of annual fishing licences and fisheries subsidies. Meanwhile, the fisheries data that contribute greatly to the discourse on fisheries development in the islands are the data from pelagic and demersal scientific surveys of the Fishery Survey of India (FSI) that produce estimates of exploitable fish biomass or the fisheries potential of waters around the islands. Part of the confusion regarding the objectives of the DoF stems from the overlapping mandates of other agencies in the islands (Advani et al. 2012). For example, the ANI Forest Department is charged with the establishment and enforcement of marine protected areas in the islands. This has led to the establishment of marine reserves without adequate consultation with fisheries agencies, stakeholders, and local fishing communities (Bijoor, Sharma, and Ramesh 2018). There are diverse published estimates of the fishery potential of Andaman and Nicobar waters, and fishery scientists recognize that they are “mostly based on assumptions derived from scanty data” (Pillai and Abdussamad 2009, 24). Two prominent estimates of the fishery potential have been used to 52 drive the agenda for fisheries development in the islands, despite their high degrees of uncertainty (Table 2.2). They are used by fisheries development planners and research agencies as targets to achieve and to compare current exploitation levels against (ANDFISH 2005; Dam Roy et al. 2009). A report on the development of fisheries in the islands, prepared during a meeting of national fisheries scientists and research agencies, identified the “risk of skewed or erroneous estimates cascading on development initiatives” and that “no estimates on the effort expended and consequently, estimates on catch rates and abundance” were available (ANDFISH 2005, 12). Four years later, brainstorming sessions on development of island fisheries continued to echo the ANDFISH report and used the two problematic estimates of fisheries potential interchangeably (Dam Roy et al. 2009). The failure of economic development of fisheries in the islands and catch estimates far below the estimated potential led the authors of the brainstorming session to conclude that the coastal and oceanic resources of the archipelago were “grossly underutilized in spite of decades of development programs” (Dam Roy et al. 2009, 110). While these reports acknowledge the poor quality of available fisheries data, they add to questionable discourses on the need for fisheries development in the islands. Table 2.2: Recent and commonly used estimates of fishery potential of the Andaman and Nicobar Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Fishing Zone Potential yield (tonnes) Source Demersal Pelagic Oceanic Total EEZ area 22,500 139,000 82,000 243,500 Sudarsan et al., 1990 Demersal Pelagic Oceanic Total EEZ area 32,000 56,000 60,000 148,000 John et al., 2005 A prominent and debateable discourse on fisheries in the ANI can be summed up with the statement that in the islands “fish may be dying due to old age” (P. S. B. R. James 1989, 4). While this statement was coined after two weeklong surveys of fish landings in the islands in 1989, it continues to be frequently used in the offices of the local administration (Allana 2015) and potentially influences the impetus to develop fisheries in the archipelago. The statement embodies the assumption that fisheries in the archipelago are ‘grossly underutilized’ and need to be developed further. This discourse continues to drive the current agenda for fisheries development and management in the islands and ignores the ground realities of the status of fisheries, as well as their socio-economic and socio-cultural 53 importance to fishing communities. Instead, the discourse, promoted through fisheries development plans and reports, transforms into policies to continue to develop the technical capacity of fisheries, without adequate investment in monitoring or management programs. An example of this is a policy plan in 2013 to increase fleet size and fishery-related infrastructure to enhance vaguely defined exploitation levels from 37% to 75% in a span of five years (DoF 2013; Table 2.3). These problematic observations of ‘unexploited fisheries potential’ of the ANI and resultant development plans need to be qualified with direct observations of fishing effort, local perceptions of fish abundance, and the values of local fishing communities. This research aims to fill this gap. Table 2.3: ANI Administration’s fisheries development targets to augment fish catch between 2014 and 2018. Source: DoF (2013). Year Number of intermediary and improvised fishing craft to be introduced Establishment of fishery-related infrastructure (including ice plants, cold storages, boat yards) 2014 25 5 2015 40 9 2016 50 12 2017 60 15 2018 75 15 Total 250 56 The few studies on fisheries ecology and catch effort indicate that fisheries for yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), pelagic sharks (Sajeevan and Sanadi 2012), and groupers, like Epinephelus malabaricus (Kirubasankar et al. 2013), have recorded decreased catch rates and are unsustainable. Interviews with fishing communities across the islands suggest that fish stocks are declining due to overfishing and overcapacity of the fishing fleet. Fishers now fish farther, deeper, and for longer than they did a decade ago, as observed globally (Morato et al. 2006). The catches from reef fisheries, which supply a large amount of food to the archipelago’s population, have declined substantially due to the open-access nature of fisheries and lack of proper monitoring, management, and enforcement. From the most recent census of fishing communities in the islands, 89% of respondents stated that fish catches had declined in the last five years, while 62% and 51% stated that the increased number of boats and exploitation of juvenile fish, respectively, were a problem (FSI 2011). Moreover, only 16% of respondents wanted their children to fish, with the greatest number in favour from the Nicobars (34%, Table 2.4). While this data is not disaggregated by cultural group or fishing gear or vessel type, it indicates that fishing communities in the archipelago perceive fisheries to be in a poor state and do not provide viable livelihood opportunities. 54 Table 2.4: Perceptions of fishing communities in the ANI, expressed as percentage agreement. Source: Fishery Survey of India (FSI) (2011) Region Catch declines in last 5 years Want children to fish Increased number of boats Exploitation of juvenile fish North & Middle Andaman 96 16 35 30 South Andaman 85 8 75 63 Nicobar Islands 90 34 80 56 Total 89 16 62 51 Encouragingly, the latest draft of fisheries policy in the islands recognizes the declining status of fisheries sustainability and the uncertainty associated with the estimated fisheries potential. While the document still cites fishery resources as ‘under-utilized’, it recognizes that marine resources are exhaustible and require a suite of management measures to sustain the fishery (DoF 2018). In turn, a re-assessment based on scientific principles and local ecological conditions has been recommended. The system of integrated fisheries management that the draft policy envisions involves a blending of traditional knowledge and science with business principles and effective engagement of primary and secondary stakeholders. While the policy document discusses the importance of promoting seafood trade for the economic development of the fisheries sector, it fails to adequately consider the impacts of global seafood markets on fisheries and local communities. Furthermore, no consideration has been given to the social and cultural ties between local communities and marine ecosystems as well as their values related to fishing. Considering the complex history of the marine SESs of the ANI may help fisheries managers and policymakers make decisions that are informed by the past and that would benefit all cultural groups. 2.4 Conclusion Considering marine SESs from historical perspectives provides greater insights into the changes that have occurred and their potential causes, while also highlighting potential future developments. Nuanced considerations of local contexts and socio-economic and socio-cultural aspects of fisheries and seafood commodity markets in the ANI, as presented above, can help frame knowledge gaps while also informing fisheries management and policies. 55 The consideration of historical changes leading up to the present-day marine SES of the ANI has yielded numerous insights. Fishing communities in the ANI clearly differ socially and culturally. These differences may explain their varied fishing practices and engagement with fisheries for marine commodities. The complex systems of customary marine tenure and fishing-related taboos of the indigenous Nicobarese may represent cultural practices that evolved to manage limited resources on islands and surrounding reefs Chandi (2016a). The Karen, while originating from the highlands of Myanmar, have adapted to island life and fisheries in several ways. Perceptions of their strong work ethic encouraged local fish traders to actively hire them in fisheries for marine commodities, while their attempts at cultural revitalization indicate a strong sense of community. Bengali communities, through their place-making activities have established a space for themselves in the ANI landscape and society. Active participation in fisheries for marine commodities may have been an aspect of Bengali place-making activities and wealth accumulation. The lack of involvement in certain marine commodity fisheries for Telugu fishers may be linked to their identity as fishers, while their involvement in various levels of seafood trade represents a familiarity with commercial aspects of fisheries. The Srikakulam Telugu fishing community, with their history of fishing and fishing-related migration, serves as an interesting community within which to consider values towards fishing and/or place. This chapter focuses on the influential role of global seafood markets in driving fisheries and their potential effects on local values. The elicitation of values of local cultural groups and their priorities can help to understand how marine SESs function and how they can be better managed in the future. The interactions of different cultural groups with marine commodities are reviewed to provide insights into the specific behavioural practices within each cultural group’s fisheries. The role that a better understanding of the value priorities of cultural groups can play in improving fisheries management is explored through the rest of this dissertation. 56 Chapter 3: A fish called dollar: Commoditization and the transformation of cultural values for Plectropomus leopardus 3.1 Introduction Commoditization is defined as the action or process of treating things as property which can be traded or whose value is purely monetary (OED 2018). In the context of human societies and natural resources, commoditization is the proclivity to develop commodities or the process of favouring market logic and relations over past relationships between societies and ecosystems (Manno 2000, 2010). Appadurai (1986) suggests that attempts to understand commoditization should focus on the objects being commoditized and the relationships that are transformed or evolved as a result of this. The resultant regimes of value that form are not consistent in their translation across cultures and contexts, space and time, and may even vary across commodities, but with some degree of similarity still being retained. In other words, one fisher’s bycatch is another fisher’s highly prized catch. With globalization, the process of creating commodities also involves interactions among actors from multiple cultures who may begrudgingly agree on the terms of transaction, but may share minimal understanding of the significance of the traded object (Appadurai 1986). Commoditization thus can be considered to lie at a complex intersection between historical, cultural, and social factors (Appadurai 1986) and, for living natural resources, biology and ecology (Lam and Borch 2011; Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Additionally, certain things may have a higher potential to be chosen in market economy exchanges, or they could be said to have a high commodity potential. The qualities that imbue a thing to have a high commodity potential include (Manno 2000): i) how easy it is to own, catch or harvest, or its alienability; ii) how independent or excludable it is from its context; iii) how conveniently it can be standardized into an object of exchange; and iv) how transportable or mobile it is from its site of production. The value of an object or commodity is its relative importance expressed by individuals or groups in certain contexts: this ‘assigned’ value of the object is subject to frequent change (Brown 1984). While more commonly expressed in monetary terms, assigned values also can refer to a commodity’s importance for other attributes like food value, educational value, cultural value, etcetera (ibid), such as of fish (Lam 2019). In the face of commoditization, all non-market values of a commodity are reduced in relation to its monetary value. Thus, a consideration of values towards commodities can shed light on the process of commoditization. In this chapter, we explore the transformation of four cultural 57 groups’ values attributed to marine species before and after they became marine commodities. This study uses the example of a highly lucrative commodity, Plectropomus leopardus, commonly known as the leopard coral grouper, to describe the process of commoditization from a historical, socio-economic and socio-cultural perspective and to reflect on the effects of commoditization on the values of cultural groups dependent on it. In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI), India, this fish has come to be called dollar by communities that catch and export it for profit. In this chapter, we first highlight the importance of considering fish commoditization and what the process of naming fish can tell us about a society’s relationship with fish. We then contextualize the importance of P. leopardus as a global seafood commodity and describe our study area, the ANI, and the major fishing communities in these islands. In the methods, we present the hypotheses before describing the factors that will be tested, our approach to recruiting study participants and conducting semi-structured interviews, followed by the analytical methods used. In the results, we highlight differences in the cultures of our study communities, illustrate the causes of commoditization and provide some context for the variety of commoditized names for P. leopardus. Using narratives deduced from the interviews, we describe the emergence of the commoditized fishery and the transitions in values. In the discussion, we contextualise the factors that contributed to the commoditization of P. leopardus and briefly highlight the aspects responsible for its high commodity potential. Our case study of P. leopardus reveals the transformation of values reflected in fish naming practices as it was commoditized. This suggests that a better understanding of fishing communities’ values can help to highlight the drivers of fish commoditization and potentially, to combat it through decommoditization strategies such as social subsidies to fishing communities (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). 3.1.1 Fish Commoditization Commoditization of fish can severely hamper strategies to ensure the sustainability of global fish stocks. Historically, mercantilization, modernization, mechanization, and globalization have resulted in overfishing scenarios in several parts of the world (Pitcher & Lam, 2015). Improvements in seafood preservation technologies and global transportation infrastructure have increased the reach of seafood markets, as well as the demand for seafood products with high commodity potential (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Similarly, increased market accessibility has been linked to the degraded condition of coral reefs and reef fisheries (Cinner et al. 2016; Maire et al. 2016; Cinner et al. 2013). Global reviews of small-scale fisheries reveal that linkages to international luxury seafood markets result in several 58 negative ecological socio-economic outcomes, such as unsustainable exploitation and increasing fisher debt (Crona 2015; 2016). It is therefore worthwhile to consider the effect that linkages to international luxury seafood markets can have on small-scale fisheries, the actors involved in the seafood industry, and the marine resources that are transformed into commodities to fuel this industry. Global demand for seafood has helped shape the formation and abstraction of global seafood commodities such as sushi (Bestor 2001) or surimi (Mansfield 2003), but the transformation of seafood commodities at sites of production and the effects on producers have not received much attention. The commoditization of marine products has eroded traditional management systems in the Asia-Pacific region (Ruddle 1993). The process of integrating into new commodity chains may also cause fishing communities to place greater importance on market logics of price and demand rather than knowledge of fish behaviour and cultural values of marine resources (Murray, Neis, and Johnsen 2006; Lam and Borch 2011). While seafood commodity chains have been studied mostly from the perspective of financial value and inequality (Bjørndal et al., 2015; Hamilton-Hart & Stringer, 2016; Purcell et al., 2013), wider and more nuanced dimensions of these value chains, such as social responsibility (Kittinger et al. 2017), social values (Fabinyi, Dressler, and Pido 2018), and ethics and sustainability (Lam 2016), have been highlighted. With the diversity of values that may exist within fisheries and seafood commodity chains (Bremer et al. 2016; Johnson et al. 2019; Song, Chuenpagdee, and Jentoft 2013; Lam et al. 2019; Lam 2016, 2019), it is useful to understand the values that communities ascribe to marine resources before and after they have been commoditized. The history of settlement in a place can influence an individual’s or culture’s rootedness to a place and its ecological systems (Hay 1998). Individuals and communities that have continuously lived adjacent to and harvested local marine resources are more likely to value inalienable relationships with these resources (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Based on their cultural values, they are thus more likely to sustain, rather than commoditize marine resources, such as the indigenous Saami in Norway (Lam and Borch 2011). 3.1.2 Naming Fish In today’s era of seafood marketing and deliberate mislabelling, the naming of fish at the consumer end of the value chain is a growing topic of controversy and research. Boosting a fish species’ commodity value often involves altering its vernacular name to one that sounds more palatable or marketable (e.g., Slimehead to Orange roughy and Patagonian toothfish to Chilean seabass, Jacquet and Pauly 2008). While the consequences of seafood renaming and mislabelling are harmful to eco-labelling initiatives, 59 environmental sustainability, and consumer health, these name changes occur at the wholesale or distribution level and rarely at the level of producers, such as fishers. On the other hand, the process of naming fish by different cultural groups and fishing communities can provide an insight into the relationships they share with these organisms and the ecosystem. Ethno-taxonomies of fish by fishing communities have provided remarkable insight into local ecological knowledge (Johannes 1981; Foale 1998; Begossi et al. 2008), fish behaviour (Johannes 1981), fisheries monitoring (May 2005; Previero, Minte-Vera, and de Moura 2013), and resource use (Moesinger 2018). Ecological salience and morphological characteristics may inform naming systems (de Oliveira, Barreto, and Begossi 2012; Pinto, Mourão, and Alves 2016), but the targeted nature of commercially important species also may determine their degree of recognition or salience in ethno-taxonomies (Begossi et al., 2016; Palomares, Garilao, & Pauly, 1999). Fish that are highly commoditized thus may be renamed with a commercial name reflecting this salience. This chapter focuses on the transformation of P. leopardus from being perceived as worthless to having high commodity potential. Its naming by small-scale fishing communities provides a lens to understand the market and non-market values attributed to fish and the effects that the commoditization of fish has on the values and wellbeing of communities involved at the production end of seafood commodity chains. 3.1.3 Leopard Coral Grouper The leopard coral grouper or coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus) is a luxury seafood commodity in South East (SE) Asia, especially in China and Hong Kong. It is a part of the growing and shifting Live Reef Food Fish Trade (LRFFT) (Sadovy de Mitcheson et al. 2013; Sadovy 2005). As stocks near China have been wiped out, the footprint of this fishery has expanded, thereby creating new markets for the species in regions where they were previously not as valuable (Scales et al., 2006), akin to global roving banditry (Berkes et al. 2006). There have been many social and environmental issues as this trade has boomed and busted in various parts of SE Asia (Sadovy 2005; Scales, Balmford, and Manica 2007; Fabinyi, Foale, and Macintyre 2015). Subsistence or local fisheries, while not receiving as much economic benefit, have had to compete with the export demand for reef fish, such as in the Torres Straits (Thurstan, Buckley, and Pandolfi 2016) and parts of the Philippines (Fabinyi 2009). The leopard coral grouper, priced at ~ USD 100 kg-1 in 2015 (Anonymous 2015), is one of three highly valued species in the LRFFT. This species is of particularly high demand during the Lunar New Year in SE Asia, where it is prepared whole for consumption during luxury seafood banquets. Its bright red 60 colour is considered particularly auspicious and the demand for “plate-sized” individuals has put a lot of pressure on this particular size class (McGilvray and Chan 2001; Fabinyi 2012). P. leopardus is considered an economically important and iconic species for small-scale fishers (Fabinyi 2009; Mapstone et al. 2001), recreational fishers (Mapstone et al. 2001) and for scientists worldwide (Frisch et al. 2016). In the Philippines, it has contributed significantly not only to the livelihoods of coastal communities, but also to upland communities who have transitioned from swidden agriculture to the more lucrative chilled fish grouper trade (Dressler and Fabinyi 2011). Moreover, leopard coral grouper is considered the national fish of the Philippines and affectionately called ‘Lapu lapu’ after a local hero who drove off the Spanish and killed Magellan in the 1500s (Pigafetta 1525; Palomares, pers. comm.). The world’s most highly cited and accessed database on fish biology, Fishbase (Froese and Pauly 2019), bears P. leopardus on its logo, as it was developed and is operated in the Philippines (Palomares, pers. comm.). 3.1.4 The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI), India In this chapter, the commoditization and naming of P. leopardus and transformation of community values is examined in the ANI, an archipelago off the eastern coast of India. As overviewed in Chapter 2, the islands have a complex history of fishing for marine commodities and settlement of communities from various geographic regions and cultural backgrounds. The spatio-temporal pattern of community settlement across these isolated islands permits analysis of the factors influencing the commoditization of this fish species. Here, we give a summary of the detailed account in Chapter 2, contextualized for the P. leopardus fishery, of the four main cultural groups in the ANI: the Nicobarese, Karen, Bengalis and Telugu. The Nicobarese are indigenous communities inhabiting the southern group of islands in the archipelago. As these islands are an indigenous reserve and have poor transportation connectivity, communities are largely isolated from foreign markets. Traditional resource management systems do still exist amongst some communities (Chandi, Mishra, and Arthur 2015), but there has been an erosion of customary marine tenure in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami (Patankar et al. 2015). The Karen originated from a mountainous tribe in Myanmar that settled as forest labour in the islands in 1925. They were actively involved in Trochus and sea cucumber fisheries and are one of the few groups that used to consume P. leopardus and other groupers in the past. The Bengalis are a predominantly agrarian community with an initial population of refugees rehabilitated to the islands 61 from Bangladesh in 1950 and subsequent waves of settlers migrated from West Bengal in India. In the early days of the grouper fishery, these migrants were seasonal fishers that would come to the Andaman Islands solely to catch P. leopardus (A. Singh and Andrews 2003). In contrast, the Telugu are relocated commercial fishers from the eastern coast of India. Voluntary and government-sponsored migrations from the 1950s to the 1990s have led to settlements in several parts of the islands, including some islands in the Nicobars (Dorairaj and Soundararajan 1985). They are also actively involved in the seafood export industry of the ANI. 3.2 Methods Considerations of the socio-cultural and economic values attributed to P. leopardus before and after it was commoditized are essential to understand the effects of commoditization on local fish stocks. We first hypothesize that each cultural group’s naming taxonomy for historically commoditized marine resources would be different based on cultural and linguistic ties and other related factors, such as settlement history, fishing experience, and interactions with markets where commoditized names would be more prevalent. We also hypothesize that communities with longer histories of settlement, experience with fishing and isolation from global seafood markets, i.e., deeper relationships with local marine ecosystems and fewer encounters with market forces, would be less likely to adopt commoditized names to describe P. leopardus and some other marine species. To investigate these hypotheses, we examine the regimes of value for P. leopardus for each cultural group and the consequences of these values on the fish being commoditized and overfished. We wanted to test the prevalence of commoditized names amongst cultural groups that engage in fishing across the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. We also wanted to ensure that a suitable gradient of access to markets and socio-cultural histories existed to analyze factors that drive the commoditization of fish. Eight study sites at varying distances to a central market were selected to ensure that each of the four dominant cultural groups were represented in at least two sites (Advani et al., 2013; Figure 3.1, Table 3.1). Using minimum travel times specifically calculated for reefs, villages, and markets in the ANI (Jaini et al. 2018), we estimated each site’s access to the market in the capital city, Port Blair. Prior interactions with study communities since 2012 and prolonged ethnographic observations of fishing and market practices set the stage for semi-structured interviews conducted between January and April 2017. We thus use multicultural and multi-sited ethnographies (Marcus 1995) in a study design that also accounts for varying histories of settlement and access to markets. 62 Opportunistic encounters at fish landing sites and local markets, coupled with a snowball sampling approach, were used at each site to recruit study participants. Effort was made to interview actors at various nodes of fisheries’ supply chains at each site. Seventy-one fishery stakeholders were interviewed: 17 subsistence fishers, 43 commercial fishers, 2 fish vendors, and 9 middlemen and exporters. Respondents included: 5 female Karen commercial fishers and 1 female Telugu fish vendor; the rest were male. Figure 3.1: Map depicting the four dominant cultural groups at eight study sites. The capital city, Port Blair, is the major hub for air traffic and shipping in the islands. Inset depicts location of the ANI, India in relation to South Asia. 63 Table 3.1: Seventy-one interviews conducted between January and April 2017 by site and cultural groups included in the study. Market accessibility, calculated as minimum travel time to the capital city, is based on estimates from Jaini et al. (2018). Semi-structured interviews were conducted to elicit information of each respondent’s age, gender, occupation, cultural identity, history of settlement of their family on the islands, experience in fishing and/or selling fish, and history of interactions with various commonly targeted marine organisms. The indigenous Nicobari group is estimated to have settled in the islands 18,000 years previously (Thangaraj 2005), with the next cultural group included in the study, the Karen, settling in 1925. Due to this large range in settlement history, we classified data for settlement history into three categories: settlement before 1900, settlement between 1900 and 1959, and settlement after 1960. This categorization reflects patterns of indigenous settlement, government rehabilitation, and voluntary migration (Advani et al. 2013). Participants were shown photographs of eleven marine species and taxonomic groups (hereafter referred to as marine species; see Appendix A.1). The chosen marine species were historically and currently targeted or commonly caught in the ANI for subsistence consumption, sales in local markets, and exports. Respondents were asked to provide the following information (Appendix A.1): all the names they called these organisms within their community; the gear or method used to harvest them; their history of targeting them for consumption, sale in local markets, or export; the maximum sale price received, along with the corresponding year; the names of middlemen or exporters to whom they Site Market access (hrs) Cultural Groups Nicobari Karen Bengali Telugu Junglighat 0.5 3 Wandoor 1.1 7 Webi 6.0 19 1 Karmatang10 6.3 7 Taal Bagaan 11.2 3 Chowra 19.8 12 Rajiv Nagar 40.9 11 Kamorta 47.2 7 1 Number of respondents (nTot = 71) 19 26 11 15 64 had sold them; and their knowledge of sales of these species outside their village. Photographs of the marine species were shuffled before each interview to remove any systematic bias in identification. To verify study participants’ identification skills amongst epinephelids, photographs of high-value species of interest were shown with photographs of similar looking, but low-value species. For example, a photograph of Variola louti was included due to its similar colouration to P. leopardus. Similarly, a photograph of Epinephelus malabaricus and two photographs of Epinephelus fuscoguttatus were included to test study participants’ ability to differentiate among large-bodied, brown-coloured groupers (Appendix A.1). I conducted the majority of interviews in Hindi, the most commonly used language on the islands. A few were conducted in local languages with the assistance of local interpreters, well-versed with the study protocol, who would simultaneously translate responses into Hindi to me. Interviews were transcribed and thematically coded using NVivo Pro v.12 (QSR International 2018). The similarities between the naming taxonomies of each study participant for all of the marine organisms were examined using non-metric Multi Dimensional Scaling (nMDS) using the vegan package in R version 3.4.0 (R Core Team 2019). Multinomial analysis of the variety of names provided for P. leopardus and other marine species were not possible given the low sample size and high variability (Table 3.3). Instead, fish names were binomially classified as either commoditized or vernacular (i.e., market or non-market, see Table 3.3 for classification) and tested against participants’ socio-economic and socio-cultural data in General Additive Models (GAMs; Table 3.4 and 3.5). Socio-economic and socio-cultural variables included: the individual’s age, family’s history of settlement in the islands, the individual’s experience fishing or selling fish, occupation, maximum price received, and location of sales. Interactions among variables were also investigated. GAMs of commoditized and vernacular names were analyzed using the mgcv package in R version 3.4.0 (R Core Team 2019; Wood 2017). Cultural group membership and study sites were included as random effects in the models. Information derived from each interview was used to reconstruct the history of the targeted fishery for P. leopardus and other groupers and to highlight the values that individuals ascribed to P. leopardus before and after it was commoditized. 3.3 Results Examining the similarities and differences in the naming taxonomies of eleven commonly targeted marine species clearly contrasts the four cultural groups in the ANI (Figure 3.2). Study participants’ 65 naming taxonomies clustered mostly based on cultural and linguistic groups. History of settlement in the islands, market accessibility, and experience fishing or selling fish also influenced the clustering. Cultural groups that were historically, and continue to be, involved in fisheries for export-oriented commodities clustered more closely together than the indigenous Nicobarese. Naming taxonomies for Nicobarese formed two clusters based on linguistic differences between two island sub-cultures. The prevalence of Burmese or Karen names for marine species may have caused responses of Karen study participants to cluster closely together, while the similarities in names used for commercially important marine species potentially led Bengali and Telugu responses to greatly overlap. Figure 3.2: Non-metric Multi Dimensional Scaling (nMDS) ordination plot (Stress=0.1015) of the eight study sites and four cultural groups of study participants, based on Gower distances between the names attributed to eleven marine species. Ellipses (95% s.d.) depict cultural groups. Axis 1 (NMDS 1) is best explained by travel time to market, while Axis 2 (NMDS 2) is best explained by the number of years of settlement of each family. Study respondents provided a variety of commoditized, market-associated, and vernacular names for each marine organism, with the percentage of commoditized names highlighted by cultural group (Table 3.2). While names such as Tiger, Dollar, Trochus, and Moontail were distinctly market-associated or trade names, other names such as Lobster, Shark, Crab, and Sea cucumber were harder to distinguish as market-associated or regular English words. We thus conducted analyses of binomial GAMs for all marine organisms and ones that had distinct market-associated names (Appendix A3). In 66 conjunction with the findings in Figure 3.2, settlement history, fishing experience, market access, study site, and cultural group were contributing factors to the probability of using commoditized names for some marine organisms (Appendix A3). We focused our analysis on the commoditization of P. leopardus due to its high economic value in the present-day fishery. The various names that cultural groups call P. leopardus are presented in Table 3.3. For our binomial GAMs, we classified study respondents as having provided at least one commoditized name or only vernacular names (Table 3.4). We used the findings from our GAMs (Table 3.5) in conjunction with qualitative information concerning P. leopardus’ importance to various cultural groups. However, details of factors that significantly influence the usage of commoditized names for other marine organisms are provided in Appendix A3. Table 3.2: Percentage of study respondents from the four cultural groups that provided at least one commoditized or market-associated name for each marine organism. Most commonly provided commoditized (bold) and vernacular names for each marine organism are in first column. Species name Commoditized, vernacular Nicobari (n = 19) (%) Karen (n = 26) (%) Bengali (n = 11) (%) Telugu (n = 15) (%) All respondents (n = 71) (%) Epinephelus fuscoguttatus Tiger, Nya-tah-toh 0 77 91 100 63 Palinurus spp. Lobster, Kaaiyuyah 11 65 91 93 61 Plectropomus leopardus Dollar, Lal ghobra 5 58 100 93 58 Trochus niloticus Trochus, Veil 0 46 45 40 32 E. malabaricus Black Grouper, Nya-tah-toh 0 46 27 33 28 Chondrichthyes spp. Shark, Mayne 0 23 45 47 25 Variola louti Moontail, Vunrait 0 0 36 47 15 Scylla serrata Crab, Kekda 5 8 9 20 10 Holothurian spp. Sea cucumber, Talli 0 8 27 7 8 Aphareus rutilans n.a., Mrigal 0 0 0 0 0 Aprion virescens n.a., Rui 0 0 0 0 0 All marine organisms 2 30 43 44 27 67 Table 3.3: Frequency of names used to describe or call P. leopardus by respondents from the four cultural groups. Names were classified as commoditized or vernacular (i.e., market or non-market, respectively) names. Names for P. leopardus Nicobari (n = 19) Karen (n = 26) Bengali (n = 11) Telugu (n = 15) Total (n = 71) Commoditized Dollar 1 15 9 12 37 CT 6 4 10 Rolli 1 3 4 Other 1 1 2 Vernacular Nya-paa-phuo 22 22 Lal ghobra 2 20 10 5 37 Other 6 4 1 11 Kaamungtaung 3 3 Kaatahech 3 3 Mutphaat 6 6 Unknown 2 2 Total number of names listed 137 n = number of study respondents from each cultural group asked to list all the names P. leopardus is called. Table 3.4: Number of study respondents that provided at least one commoditized or only vernacular (i.e., market or non-market, respectively) names for P. leopardus. Names that were classified as commoditized or vernacular are provided in Table 3.3. Number of study respondents that provided: Nicobari (n = 19) Karen (n = 26) Bengali (n = 11) Telugu (n = 15) Total (n = 71) At least one Commoditized name 1 15 11 14 41 Only Vernacular names 18 11 0 1 30 n = number of study respondents from each cultural group. The most parsimonious GAM predicting study respondents’ likelihood of using commoditized names for P. leopardus indicated that respondents’ years of experience fishing and/or selling fish (p = 0.01) and history of settlement (p = 0.004) were significant factors (Table 3.5, Figure 3.3). Experience fishing or selling fish has a high overall mean (mean effect size = 0.89, 95% CI: 81-97%; Table 3.6). When considered at the decadal level, however, the likelihood reduces; e.g., for the first ten years of experience, the likelihood of using a commoditized name is 0.33 (95% CI: 16-65%). Thus, based upon 68 the GAM’s estimates, and all else being equal, for every decade of experience fishing or selling fish, respondents were 33% less likely (95% CI: 13-80%) to use commoditized names. Meanwhile, respondents from the Nicobari cultural group that settled prior to 1900 were unlikely (95% CI: 0-0.1%) to use a commoditized name (Table 3.6). Study site, as a random effect, was also a significant factor (p = 0.02) and may indicate an effect of access to markets or cultural group. As each study site related to a single estimate of market accessibility in the study, we cannot completely ignore the effect of market accessibility, but perhaps need a better metric to represent it. We were unable to use cultural group as a random effect in the binomial model due to the single occurrence of a commoditized name listed by a Nicobari respondent and no Bengali respondents who were unaware of commoditized names. The model’s overall deviance explained is 60.8%, which is promising given the inherent variability among individuals and our sample size (n = 71). Fisher’s Exact Test shows that the proportion of commoditized to vernacular names are significantly different across the cultural groups (p < 0.0001) and post-hoc pairwise tests indicate that Bengali vs. Telugu are not significantly different (p = 1), while all other pairs are (Table 3.7). The lack of difference between Bengali and Telugu usage of commoditized names reflects a considerable overlap in the usage of market-associated names (Figure 3.2). These findings indicate that cultural groups consider P. leopardus a commodity in varying degrees and that the variety of commoditized names provided by study participants should be considered in the context of their knowledge, experience, and values of this fish before and after it was commoditized. 69 Table 3.5: General Additive Models (GAMs) of factors contributing to study respondent’s likelihood of providing commoditized names for P. leopardus. Study site was included as a random factor in our GAM using a smoothed spline treated as a random effect. Most parsimonious GAM in bold, based on lowest Akaike Information Criteria (AIC). GAM AIC (df) Deviance Explained Coefficients Chi sq. (df) p-value NULL 98.72 (1) 0% Intercept Settlement History 64.39 (3) 39.7% Settlement History 16.39 (2) <0.001 * Settlement History + Experience Fishing 56.11 (4) 50.3% Settlement History 17.85 (2) <0.001 * Experience Fishing 6.95 (1) <0.008 * Settlement History + Experience Fishing + (Study Site, random effect) 50.95 (6.5) 60.8% Intercept 0.0035 * Settlement 1900-1960 0.6199 Settlement pre-1900 0.0018 * Experience Fishing 6.10 (1) 0.0135 * Site (random effect) 6.81 (7) 0.020 * * denotes significance; df is degrees of freedom Table 3.6: Mean effect size and 95% confidence interval of parameters included in most parsimonious GAM of factors contributing to a respondent’s likelihood to use commoditized names for P. leopardus. Parameter Lower limit Mean Upper limit Settlement 1900-1960 0.0119 0.4145 14.4520 Settlement pre-1900 * 0.0000 0.0000 0.0656 Fishing Experience * 0.8184 0.8952 0.9792 * denotes significance 70 Figure 3.3: Effect of parameters used in the General Additive Model (GAM) to estimate the odds ratio of using a commoditized name for P. leopardus. Solid line denotes the boundary of the odds ratio or likelihood. 95% Confidence Interval (CI) indicates the level of uncertainty around the measure of mean effect. Table 3.7: Pair-wise Fisher’s exact test of independence between commoditized vs. vernacular names for P. leopardus across all cultural groups. Comparison p-value Nicobari vs. Karen 0.00070000 Nicobari vs. Bengali 0.00000066 Nicobari vs. Telugu 0.00000066 Karen vs. Bengali 0.02290000 Karen vs. Telugu 0.03590000 Bengali vs. Telugu 1.00000000 One of the most salient names for P. leopardus is ‘dollar’ (Table 3.3). Several study participants in Junglighat and Port Blair state that it was around 2001, after it was exported, that an exporter in Port Blair coined this market name. Regarding the significance of the name ‘dollar’, among study participants citing this commoditized name (n = 37), 35% specified it was due to its high economic value, 22% connected the name to its sale in foreign markets and its role in bringing in foreign exchange, while the remainder (45%) did not know why it was called ‘dollar’ or did not mention any economic value. Furthermore, 35% of study participants using the name ‘dollar’ stated they had learnt of the name from middlemen or exporters, 24% heard about it from other fishers, 30% heard the name 71 being used in the fish markets and landing sites of Port Blair, and the remaining 11% did not mention a source. The non-market name ‘Lal ghobra’ (n = 37) translates into red grouper in Hindi and, before the commoditization of P. leopardus, was the vernacular catch-all term used to refer to all red groupers caught as bycatch, including P. areolatus, P. laevis, Variola louti, and Cephalopholis spp. Study participants not conversant in Hindi, such as the Karen and Nicobarese, stated that it was a name they heard when they were being encouraged by middlemen to catch it for export or when they would visit major landing centers. Only Bengali and Telugu study participants provided the name ‘CT’ and out of these, only middlemen and exporters specified that CT is an abbreviation of the trade name Coral Trout. Fishers knowledgeable of the name CT knew of it only through sales receipts and through interactions with exporters. Prior to its commoditization in the late 1990s, P. leopardus, along with all other groupers, was an economically unimportant species in local markets due to its soft flesh and oily taste. The Karen, while subsistence fishing as a family or while commercial spearfishing for lobsters, would retain most species of groupers to process into fermented fish paste or to consume fresh. P. leopardus, as a particularly abundant and large-bodied epinephelid, was specifically called Nya-paa-phuo (red grouper, n = 22), while most other grouper species were referred to simply as Nya-tah-toh (generic grouper). Commercial Bengali fishers in Wandoor and Taal Bagaan would discard groupers at sea in the interest of maintaining space in their hold for more commercially important fish. Some Bengali respondents have noted that they considered P. leopardus and other groupers unworthy of being fed even to dogs and that they would move away from reefs that had high catches of epinephelids. In the event that large-sized groupers were caught as bycatch, they would be used as bait on shark longlines by Telugu fishers in South Andaman and in the Nicobar Islands. Interviewed exporters state that a live reef fish fishery for only P. leopardus was started in 1997 by a private entity with connections to China. Fishers in North and South Andaman were taught how to handle P. leopardus, deflate the air bladder, and keep them alive in a holding tank. The initial price per individual fish was Rs 25 (USD 0.52). The export of live reef fish (principally P. leopardus) via cargo vessel lasted only a few years due to high operational costs and export authorization issues. It was superseded by the export of chilled fish via air cargo through the entrepôt of Port Blair. The price per 72 kg for chilled P. leopardus was between Rs 25 - 50, roughly equivalent to USD 1, across the Andaman Islands for the initial couple of years and stayed constant across the year. The average annual price for P. leopardus consistently has remained nearly 9-10 times higher than the average annual price of “white fish” destined for local markets, which has increased only gradually. Seasonal peaks in prices, corresponding with peak demand for P. leopardus near the Lunar New Year, started around 2005 and continue to persist (Figure 3.4), as recorded in other parts of SE Asia. Fishers refer to these seasonal price hikes as the ‘offer’ or ‘the festival’, but most are unaware of the nature or location of this festival. Figure 3.4: Example of changes in maximum ex-vessel prices for P. leopardus (circles) and “white fish” (triangles) between October 2006 and February 2015. Loess smoothing used to display average maximum prices. Data obtained from a fisher’s sales receipts and adjusted to account for historical exchange rates (OECD, 2018). As a result of its high commodity value, P. leopardus is handled on board vessels and marketed at landing sites with more attention than other fish sold in the local market (Figure 3.5). When caught, individual leopard coral groupers are placed in a separate ice box containing an ice slurry to quickly chill and kill the fish. Once dead, any undigested bait is removed from the mouth, and a rubber band or string is used to secure shut its mouth and operculum. Each fish is then placed into its own plastic bag before being laid flat in an ice box with fresh ice. This practice ensures that the gills and skin of the leopard coral grouper are not discoloured due to direct contact with ice or water. When landed, each fish is removed from its plastic bag and the catch of P. leopardus is arranged carefully in rows so that it may be auctioned or inspected by the middlemen. Under- and over-sized individuals are weighed separately to ensure that they are within the 0.5 kg to 2.5 kg threshold that is demanded by export 73 companies. Middlemen and exporters take meticulous notes of the quality and grade of the fish and often send pictures of the landings to their buyers in mainland India via online messaging services. In comparison, all other groupers, including the next most valuable grouper E. fuscoguttatus, are chilled and preserved without any extra precautions and sold with the rest of the catch at a lower price. Figure 3.5: P. leopardus receives more care in handling on board vessels and marketing at landing sites when compared to other groupers and fish (A) Each fish is placed in its own plastic bag before being laid flat in an ice box with fresh ice to preserve its gills and skin colour (B) When landed, each fish is removed from its plastic bag, arranged carefully in rows and covered in ice, so that it may be auctioned or inspected by middlemen (C) Other grouper species are haphazardly piled next to P. leopardus and not preserved with ice. 74 In contrast to the Nicobars, export-oriented fisheries for P. leopardus exist along the length of the Andaman Islands. Many Karen men and women were part of the initial live fishery and subsequent chilled fishery for P. leopardus. However, when nearshore catches began to dwindle and when reefs in North Andaman were uplifted due to the December 2004 tsunami, several individuals left the fishery, while some men switched over to spearfishing for the next valuable commodities, E. fuscoguttatus and lobsters. Many Karen households have not eaten P. leopardus for several years, as all incidental catches of the fish are sold for export. Nearly all fishers interviewed mentioned plummeting catches, an increasing spatial footprint of fisheries, and dependence on newer technologies like GPS and echosounders to continue fishing for P. leopardus. Bengali fishers consider the fish to be very important for their livelihoods and several respondents provided the rationale that even with declining catches, the high economic returns provided by a small catch of P. leopardus can finance an entire fishing trip. Some respondents mentioned that they now consider it a very appetizing fish whenever they have the opportunity to bring home an undersized or damaged fish. The Bengali community of Taal Bagaan until very recently did not have road access. During the seasonal peak in demand for P. leopardus, middlemen from Port Blair would set up camps on a sandbar close to the inaccessible village to provision fishers with the bait, fuel and ice that they needed to catch P. leopardus and would reward boats with the highest catch with alcohol or colour TVs. The export industry that has arisen in parallel to the commoditization of P. leopardus is a significant employer in the Junglighat Telugu community and income generated from catches and sales of the fish is important for the community’s economy. Despite attempts to export chilled P. leopardus, the Telugu community of Rajiv Nagar in the Nicobars is unable to due to the long sea voyage that is their principal connection to Port Blair and onward export markets. Respondents expressed envy towards their Junglighat counterparts and stated that they would readily be involved in the trade the moment it was possible. Nine out of eleven Telugu respondents from Rajiv Nagar referred to P. leopardus as ‘dollar’ or ‘CT’ and recognized its commodity value, despite not having taken part in the trade. These Telugu respondents had heard the name when they had visited Port Blair and stayed with relatives there or when their relatives from Junglighat came visiting and told them about the P. leopardus fishery and trade. 3.4 Discussion This chapter has examined the factors that led to the prevalence of commoditized names such as ‘dollar’ and ‘CT’ using a mixed-methods approach based upon ethnographic fieldwork and prior interactions of the author with study communities (Advani et al. 2013). Settlement history on the 75 islands, years of experience fishing and/or selling fish, and study site are significant socio-cultural drivers of the commoditization of P. leopardus in the ANI. Individuals with greater experience fishing or selling fish and indigenous group members, i.e., with long-term relationships with the resource or area, were less likely to use commoditized names. This is consistent with the suggestion that individuals and communities that have continuously lived adjacent to and harvested marine resources are more likely to have inalienable relationships with them and, thus, less likely to commoditize them (Lam and Borch 2011; Lam and Pitcher 2012a). However, additional economic aspects also increased its commodity potential (Manno 2010, 2000). First, in the open-access fisheries of the Andaman Islands, it was an alienable resource that could be fished by anyone. Second, its low local economic value and subsistence value only for the Karen provided it independence from the contexts of local markets in the ANI, increasing its acceptance as an exported commodity. Third, it was also a convenient source of income for many individuals due to its abundance and high economic value. Fourth, development in transportation and storage infrastructure and the seafood industry’s reliance on air cargo over shipping (Jaini et al. 2018) increased its mobility. The lack of knowledge of fishers in the ANI about the luxury end markets for groupers in China reflects a disconnected relationship with P. leopardus and a concern only for its commodity value. The findings of this chapter are in agreement with another study from the archipelago that considered fisheries and reef accessibility and found that history, culture, and export markets helped to explain the trajectories of fisheries development (Jaini et al. 2018). While I have assumed groups of individuals to have common cultures based on geographical origin, I acknowledge that there exist linguistic differences within the sub-cultures (Fig 3.2) and heterogeneity within the cultural groups. Within the Nicobari cultural group, for instance, there are sub-cultures located on each island with unique languages and cultural practices. Resource management practices and their resilience post-tsunami differ amongst Nicobarese communities on Chowra and on Kamorta due to corporate and kin-based sharing mechanisms, respectively (Chandi, Mishra, and Arthur 2015). Consequently, there has been greater erosion of traditional resource sharing mechanisms and customary marine tenure on Kamorta (Patankar et al. 2015), an aspect that supports our observations of more commoditized names amongst Nicobarese in Kamorta than Chowra (Table 3.2). 76 The ethnotaxonomy for marine species or naming practice of fish in the ANI is influenced by the cultural group and settlement pattern (Figure 3.2). Fish have been named to reflect past cultural ties, as is the case for Aprion virescens and Aphareus rutilans, which are called ‘Rui’ and ‘Mirgal’, respectively. These names were originally Bengali names for freshwater fish (Chapter 2), but are now used in large parts of the islands by the Bengali, Karen, and Telugu groups. Fish also have been nicknamed due to a sudden or renewed reliance on them. In the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami that ravaged the Nicobar group of islands, Chanos chanos came to be called the ‘tsunami fish’ due to its proliferation and local communities’ dependence on this suddenly abundant resource (Sekhsaria 2009). In our interviews in the Nicobar Islands, several respondents mentioned the ‘tusnami fish’ as being an important source of food. However, the prevalence of commoditized or market names, such as Tiger, Dollar, and Trochus among cultural groups across the archipelago, highlights the influence of commoditization on fishing naming practices. Furthermore, our case study of P. leopardus highlights the interlinkages between the usage of market-associated names such as 'dollar’ and the transformations of fisher relationships with marine resources associated with fish commoditization. Commoditization is common for seafood globally, so examining the socio-cultural and economic factors of commoditization can inform our understanding, and perhaps help avert further degradation of dynamic relationships between societies and marine ecosystems (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Concurrently considering the values that communities assign to marine resources before and after they are commoditized can offer additional insight into marine SESs. Some themes emerge from our case study of P. leopardus in the ANI. First, the transformation of community relationships with marine resources and the tendency to overfish reflect degraded relationships and transformed values with marine resources and ecosystems. Second, adverse impacts to food security of communities previously subsisting on these resources, such as the Karen, and reduced sustainable livelihoods due to newly forged economic dependence on commoditized resources and concurrent overfishing. By focusing on the complex interactions among the socio-economic and socio-cultural histories and values of seafood producers, resource commoditization, and seafood trade, our findings sharpen the debate on whether the seafood trade is beneficial or detrimental to small-scale fisheries or developing countries (Crona et al. 2016). Much attention has been focused on seafood mislabelling towards the consumer side of commodity chains (Jacquet and Pauly 2008), while our research concentrates on the naming practices of seafood 77 by producers and middlemen in small-scale fishing communities, as well as on the commodity potential of marine species. Fisheries management and policy benefit from holistic understandings of the diversity of values towards marine ecosystems and seafood (Johnson et al. 2019; Song and Chuenpagdee 2015), especially values related to commodities, livelihoods and cultural foods (Lam et al. 2019; Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Widening the spectrum of values considered when analyzing fishing communities, fishing industries, and the factors that influence them would advance our understanding of the drivers and pressures placed on global fish stocks. Johnson et al. (2019) point out that from a relational perspective, dynamic assigned values towards objects are reciprocally informed by and connected to more stable and normative held values. Understanding the connections between different fishing communities’ and cultural groups’ guiding normative values and their propensities to commoditize natural resources may help sustain fish stocks and prevent overfishing. 3.5 Conclusion From being viewed as worthless to now being called ‘dollar’ and highly valued, P. leopardus has been commoditized in the ANI, a story echoed in other global seafood commodities. In this chapter, we have examined the socio-cultural and economic drivers of commoditization, including histories of settlement, experience fishing and/or selling fish, and local proximities to seafood markets. Commoditization transforms community and societal values towards marine resources, often resulting in degraded societal and ecosystem relationships. Shifts in economic value and heightened interactions with global commodity markets can adversely impact the livelihoods and food security of coastal communities. Commoditization is here to stay, unfortunately. Globalization and industrialization have enmeshed commoditization into our modern societal fabric, cultural scenery, and ecological practices and ideals (Kidner, 2012; Pitcher & Lam, 2015). The reluctance in fishery science and management to embrace ecosystem-based management (Pitcher & Pauly, 1998; Pitcher, 2001) may stem from a systemic abstraction of fish from their ecological relationships and instead, symbolic representation as ‘species units’. The global seafood industry has commoditized some fish species groups, such as cod, pollock, saithe, and tilapia (Asche, Roll, and Trollvik 2009), into non-descript slabs of meat labelled and sold as whitefish (Lam and Pitcher 2012a) or processed into surimi (Mansfield 2003). Advances in storage and transportation technology, coupled with growing demand for whitefish and other featureless seafood, will only quicken the rate of seafood commoditization (Lam and Pitcher 2012a; J. L. Anderson, Asche, 78 and Garlock 2018; Pitcher and Lam 2015). Perhaps better understanding local fishing communities’ needs and values can help abate the global tide of commoditization, and in turn, reduce local overfishing and sustain regional and global fish stocks. Image credit: Kabini Amin 79 Chapter 4: Uncovering the value landscapes of multicultural fishing communities and the socio-economic and socio-cultural factors influencing value heterogeneity 4.1 Introduction Recognizing the diversity of socio-economic and socio-cultural values in multicultural fishing communities and their influence on aspirations and behaviours can lead to effective fisheries management and governance (Lam et al. 2019). Values can be considered as reference points for evaluating something as positive or negative. They are rationally and emotionally binding and give long-term orientation and motivation for action (Kaiser 2012). Core values or held values underlie an individual’s modes of conduct and environmental beliefs as they are reference points that individuals use to achieve a good life (Rokeach 1973). The relative importance of core values is influenced by the cultures and societies that individuals are members of and, in turn, the biological environments that shaped these cultures and individuals (Satterfield and Kalof 2005; Brown 1984). Valuation processes often help individuals to determine which core values are important to them and to modify their behaviours accordingly. The “values landscape” approach offers a method to compare value priorities among individuals (Bremer, Haugen, and Kaiser 2012; Meisch and Potthast 2011; Lam et al. 2019). Clustering individuals by their value priorities allows one to investigate if values are related to group identities, preferences and behaviours (Lam et al. 2018). That is, value landscapes can reveal the spectrum of shared values and value conflicts that individuals and societies may have vis-à-vis themselves and the surrounding environment. More importantly, it can also include ethical and moral principles on what is considered important for a good life (eudaimonia) and can help resolve resource conflicts or policy trade-offs (Bremer et al. 2016; Lam et al. 2019). In this chapter, I use the value landscape approach to understand the important values for multicultural fishing communities in the ANI as well as the historical, socio-economic and socio-cultural factors that shape their heterogeneous value landscapes. Fisheries are complex SESs that often involve multiple social actors with diverse values from various cultural groups at different levels in seafood commodity and value chains (Lam 2016). Globally, small-scale fisheries have diverse values and a growing body of research is demonstrating their valuable contributions to society and human well-being (Johnson et al. 2018, 2019; Lam 2019). The recognition of place attachment and indigenous values are also critical to the conservation and stewardship of 80 coastal environments and fisheries (Gurney et al. 2017; Artelle et al. 2018; Lam and Borch 2011). Moreover, indigenous involvement in fisheries often is based upon value systems and practices developed over centuries of trial and error in resource management. Indigenous groups often have priorities different from commercial fishing groups which need to be accounted for to ensure socially just and ecologically and economically sustainable fisheries management plans (Williams, Little and Begg, 2011; Turner et al., 2013; Klain, Beveridge and Bennett, 2014; Lam, 2015). Thus, the value-prioritizations of indigenous and commercial fishing groups need to be considered against a common baseline to truly understand where the differences in values lie and how to work towards sustainable solutions for fisheries management that benefit everyone (Lam et al. 2019). Value orientations may offer a common baseline and an initial glimpse into differences in cultural values or between indigenous and non-indigenous values. Value orientations are basic assumptions or orientations upon which cultures or societies build their value systems. By examining the preferred answers within a society to questions pertaining to their environment, they highlight the orientation of societal values (Hills 2002; R. F. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck 1961). While they were first proposed by Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961) to provide a cross-cultural examination of indigenous and western societies in North America, value orientations more recently have been used in the domain of environmental values to explore societal interactions with nature (Stern, Dietz, and Kalof 1993; de Groot and Steg 2008). Value orientations provide a solid foundation to explore predictors of environmentally significant behaviour and can help in narrowing down cross-cultural differences in attitudes towards the environment. Several tools also have been developed to elicit values and their prioritizations within small-scale fisheries. Value-prioritization or value-ranking exercises have been used to understand the values of sustainability upon which seafood commodity chains operate (Bremer et al. 2016), values related to effective fisheries governance (Song and Chuenpagdee 2015), and policy trade-offs, resource conflicts, and ethical fisheries governance (Lam et al. 2019). The development of empirical tools to elucidate value-prioritizations needs careful consideration due to the abstractness of values and potential pitfalls in their translation. Core values, as framed in academic literature and surveys, are often quite abstract and lack meaningful context for individuals to effectively engage with them and accurately prioritize them (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). Value-prioritization tools need to capture local environmental and cultural contexts (Lam et al. 2019). Rich narratives and statements derived from the public and 81 academic can contextually frame values related to the environment and fisheries into realistic examples (Satterfield 2001; Song and Chuenpagdee 2015). However, relying solely on descriptive phrases makes them sensitive to the respondents’ varying cognition of their wordings (Song and Chuenpagdee 2015). This has led to the use of simple, yet descriptive imagery in value-prioritization tools to convey fishing-related values and scenarios (Lam et al. 2019; Bremer et al. 2016; Lau et al. 2018; Hicks et al. 2015). However, such approaches require careful consideration and pretesting to ensure that all potential respondents are cognizant of the portrayed values and that imagery used is contextualized to local understandings (Lam et al. 2019). Moreover, caution needs to be taken when translating and contextualising values across multiple cultures or when power imbalances exist between researchers framing the questions and study communities facing the brunt of their answers. Instances of conflicting cultural values particularly come to light in contexts related to indigenous resource management practices and colonial or western ideals of conservation (West 2005; Lynch, Fell, and McIntyre-Tamwoy 2010; S. Jackson 2006; Turner et al. 2013). Thus, while careful consideration can be given to methods of effectively eliciting and prioritizing values, factors that shape value landscapes or the patterns of value priorities also need to be accounted for. Despite focused research, there exist few consistent empirical explanations for patterns of value priorities amongst members of cultural groups or within networks of social roles (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). Reliance on student samples has biased studies of differences between individualistic and collectivist cultures (Oyserman, Coon, and Kemmelmeier 2002). Similarly, males and females rank personal values at similar levels (Rokeach 1973). Individual values, when scaled up to the group level, may change as a result of migration to a new environment (Lönnqvist, Jasinskaja-Lahti, and Verkasalo 2011) but then rebound to their original priorities after a few years (Lönnqvist, Jasinskaja-Lahti, and Verkasalo 2013). Conversely and more importantly, stronger attachments to place and environmental stewardship have been linked to prolonged histories of settlement in an area and ancestral or cultural connections to a place (Artelle et al. 2018; Hay 1998; Lam and Pitcher 2012a). There is little empirical evidence of differences in the values and priorities for ecosystem services, however, amongst coral reef fishing communities in the western Indian Ocean (Lau et al. 2018). Despite the lack of empirical consensus, it is important to engage in values prioritization research (Hitlin and Piliavin 2004). An exploration of the value landscapes of fishing communities as well as socio-economic and socio-cultural factors that influence communities and their values could improve fisheries sustainability and management. 82 Historically complex SESs, involving multiple cultural groups sharing the same resources and engaging with them in different degrees and social roles, offer suitable substrates to empirically explore differences in value-prioritizations and their causative factors. This chapter aims to explore the value landscapes of multicultural fishing communities in the ANI and determine if differences in value-prioritizations are a result of cultural, historical, socio-economic, and market-related factors. I first briefly describe the study site, cultural groups, and the method used to determine the value orientations of the different cultures. I then describe the process of developing the value cards used in the value-prioritization exercises. Following this, I describe my sampling strategy, the socio-economic and cultural factors that were tested against, the value-prioritization exercise and the analytical methods used to understand factors leading to differences in value-prioritizations. The results are presented in the context of differences in value-prioritizations across cultural groups and differences in rankings for certain values as a result of respondents’ socio-economic and cultural characteristics. I base the discussion of my results on differences across respondents and their socio-economic and socio-cultural characteristics that have been documented in other studies. I conclude with a reflection on the limitations of our study and future directions value landscape research could take. 4.2 Methods 4.2.1 Background and study sites This study is set in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) and the respondents hail from four cultural groups that are dominant in the islands’ fisheries. These cultural groups – Nicobari, Karen, Bengali, and Telugu – and the study sites have been described in previous chapters (Chapters 2 and 3). 4.2.2 Determining value orientations While conducting interviews to determine how cultural groups articulated values related to fishing, I also explored the value orientations of cultural groups. These interviews were conducted between January and April 2017 and the characteristics of respondents and important findings are described in Chapter 3. An understanding of the variations in value orientations of the four cultural groups would provide a good starting point to further explore cultural differences in their prioritization of values. I used two well-established frameworks for exploring value orientations (R. F. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck 1961; de Groot and Steg 2008), particularly those that explored relationships with the 83 environment. It was expected that cultural groups would differ based on their broad value orientations regarding the environment and humanity’s connection with nature. The locally-contextualized questions posed to study participants and the related orientations to which their responses were coded are provided in Table 4.1. Study participants who were asked about their value orientations in relation to fishing were from the same cultural groups and study sites involved in later value-prioritization exercises. I interviewed 19 Nicobari respondents, 26 Karen, 11 Bengali and 15 Telugu. Table 4.1: Locally-contextualized questions and responses used to determine the dominant value orientations of cultural groups in the ANI. Question Response Orientation Reference Do you think changes in the future related to fishing will be most important for you, future generations, or the environment? Me Egoistic de Groot and Steg, 2008 Future generations Altruistic Environment Biospheric What do you think determines how many fish there are in the sea for you to catch – your fishing effort, natural fluctuations and other fishers, only natural forces and God? Personal fishing effort Mastery Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, 1961 Natural fluctuations & other fishers Harmonious Only natural forces & God Submissive Questions were part of interview questionnaire provided in Appendix A.2 (Questions 47 and 48). 4.2.3 Creation of value cards Understanding the diversity of values in the multicultural and multi-species fisheries of the ANI would need a methodological tool that would be locally-contextualised, cross-cultural, and interpretable by all study respondents. The creation of such a tool involved multiple steps that are outlined below. 1. Expert consultations While values and accompanying descriptive phrases relevant to fisheries and their governance exist (Lam et al. 2019; Song and Chuenpagdee 2015; Bremer et al. 2016), their applicability to the contexts of multicultural and open-access fisheries of the islands would not have been appropriate. I sought to corroborate this through consultations with fisheries experts familiar with the local fisheries and communities in the ANI. The consultations were conducted between February and March 2016 with experts from Dakshin Foundation and Andaman Nicobar Environment Team (ANET), both not-for-profit research organizations in India. Experts were asked whether some of the values of fisheries governance were appropriate for use in the 84 context of fisheries in the ANI. The recommendations from experts were instead to determine which values were most relevant to ANI fishing communities and to contextualise them with local phrases, through interviews with local respondents. It was also recommended that I engage in participant observation at each site (Derek Johnson, pers. comm.). 2. Collecting information about local and cultural contexts through interviews Following these recommendations, interviews were conducted with fishing community members at eight sites in the ANI. Of the 72 interviews conducted between January and April 2017 (see Chapter 3 for details), a subset of 32 was selected for inductive coding to determine values and accompanying descriptive phrases. A subset rather than all 72 interviews were coded, as all the interviews could not be transcribed beforehand due to time constraints between field seasons. Within the subset, we included interviews with fish vendors, middlemen, and fishers and accounted for gender to obtain a representative sample of perspectives across fisheries commodity chains. We thus interviewed six women (two fish vendors and four fishers) and 26 men (one fish seller, eight middlemen, and 17 fishers). Interviews were thematically coded with NVivo v. 11 (QSR, 2011) using a codebook derived from the questionnaire (Appendix B.2) and further themes that came up during coding. For example, mentions of Hedonism, which was not explicitly asked about in the interviews, appeared frequently and was therefore included in the final list of value types. In instances where value types overlapped, the more relevant one was selected. For example, the values of honesty, transparency, and equity were often mentioned together with each other, with individuals often describing their own actions as honest but concurrently mentioning inequalities in their ability to access information about prices of fish. For this reason, the value of Equity was chosen over other values such as honesty or transparency. The values chosen for this study were linked to other published sets of universal values (Schwartz et al. 2012; Hicks et al. 2015), values linked to aquaculture commodity chains (Bremer, Haugen, and Kaiser 2012), fisheries governance (Song & Chuenpagdee, 2015) and commercial and indigenous fisheries values (R. Jones and Williams-Davidson 2000; Lam et al. 2019). 3. Locally- and culturally-contextualizing values, value phrases and descriptions Locally-contextualised and culturally-relevant value phrases and descriptions were derived from study participants’ accounts of their community, fishery, and interactions with markets. 85 The list of phrases adequately covers different values and comprehensively addresses multiple aspects of fisheries and seafood markets in the ANI (Table 4.2). The phrases were also translated and checked for coherence in several local languages. These phrases were meant to capture aspects of both catching and selling fish and were deliberately simplistic and broad to aid in translation and to help artists in converting them into culturally relevant imagery. 4. Representing values through artwork This methodological aspect was inspired by work of Lam et al. (2019) and Bremer et al. (2016). I oversaw the creation of artwork specifically designed to culturally and visually contextualise the value phrases, rather than using existing artwork or stock images. Artists from fishing communities within each cultural group were contacted and recruited for the study. The proposed value-card-prioritization method and locally-contextualised phrases were described to and discussed with artists to ensure clarity. Artists were provided with the list of phrases and contacted regularly at various stages in the production of artwork to ensure progress with artwork generation and to clarify any doubts they may have regarding interpretation and artistic representation of values and value phrases. During these clarifications, I reduced the influence of my personal or cultural biases on the artists or the artwork by not suggesting any themes or value scenarios. The artist from the Nicobari cultural group had to withdraw from the study due to other commitments and no suitable artist could be found to replace her in time. Thus, one artist each from the Karen and Telugu cultural groups and two artists from the Bengali cultural group provided artwork for the study. 5. Refining set of value cards and descriptions Once all artwork was collected from artists, they were scanned and printed in high-resolution and colour to produce a set of cards, each of 3.67 by 5.5-inch dimensions. These cards were then used in a multicultural focus group with women and men to help determine which artwork best represented the values and value phrases. Focus group participants were shown each piece of artwork that corresponded to a certain value and phrase. Examples of statements from previously interviewed respondents were also provided. Focus group participants voted on which artwork best represented values and helped further refine the phrase and descriptions of each value card. 86 6. Producing a final set of value cards, phrases and descriptions With feedback from the multicultural focus group discussion, a final set of 3.67’ by 5.5’ value cards with only the artwork on them and no other text or symbols was produced and multiple copies printed. A reference sheet with the images, values, value phrases, and descriptions was used during interviews (Table 4.2). With the help of local translators, the phrases and descriptions were translated and back-translated for clarity before initiating interviews among any cultural group or at any study site. 87 Table 4.2: Value types, phrases, images and descriptions used in value-prioritization exercises. Value type Locally-contextualised phrase Value card images Descriptions Example text from interviews Parallels from other value sets Broad value orientation Marine biodiversity Different types of fish and lots of them This card represents healthy or good seas in the ANI. These are seas where there are many different types of fish from big sharks to small topi and there are many of these kinds of fish. There will always be some other fish to catch. Catches are reducing, but what can we do about it? If (big fish) do not get small fish, then what will they eat? Environmental concerns a Balance b Universalism-nature c Ecosystem conservation d What is desired for a better world/ society Freedom Freedom to catch fish and sell to whomever This card represents the freedom to be able to catch fish anywhere, anytime, using any gear. The hands coming from the islands represent the freedom to sell fish anywhere to whomever you like, be it a middleman, your community, or the general public. We make the rate of fish on our own. Have to give fish to my middleman only. Whoever wants to go fishing, they can. Individual freedom a Freedom b, d Self-direction (thought & action) c 88 Equity Knowing the right and fair price of fish This card represents the ability to know the right and fair price of fish. So, in this image, the fair price is represented by three different types of buyers all offering the same price for fish. The price at the main market, we do not get that here. Trust in who you’re selling fish to is important. Middlemen eat up money in the middle and tell us that the price has reduced. Equal personal opportunities a Justice, Reciprocity b Universalism-concern c Equality, Honesty, Equity d Food security Fish for the family This card represents catching fish to only feed your family. We cannot live without eating fish. Food is shared when households face difficulties. Fish needed for food; meals cannot be eaten without it. Personal prosperity, happiness, & wellbeing a, b Secure livelihoods d What is desired for an individual’s satisfactory life Wealth Catching and selling fish to make money This card represents making money. So, in this card you can see some people making money from catching and selling fish. Increasing economic value of fish makes fishing worthwhile. People come home and buy from me. Export fish is the most important. Health, safety, & income security a Wellbeing b Wealth c, d Secure livelihoods d 89 Hedonism Fishing is fun and makes me happy This card represents getting enjoyment or having fun from fishing. The two people in this picture are very happy while fishing and have big smiles on their faces. Everyone knows that fishing is passion. I did not feel good about skin-diving, I was scared. Fishing is hard work. That’s why I want to relax and sell fish only. Personal prosperity, happiness, & wellbeing a, b Hedonism c, d Benevolence Future generations enjoying as much fish as we have now This card represents thinking about others and not just yourself. So, for example, this picture shows that future generations would be able to catch as much fish as we have now. Future generations will not be affected much because if they do not eat them from the beginning then they won’t miss eating them. My grandchildren will face problems, but the sea will be fine. Future generations of community & country a Responsibility b Benevolence c, d Desired personal virtues of a person Moderation Catching and selling only as much fish as you need This card represents catching or buying only as much fish as you need so that no fish gets wasted. We catch until the ice boxes are full, or the ice melts. I caught until my canoe was sinking. Undersized fish used as bait, left on deck to die or taken home to eat or Balance b Moderation d 90 thrown away near the shore. Group Solidarity Living together in unity This card represents living together in peace and happiness. In unity with each other. In this picture, the community is working together to build a house and food is being prepared for the workers. Everyone is in it together. It’s good going fishing as group. There is unity among people here. 90% of the people are from the mainland and aren’t like us. Collaboration and cooperation in the community; Social harmony a Group Solidarity b Conformity-interpersonal; Universalism-tolerance c Social cohesion d Desired relationship with humans /others outside of oneself Leadership Strong leaders sort out problems in the community and in fishing This card represents strong leaders who sort out problems in the community and in fishing. In this picture, the community is sitting around a leader and discussing their issues. Leaders help when there are minor issues. Take on the responsibility to get fishing gear and look after fisher welfare. There are no leaders. Everybody is equal. Strong political leadership a Authority b Power-dominance c Influence d Seeking wise counsel b 91 Attachment to place These islands are home for my family This card represents the love people have for these islands. This picture shows people that have made these islands their home and enjoy living here. Life and the people here are good. When my home and family are here itself, then everyday I’ll think that this place is good. Country a Responsibility b Attachment to place d Tradition Younger generation catching and selling fish like their parents This card represents tradition and shows younger generations learning about fish and fishing. So, in this picture, a boy is being taught how to fish by his father and a girl is looking at fish. I do not want my kids to follow into fishing. Children will learn how to fish automatically. Children taught fishing for subsistence from a young age. Seeking Wise Council b Tradition c, d Example text from the interviews is included to describe the context and contrasts in participants’ description of fisheries. Parallels from other value sets are also included and have been footnoted with the literature from which they originated. The broad value orientations within which these value types occur are also presented. Images for value cards produced by local commissioned artists, Saw Charlee and Ravi. a Values ranked by aquaculture farmers in Asia (Bremer et al. 2016). b Values ranked by indigenous community and herring industry stakeholders involved in Pacific herring fishery conflict in Canada (Lam et al. 2019). c Refined basic universal values (Schwartz et al. 2012). d Value types in fisheries governance (Song, Chuenpagdee, and Jentoft 2013). 92 4.2.4 Sampling strategy To understand the diversity of value-prioritizations of cultural groups and actors involved in fisheries in the ANI, I recruited and interviewed study participants between April and August 2018. Interviews with actors at various levels in the fishery commodity chain were conducted at eight study sites in the ANI, identified from previous fieldwork (between January and April 2017). This was done to probe the values of diverse actors along the seafood value chains (Lam 2016) across the four cultural groups. As with past fieldwork, opportunistic encounters at villages, fish landing sites and local markets coupled with a snowball-sampling approach were used to recruit study participants. Effort was made to recruit women involved in the fishery commodity chain to understand gendered aspects of value priorities in fisheries. Of the 101 interviews conducted, 15 were of females who were active fishers or sold fish. Comparable numbers of respondents were recruited from each cultural group, along with representative numbers of actors at each node of the commodity chain to understand how value priorities might vary with socio-economic and socio-cultural variables (Table 4.3). I conducted the interviews mostly in Hindi and was assisted in some instances by local interpreters well-versed with the study protocol who would simultaneously translate responses to me in Hindi. Local interpreters were informed about the process of value card generation, were trained in conducting the value-prioritization exercise, and were also provided with the reference sheet of value images, value phrases and descriptions, to be used during the interviews. 93 Table 4.3: Number of respondents interviewed from each cultural group, study site, and level of commodity chain. Numbers in parentheses refer to number of females. Cultural group Study site Subsistence Fisher Commercial Fisher Fish seller Trader Total Nicobari 24 (♀2) 2 26 Chowra 17 (♀2) 17 Kamorta 7 2 9 Karen 24 (♀5) 1 25 Karmatang 10 10 10 Webi 13 (♀5) 13 Bengali 16 3 19 Kamorta 1 1 Taal Bagaan 9 1 10 Wandoor 7 1 8 Telugu 11 9 (♀8) 11 31 Junglighat 6 6 (♀5) 7 19 Kamorta 1 1 Rajiv Nagar 5 3 (♀3) 2 10 Webi 1 1 Total 24 (♀2) 53 (♀5) 10 (♀8) 14 101 4.2.5 Socio-economic and socio-cultural factors recorded During semi-structured interviews, the following factors were recorded – respondent’s age, gender, role in commodity chain, cultural identity, history of settlement in the islands, and years of experience selling or catching fish. Each respondent’s market accessibility, calculated as the minimum travel time from the study site to the main market in the capital city, Port Blair, was also noted based on published estimates for the islands (Jaini et al. 2018). As with previous analysis of the influence of commoditization on values (Chapter 3), due to the large difference in histories of settlement between indigenous Nicobari groups and other settler groups, the variable 94 for settlement history was re-categorized into a factor with three levels – settlement before 1900, settlement between 1900 and 1959, and settlement after 1960. This categorization reflects patterns of indigenous settlement, government rehabilitation, and voluntary migration on the islands (Chapter 2, Advani, Sridhar, Namboothri, Chandi, & Oommen, 2013). 4.2.6 Value-prioritization exercise For the value-prioritization exercise, participants were reminded of the purpose of the exercise, i.e., to understand what participants consider important in order to achieve a ‘good life’ in the context of their lives and fisheries in the ANI. Value cards were shuffled before each interview and each value card was explained to study participants using the standardized value phrases and descriptions. Following the free-sort methodology of Lam et al. (2019), the value cards were then reshuffled and participants were asked to arrange them in an order where values most important to them were at the top, and least important towards the bottom, without any constraints placed on the number of levels or number of cards per level (Figure 4.1A). Participants were encouraged to ask for reminders of what the value cards represented and were also free to clarify any doubts or voice concerns throughout the value-prioritization exercise. If participants disagreed with the inclusion of certain values in their vision of a good life from fishing, they were free to remove value cards from the prioritization. Once participants had finished the prioritization exercise, they were asked if they were satisfied with the arrangement of cards and were asked to elaborate on why they chose certain values to be most and least important following the methodology of Song and Chuenpagdee (2015) and Lam et al. (2019). Participants were then asked if they felt that certain values were missing in the set of value cards and were asked to identify or describe those values. Convenient objects or blank cards were used by participants as placeholders for the additional values they provided, and participants were asked to re-rank their values whilst including these new values. A photograph of each participant’s value-prioritization was taken together with an interview code for documentation and subsequent analysis (Figure 4.1). Seventy-six participants offered additional values to be included with the set, while the remainder were satisfied with the value set or chose not to provide any. The wide variety of additional values proposed by participants were re-classified by drawing from literature on wellbeing in fisheries and relevant value 95 frameworks (Coulthard, Johnson, and McGregor 2011; Lam et al. 2019; Bremer et al. 2016). The seven categories of additional values are presented and discussed, along with the original values, in the subsequent sections. Figure 4.1: Example of value-prioritization exercise with (A) standard set of value cards; (B) additional participant-provided values of Authority (represented by comb) and God (represented by envelope). 4.2.7 Analysis All interviews were transcribed and coded using NVivo Pro v.12 (QSR International, 2018). Information pertaining to value orientations (Table 4.1) was coded based on respondents’ answers. Differences in selection of value orientations by cultural groups were analyzed using G-tests. I used the G-test of independence to explore whether a proportion of respondents chose a particular value orientation regardless of their culture or ethnicity. The G-test for goodness of fit helped assess the preference for a particular value orientation by individuals from cultural groups, as opposed to an equal and random preference. I applied a William’s correction due to the small sample size and a degree of freedom greater than one (McDonald 2014). (A) (B) 96 Socio-economic and socio-cultural factors of each respondent were entered into a database for analysis. Sections of interviews pertaining to the value-prioritization exercise were selectively coded using the established values and value phrases as themes and the photographs of value-prioritizations as reference. Using the photographs and transcripts, I ranked each participant’s values based on the levels they were placed in the free-sort methodology, with highest ranks of 1 and below linked to values placed in the top-most level of the sort, or the level indicative of greatest importance to the respondent. Following Lam et al. (2019), all ranks were scaled for analysis, and so in instances of multiple value cards at the same level, the average rank of all cards in a level was assigned to each value card from that level. For comparability, values from the original value set were ranked and scaled without additional values provided by participants. Furthermore, values that participants rejected or excluded from their prioritization exercise were coded with the lowest rank in order to maintain comparability of values in the set (Lam et al. 2019). In order to assess the degree of in-group agreement regarding the prioritization of values, I used Kendall’s coefficient of Concordance (W) (Scott 2017). Kendall’s W was calculated for all respondents with grouping factors like cultural group, occupation, and study site, to compare homogeneity in respondents’ value-prioritizations within each group. Value-prioritizations by study respondents would likely cluster based on common factors (Lam et al. 2018). The number of optimal clusters in the data set of value-prioritizations was estimated using the gap statistic. This statistic provides a comparison between within-cluster dispersion of data against an appropriate null reference distribution (Tibshirani, Walther, and Hastie 2001). The optimal number of clusters using a gap statistic were estimated using the factoextra package in R (Kassambara and Mundt 2017; R Core Team 2019). As the optimal number of clusters within our data was not very informative, I chose to continue the analysis with more sophisticated data exploration techniques like ordination. Ordination is a data reduction technique for data exploration and to highlight important patterns in the data and separate samples of data along axes (Gotelli and Ellison 2013). Ordination techniques, like non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (nMDS) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA), can help with data exploration and analysis of the multivariate ranking of values 97 by study respondents. The nMDS method preserves the rank ordering of dissimilarities. When used to analyze respondents’ value-prioritizations, nMDS would indicate which respondents ranked values similarly by placing them closer together, while respondents that differed greatly in their rankings of values would be placed further apart (Lam et al. 2018). Using the vegan package in R (Oksanen et al. 2019; R Core Team 2019), I created a Bray-Curtis dissimilarity matrix of respondent’s value-prioritizations projected on two dimensions with a maximum of 1000 tries to fit the ordination. This matrix was projected onto two dimensions with each respondent’s data point colour-coded to various grouping factors, such as cultural group, occupation, and study site. While the nMDS method displays information on dissimilarity, the PCA method relies upon visualizing simplified similarities in data. PCA can be used to summarize and visualize information about relationships between individuals and multiple variables. It does so by examining dimensions of maximum variation in the data to produce fewer and new uncorrelated variables called principal components. I used PCA to explore the variance in respondent’s prioritizations of values based upon reduced dimensions or principal components of their values. The PCA was conducted using the prcomp function in base R. Correlations between each value in the first two principal components was also represented. I also conducted a sensitivity analysis of the grouping being conducted based on cultural group to verify if cultural group was an appropriate category by which to group study participants. The original centroids of each cultural group, or the average value of all individuals within a group, were compared to 1000 iterations of randomly generated, but proportionately representative, group-based centroids. The distances between the original centroids and the random centroids were standardized as Z-scores and compared. As the 1000 random centroids for each cultural group created a normal distribution curve, I calculated the probability of grouping based on culture to be a random artefact to determine if grouping by cultural group was appropriate. Distances were calculated using the fields package in R (Nychka et al. 2017) and Z-scores were calculated by dividing the standard deviation of each randomly generated cultural group with the difference in distance between the original centroid and the mean of randomly generated centroids. 98 Study participants’ prioritizations of the 12 value cards were tested for differences in rankings between cultural groups for each value using a Kruskal-Wallace test (Scott 2017). Post-hoc Dunn’s test of multiple comparisons was conducted using rank sums, with Benjamini and Hochberg’s false discovery rate correction factors (McDonald 2014). Using the ordinal package (Christensen 2019) to create ordinal mixed-effects models, I determined which variables influenced differences in rankings for each value amongst all respondents. Also known as cumulative link mixed-effects models (CLMM), these models take advantage of the ordinal nature of the observations while also incorporating random effects in a flexible regression (Christensen 2019; Agresti 2002). For my model, cultural group and study site were set as random effects due to the nested structure of the data. When significant factors were determined, post-hoc tests using least-square means comparisons of multiple groups with Tukey contrasts were employed. Socio-economic and socio-cultural variables, listed in a previous section, were sequentially incorporated into the models and retained if they were significant. The most parsimonious models were selected based on the lowest Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) score. If the null model of random effects of cultural group and study site had a lower AIC score, the null model was retained and no further analysis undertaken. All figures were made using the R software (R Core Team 2019) with the ggplot2 (Wickham 2016) and ggridges (Wilke 2020) packages. 4.3 Results 4.3.1 Value orientations The broad value orientations of cultural groups engaged in fishing in the ANI provide an initial understanding of cultural values in relation to other individuals and the environment. The proportions of study respondents choosing Egoistic, Altruistic, and Biospheric environmental orientations (de Groot and Steg 2008) were not significantly different across all cultural groups (Table 4.4, G-test of independence). That is, respondents did not choose a particular value orientation based upon their culture or ethnicity. However, it is evident that the Altruistic orientation was most often selected by respondents from fishing communities in the ANI (Figure 4.2A). The null hypothesis that individuals from cultural groups would randomly select environmental orientations was rejected based on the G-test goodness of fit (Table 4.4). 99 Individuals within all cultural groups, except for the Telugu, displayed a distinct and significant preference for altruism rather than the other two environmental orientations (Figure 4.2A, Table 4.4). For the Human-Nature value orientation (R. F. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck 1961), there was a marginal significance (p = 0.0550, Table 4.4) in how cultural groups differed in their preferences for the orientations of Mastery, Harmony, and Submission. From Figure 4.2B, it is clear that the Bengali study respondents stated Mastery over nature most often, while all other cultural groups stated Submission to nature most often. I was able to reject the null hypothesis that individuals randomly expressed a preference for the Human-Nature orientations for only two cultural groups – the Karen and Telugu (Table 4.4, G-test goodness of fit). Thus, the value orientations of Mastery over nature by Bengalis and Submission to nature for Nicobarese are not significantly different, but differences may be masked by the small number of individuals interviewed (11 and 19, respectively). Figure 4.2: Broad value orientations of the four cultural groups engaged in fishing in the ANI based on two different value orientation frameworks: (A) de Groot and Steg’s (2008) environmental orientation, and (B) Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s (1961) human-nature orientation. 100 Table 4.4: Results of statistical tests of the preference of two types of value orientations for cultural groups in the ANI. Significant G-test goodness-of-fit results indicate that individuals from certain cultural groups displayed a distinct preference for some value orientations. Cultural group Environmental orientation Human-Nature orientation G-test goodness of fit (Williams correction) G-test of independence G-test goodness of fit (Williams correction) G-test of independence Nicobari (n = 19) <0.001 * G = 8.6698 df = 6 p = 0.1930 0.1628 G = 12.327 df = 6 p = 0.0550 Karen (n = 26) 0.0216 * 0.0355 * Bengali (n = 11) 0.0294 * 0.0833 Telugu (n = 15) 0.2097 0.0142 * * denotes significance Study respondents’ choices of value orientations provided an initial understanding of their cultural views about the environment and their interactions with nature. Our findings indicate that most individuals from all cultural groups have an altruistic environmental orientation, a choice of orientation that is significantly different from the other two orientations for the Nicobari, Karen, and Bengali. It is also evident that for the Human-Nature value orientation, cultural groups differ widely in their preferences, with Mastery over nature and Submission to nature chosen by more than 50% of respondents in certain cultural groups. While the overall differences in cultural preferences for value orientations are on the margins of significance, the fact that Karen and Telugu significantly frame their interactions with marine systems as submissive needs to be explored further. Closer examination of cultural groups’ prioritizations of values and other socio-economic and socio-cultural factors influencing the prioritization of values are considered in the following sections. 4.3.2 Data exploration and visualization Participants’ value-prioritizations were largely heterogeneous overall (W = 0.42; p = 0.001) and within the subgroups of culture, occupation, and site (Table 4.5), i.e. individual rankings overall and across all groups are not concordant with one another. The low overall W indicates that study respondents were not in complete agreement in their rankings of values. This trend is further reflected in the degree of agreement across cultural groups and study sites. While the null 101 hypothesis that individual rankings are not concordant with one another is rejected, this means that there is a possibility that certain variables could be concordant with others (Legendre 2010). In other words, while Kendall’s W indicates heterogeneity among participants’ prioritizations, it does not effectively describe the degree of heterogeneity within participants’ prioritizations, and thus further exploration of these variables is required. Table 4.5: Heterogeneity in respondents’ prioritizations within each group, based upon Kendall’s coefficient of concordance (W) for all respondents and subgroups of culture, occupation, and study site. Overall test of W statistic. H0: Individual rankings are not concordant with one another Kendall’s W = 0.42243 F statistic = 73.13874 Friedman’s chi-sq = 511.9834 P = <0.001 * Test of W statistic for groups. H0: Individual rankings within groups are not concordant with one another Sub-group Kendall’s W F statistic P Cultural group Nicobari 0.61155 39.3583 <0.001 * Karen 0.55070 29.4171 <0.001 * Bengali 0.57970 24.8269 <0.001 * Telugu 0.35054 16.1921 <0.001 * Occupation Trader 0.39403 8.45339 <0.001 * Fish seller 0.43659 6.97425 <0.001 * Fisher 0.47492 47.0339 <0.001 * Subsistence Fisher 0.62593 38.4864 <0.001 * Site Chowra 0.61668 25.7406 <0.001 * Junglighat 0.33822 9.19957 <0.001 * Kamorta 0.54522 11.9887 <0.001 * Karmatang 10 0.63285 18.9610 <0.001 * Rajiv Nagar 0.47882 8.26870 <0.001 * Taal Bagaan 0.60757 13.9341 <0.001 * Wandoor 0.62139 11.4892 <0.001 * Webi 0.52846 14.5693 <0.001 * * denotes significance. An unsupervised exploration of the clustering, i.e. clustering based on no pre-determined grouping, of value-prioritizations of study respondents indicates that there were two optimal 102 clusters, based on the gap statistic (Figure 4.3A). The gap statistic compared several different sizes of clusters to a random uniform distribution of points and noted that the biggest difference was observed when the data were clustered into two groups. However, the factors leading to the formation of these two clusters are unclear (Figure 4.3B). Data exploration through multivariate ordination techniques such as nMDS and PCA could help determine underlying factors and other reasons for clustering. These techniques are explored below. Figure 4.3: (A) Optimal numbers of k-means clusters of respondents’ value-prioritizations determined via gap statistic; (B) Visualization of respondents’ value-prioritizations within two clusters, showing no clear trend. 103 Non-metric Multi-Dimensional Scaling (nMDS) was used to explore the dissimilarity in respondents’ prioritization of values (Figure 4.4). While individuals from the same cultural group showed some amount of clustering, indicative of similarity in their value-prioritizations, there was a large degree of overlap between the Karen, Bengali and Telugu cultural groups. This suggests that the two clusters found earlier from the gap statistic analysis (Figure 4.3) correspond to the Nicobari and the non-indigenous cultural groups. This is verified also in subsequent analyses. Moreover, the high stress value of this two-dimensional projection (Stress = 0.26) indicates a very poor goodness of fit (Kruskal 1964). A PCA approach helped simplify the data into uncorrelated principal components (PCs), with 36% of the overall variance explained in the first two dimensions (Figure 4.5). As with the nMDS, respondents loosely clustered according to their cultural group. However, the indigenous Nicobari cultural group clustered slightly away from the other cultural groups in the PCA ordination (Figure 4.5A) compared to the nMDS (Figure 4.4). Examining the eigenvectors and loadings for the PCs, it is clear that Leadership has the greatest contribution towards the loading of PC1, while Wealth together with Food Security contribute towards PC2 (Figure 4.5B, Table 4.6). Leadership’s large contribution to PC1, which explains 23.2% of the overall variance, is likely the cause for individuals from the Nicobari cultural group to cluster separately from the other cultural groups. Nicobari respondents mostly ranked Leadership as their most important value (Figure 4.9), while other cultural groups ranked it much lower. 104 Figure 4.4: nMDS of value-prioritizations indicating some clustering according to cultural groups. Ellipses represent 95% confidence intervals (CIs) derived from standard deviation (s.d.). 105 Figure 4.5: (A) Prinicipal Component Analysis (PCA) of respondents’ value-prioritizations, with cultural groups highlighted with 95% ellipses and colour. (B) 36% of variance in rankings is explained by the first 2 PCs with greatest loading from Leadership and Wealth, respectively. Arrows depict the degree of correlation of each value, with positively correlated values (e.g., Wealth and Food Security) grouped together, and negatively correlated values (e.g., Leadership and Hedonism) positioned oppositely to each other.106 Table 4.6: Results of Principal Component Analysis (PCA), with PCs, contributions of individual values to the PCs (loadings), variance explained by each PC, and standard deviations (s.d.). The values for the first six PCs with the greatest loadings are in bold. Standard Deviation 4.884 3.626 3.502 3.025 2.981 2.655 2.759 2.509 2.455 2.189 1.936 0.000 Variance (%) 23.2 12.8 11.9 8.9 8.6 7.4 6.9 6.1 5.8 4.7 3.6 0 Value PC1 PC2 PC3 PC4 PC5 PC6 PC7 PC8 PC9 PC10 PC11 PC12 Leadership -0.537 -0.360 -0.287 -0.223 -0.037 -0.104 -0.247 -0.201 -0.014 0.262 0.428 -0.289 Wealth 0.159 0.586 0.289 0.139 0.088 -0.055 -0.343 -0.081 -0.298 0.079 0.464 -0.289 Food Security 0.141 0.403 -0.649 -0.196 -0.147 -0.005 0.459 -0.067 -0.011 -0.164 0.103 -0.289 Place Attachment 0.171 -0.307 -0.176 0.632 0.433 0.349 0.164 -0.082 0.005 0.024 0.136 -0.289 Moderation -0.230 0.031 -0.029 0.393 -0.581 0.141 -0.275 0.271 0.201 -0.394 -0.072 -0.289 Marine Biodiversity 0.378 -0.283 0.082 -0.173 0.187 -0.516 -0.040 0.371 0.299 -0.275 0.227 -0.289 Benevolence -0.065 -0.286 0.388 -0.214 -0.176 0.180 0.404 0.106 -0.590 -0.212 0.055 -0.289 Freedom 0.480 -0.179 0.062 -0.292 -0.207 0.284 -0.302 -0.530 0.151 -0.009 -0.215 -0.289 Group Solidarity -0.111 0.037 -0.247 -0.006 0.323 -0.245 -0.327 0.075 -0.429 -0.098 -0.610 -0.289 Hedonism 0.163 0.023 0.008 -0.023 -0.200 0.090 0.068 0.473 0.055 0.761 -0.176 -0.289 Equity -0.186 0.074 0.307 0.278 -0.106 -0.502 0.365 -0.444 0.204 0.142 -0.224 -0.289 Tradition -0.364 0.262 0.254 -0.316 0.425 0.380 0.075 0.108 0.426 -0.116 -0.117 -0.289 107 The sensitivity analysis of grouping based on culture indicated that groups defined by cultural difference were significantly different to randomly generated groups (Table 4.7). The original centroids of assigned cultural groups were distinct in their ordination from the centroids of randomly generated groups, especially for the Nicobarese (Figure 4.6). The distances between the original centroids and random centroids in Figure 4.6 produced nearly normal distribution curves (Figure 4.7A), allowing us to compare the standardized distances using Z-scores (Figure 4.7B). Based on their Z-scores, the original centroids for Nicobari and Telugu cultural groups were outside the normal distribution of distances and were, respectively, 6.7 and 3.8 standard deviations (s.d.) away, respectively (Table 4.7; Figure 4.7). The original centroids for the Karen and Bengali were at the very edge of the normal distribution curves and thus had very low probabilities of 0.04 and 0.33%, respectively, of belonging to a random group. These findings indicate that our usage of cultures to group our study respondents is valid and that our cultural groupings should not be considered as random artefacts. Figure 4.6: PCA ordination of cultural group centroids (Original centroids) and centroids of randomly generated groups (Random centroids). Ordination of respondents’ value-prioritizations coloured by cultural group also presented. 108 Figure 4.7: (A) Density plot of distances between Original cultural centroid and 1000 Random centroids for each cultural group. (B) Z-scores representing scaled distances between cultural and random centroids for each cultural group. Vertical dashed lines indicate values of mean distances between cultural and random centroids (thick lines) and their Z-scores (thin lines) for each cultural group. Table 4.7: Probability of each cultural group’s PCA centroid of rankings belonging to a normal distribution of 1000 randomly-generated group PCA centroids. Cultural group Mean distance s.d. Z - score P - value Percent Nicobari 5.50365 0.811296 -6.78378 <0.001 0 % Karen 2.09623 0.620311 -3.37933 0.00036 0.04 % Bengali 2.64346 0.972043 -2.71949 0.00326 0.33 % Telugu 2.77567 0.722216 -3.84327 <0.001 0 % 109 4.3.3 Prioritization of 12 original values The fisheries value landscape of the ANI, corresponding to the density of ranks for each value for all study respondents, is presented in Figure 4.8. The diversity in density plots, indicative of non-random and low agreement in value-prioritizations, coincides with the heterogeneity deduced from the low Kendall’s W, reported earlier (Table 4.5). Across all study participants of the ANI, the four most important values, based on their median ranks, from the original set of values were Group Solidarity, Place Attachment, Leadership, and Marine Biodiversity, respectively (Figure 4.8). Meanwhile, values of Hedonism, Freedom, Tradition, and Food Security, respectively, were the four least important values overall. The density plot also indicates that Group Solidarity and Marine Biodiversity were never ranked last, while Hedonism was never given a rank higher than 2. Figure 4.8: Overall fisheries value landscape of the four cultural groups in the ANI. Density plot explains overall distribution of prioritizations. Values are arranged from top to bottom according to overall median importance of all respondents, with median ranks (red line) and first and third quartiles (black lines) represented. 110 Table 4.8: Summary statistics for overall prioritizations of each value. Values arranged by median ranks. Value Median Mean Standard Deviation Group Solidarity 3.50 3.97 2.40 Place Attachment 4.00 4.70 2.98 Leadership 4.50 5.44 3.44 Marine Biodiversity 5.00 5.24 3.02 Wealth 5.50 5.56 2.94 Benevolence 5.50 5.93 2.74 Moderation 6.00 6.07 2.80 Equity 6.50 6.50 2.74 Food Security 8.00 7.39 3.16 Tradition 9.00 8.31 3.13 Freedom 10.00 9.08 3.24 Hedonism 11.00 9.81 2.33 Organization by cultural group reveals that certain values are more or less important for some cultural groups than others (Figure 4.9). Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance indicated that certain values were ranked significantly differently across cultural groups (Table 4.9). Post-hoc tests revealed which pairs of cultural groups were significantly different from each other, with 15 out of 19 cases indicating differences between the Nicobari and non-indigenous cultural groups (Table 4.10). While our sensitivity analysis (Figures 4.6, 4.7; Table 4.7) indicated that grouping by cultural groups is an adequate method to sub-divide individual value rankings, there could be additional socio-economic and socio-cultural factors of the individual respondents that influence variations in their value-prioritizations. Further testing of factors influencing variations in individual prioritizations are explored in the next section. 111 Figure 4.9: Prioritizations of values for each cultural group. Median rank indicates a value’s typical rank within a group. Density plot above each boxplot displays overall distribution of ranking. Thick line within boxplot indicates the median rank, with the box representing the interquartile range. The whiskers or lines indicate the highest and lowest rank, but exclude the outliers. Individual’s ranks that were greater than 1.5 times the interquartile distance from the edge of the box were classified as outliers and were represented by small circles. Values arranged in order of overall importance for all study respondents in the ANI (Figure 4.8) from top to bottom. 112 Table 4.9: Differences in rankings by cultural groups for each value, based upon Kruskal-Wallace analysis of variance. Values listed in order of overall importance. Value Kruskal-Wallace Chi-Squared (df = 3) P Group Solidarity 5.1465 0.1614 Place Attachment 16.477 <0.001 * Leadership 21.774 <0.001 * Marine Biodiversity 24.720 <0.001 * Wealth 4.7728 0.1892 Benevolence 4.9646 0.1744 Moderation 13.081 0.0045 * Equity 4.4496 0.2168 Food Security 3.7569 0.2889 Tradition 26.384 <0.001 * Freedom 45.31 <0.001 * Hedonism 0.5343 0.9113 * denotes significance. 113 Table 4.10: Significant (*) pairwise differences in value rankings between cultural groups, based upon Dunn’s test of multiple comparisons using rank sums (Benjamini & Hochberg false discovery rate). Cultural group with higher median rank indicated first. Value Pairs Mean Rank Difference P Place Attachment Bengali – Nicobari 23.819 0.0138 * Karen – Nicobari 29.646 0.0018 * Karen – Telugu 21.413 0.0138 * Leadership Nicobari – Bengali -30.555 0.0016 * Nicobari – Karen -23.935 0.0069 * Nicobari – Telugu 34.086 <0.001 * Marine Biodiversity Bengali – Nicobari 37.759 <0.001 * Karen – Nicobari 30.494 <0.001 * Telugu – Nicobari -30.960 <0.001 * Moderation Nicobari – Bengali -29.846 0.0043 * Karen – Bengali -25.480 0.0126 * Tradition Nicobari – Bengali -41.656 <0.001 * Nicobari – Karen -30.357 <0.001 * Nicobari – Telugu 28.432 <0.001 * Freedom Bengali – Nicobari 29.794 0.0012 * Karen – Nicobari 30.857 <0.001 * Telugu – Nicobari -51.525 <0.001 * Telugu – Karen -20.668 0.0115 * Telugu – Bengali -21.731 0.0117 * * denotes significance. 4.3.4 Socio-economic and socio-cultural factors influencing value-prioritizations Beyond differences in value-prioritizations based upon cultural groups, I also wanted to determine if other socio-economic and socio-cultural factors within and across cultural groups influenced the prioritization of values. Among the multiple socio-economic and socio-cultural 114 factors included in the ordinal mixed-effects analysis (CLMM), only four variables significantly explained variations in prioritizations for single values – settlement history, gender, role in the commodity chain, and respondent’s age (Table 4.11), but this does not exclude other factors from influencing value priorities. Settlement history – as a categorical variable with three levels, i.e., settlement pre-1900, between 1900 and 1959, and post-1960 – explained significant differences in prioritizations for the values of Marine Biodiversity, Leadership, Moderation, and Tradition (Table 4.11). Marine Biodiversity was ranked lower as the history of settlement increased. Individuals that had settled after 1960 gave marine biodiversity the highest median rank of 4, while individuals settling in the islands between 1900 and 1959 (two-thirds Karen) provided a median rank of 4.5, and indigenous Nicobarese (pre-1900) ranked it low with a median rank of 9. On the other hand, Leadership and Tradition were ranked higher by individuals in the pre-1900 category, followed by individuals that had settled 1900-1959, and then post-1960 (Table 4.12). There were subtle differences in value-prioritizations across genders (Table 4.12). Only Place Attachment and Leadership were ranked significantly differently and higher by the fifteen female respondents. Across occupations, Moderation was ranked higher for subsistence fishers than commercial fishers and traders. But Freedom was ranked consistently lower by subsistence fishers than all other occupations (Table 4.11, 4.12). This is likely because nearly all subsistence fishers were also Nicobari, who frequently ranked Freedom last. Respondent’s age, as the only continuous variable, significantly explained variation in prioritizations for the values of Group Solidarity (p = 0.003) and Benevolence (p = 0.026), with older respondents placing greater importance on these values than younger ones (Appendix B.3). There were no significant differences in individual value-prioritizations explained by market accessibility or years of experience fishing or selling fish. Considerations of how participants relate to some of these values, and how this may explain their significant differences across our analyses, are unpacked in the following sections. 115 Table 4.11: Significant ordinal mixed-effects models describing the categorical socio-economic and socio-cultural variables that contributed to differences between rankings of certain values. Variable Value Differences between categories P value Higher Lower Settlement History Leadership pre-1900s post-1960 <0.001* pre-1900s 1900-1959 <0.001 * Marine Biodiversity post-1960 pre-1900s <0.001* 1900-1959 pre-1900s <0.001 * Moderation pre-1900s 1900-1959 0.007 * Tradition pre-1900s post-1960 <0.001 * pre-1900s 1900-1959 <0.001 * Gender Place Attachment Female Male 0.0039 * Leadership Female Male 0.0472 * Occupation Moderation Subsistence fisher Trader 0.0213 * Subsistence fisher Commercial fisher 0.0042 * Freedom Trader Subsistence fisher <0.001 * Fish vendor Subsistence fisher <0.001 * Commercial fisher Subsistence fisher <0.001 * * denotes significance. 116 Table 4.12: Median ranks of values based upon socio-economic and socio-cultural variables. Significantly different categories, based on results of ordinal mixed-effects models, are in bold. Value Settlement History Gender Occupation pre-1900 1900-1959 post-1960 F M Subs. fisher Comm. fisher Fish vendor Trader Group Solidarity 3.00 3.00 4.50 3.50 3.5 2.75 3.50 4.75 6.00 Place Attachment 7.50 3.00 5.00 2.00 4.75 7.50 3.50 2.50 6.25 Leadership 2.00 5.00 6.50 4.00 5.00 2.00 5.00 4.75 6.75 Marine Biodiversity 9.00 4.50 4.00 5.00 5.00 9.00 4.50 4.25 3.00 Wealth 5.50 6.00 5.00 7.00 5.50 5.50 5.50 6.25 5.50 Benevolence 5.25 5.00 6.50 7.00 5.00 5.50 5.50 7.75 4.50 Moderation 5.00 6.00 8.00 5.50 6.00 5.00 6.50 5.25 7.75 Equality 5.50 7.00 6.50 8.00 6.50 5.50 6.50 8.00 5.75 Food Security 8.25 8.00 7.50 7.50 8.00 8.25 8.00 8.25 6.75 Tradition 5.75 10.00 10.50 10.00 8.50 6.25 10.00 11.00 9.00 Freedom 12.00 9.00 8.00 10.00 10.75 12.00 10.00 7.25 7.00 Hedonism 11.00 11.00 10.50 11.00 11.00 11.00 10.50 11.00 11.00 F = Female; M = Male; Subs. fisher = subsistence fisher; Comm. fisher = commercial fisher; 1 = highest rank; 12 = lowest rank 4.3.5 Excluded and additional values Study respondents were given the option to exclude any values from their prioritizations, as well as to provide additional values that were meaningful to them. Hedonism and Tradition were each excluded by 12 study respondents from their prioritizations. Similarly, Freedom, Moderation, and Place Attachment were also excluded by a few participants, as they felt those values did not feature in their worldviews or were unimportant to their lives (Figure 4.10). Study respondents were asked to provide additional values after reflecting upon the values presented in the prioritization exercise and the prioritizations they had provided. Seventy-six respondents provided information about additional aspects that were important to their lives, some of which, like Government, did not constitute unique values, leading them to being merged with similar values, like Authority (Figure 4.10). Among the additional values provided, believing or trusting in God was the most common (n = 39), followed by Education (n = 34), and then Material Wellbeing (n = 18). The additional values offered by study participants highlight aspects they 117 consider important for their daily lives, but the list and proportion of respondents is not entirely informative. Several Telugu respondents mentioned reliance on, and faith in God in relation to their fishing activities during interviews, yet did not provide it as an additional value during the value-prioritization exercise. Prominent values that were added or excluded, along with the original values that were ranked significantly differently across the cultural groups, are discussed in the following sections. Figure 4.10: Frequency and type of values added and excluded by study respondents. Number of respondents coloured by cultural group. Excluded values expressed as negatives numbers. 4.3.6 Understanding values and the multiple factors influencing them The following sub-sections explore the interactions among various socio-economic and socio-cultural factors and their influences on values ranked significantly differently by the cultural groups (Table 4.9, 4.11). I also discuss additional factors that may explain patterns in prioritizations for some of the values presented above. The sub-sections below are in the order of respondents’ prioritizations of the overall importance of values included in the study. 118 220.127.116.11 Place Attachment Place Attachment, described as “these islands are home for my family,” received the second highest rank overall, with a median rank of 4 (Table 4.8). Despite the preference for this value, cultural groups and genders differed significantly in their ranking of place attachment (Table 4.9, 4.11). Place Attachment was ranked the highest by Bengali and Karen respondents (median rank of 2.5 each), while it was the third most important value for Telugu respondents (median rank of 5), with Nicobari respondents ranking it lower at 7.5 (Table 4.10, Figure 4.9). Gender was a significant variable influencing the overall prioritization of place attachment, with women ranking it higher than men (Table 4.11 and 4.12). The pattern of ranking Place Attachment across cultural groups and genders is likely influenced by study respondents’ connotations of the value and its descriptive phrase. Recall that most Karen and Bengali respondents were displaced from their original countries and environments and then rehabilitated by the Indian government through allotments of agricultural land in the Andamans (Chapter 2). Respondents from these two cultural groups frequently mentioned taking care of the land and building good homes for their families. Karen women, in particular, mentioned the importance of cultivating the land for their family’s wellbeing. A female Karen fisher elaborated on her high prioritization of Place Attachment, stating “This [value] is necessary. It’s important to own your land. This is the most important! If you do not have land, then how will you live?... So that’s why, for a good life, on your own land and fields, after cultivating rice, one should also grow vegetables. And raising chickens and pigs is also advantageous… Quite a few people, nowadays, are lazy and leaving their lands fallow and then selling them off… then in the end for our grandchildren, where will there be land?” (Respondent 60) Bengali respondents (all male) often mentioned taking care of the house and maintaining a sense of community when describing their prioritization of Place Attachment. One respondent stated, “It is very important to love the place… You should always keep [place] on your mind… When there will be love for a place, then people will stay here and keep it nicely… What happens is, place constitutes the entire community” (Respondent 50). The importance given to place-making 119 and its links to community by Bengali respondents in the Andamans also has been documented by other ethnographers in the islands (Zehmisch 2018; Mazumdar 2016). Within the Telugu community, women (n = 8) ranked Place Attachment much higher than men (n = 23; 2.75 vs. 6, respectively). A Telugu woman, whose family settled in the Andamans in 1958, stated, “This was where I was born and this is where I was married. This is my world and I do not know of any other place. After I got married, I had all my things here and my home was here” (Respondent 9). Another woman, whose family had voluntarily moved to the Andamans in the 1980s, stated: “This is our home, this is where we have everything. We go to the village [in Andhra Pradesh, mainland India] also for a few months but we eventually come back here” (Respondent 6). For some women, moving to the Andamans offered them new opportunities to sell fish and make a better livelihood. Male Telugu respondents often echoed the prospect of better livelihoods when discussing place attachment, but sometimes in a contrary sense. One respondent stated, “Because the livelihood is better here, we came here. It’s not like we do not like that place [Andhra Pradesh]. We do. But at the same time, we do not want to stay here all our life” (Respondent 11). A possible explanation for Telugu respondents’ lower prioritization of Place Attachment is due to what they sense or view as their ‘place’. The Telugu cultural sense of place seems to be centered on Andhra Pradesh and mainland India, highlighted by the fact that Telugu communities in the ANI make a religious pilgrimage trip to mainland India at least every five years (Chapter 2). Place Attachment for Nicobari respondents was moderately important compared to all the other values. However, amongst the Nicobari value-prioritizations, Place Attachment also had the greatest variance (σ2 = 9.68). While a few respondents described the importance of place to their notions of a good life, most respondents did not elaborate on the prioritization of this value. A male Nicobari respondent who had ranked Place Attachment at first, stated “I was born here and cannot really go elsewhere... I’ve always felt a love for this place. I’ve got everything here and I’m quite content with life here.” (Respondent 29). In later sections, I discuss the pattern of Place Attachment prioritization by study respondents in the context of the literature on place attachment in an increasingly mobile world. 120 18.104.22.168 Leadership Amongst all the values, Leadership had the greatest variance in its ranking across all respondents (σ2 = 11.83). Leadership also had the greatest loading on the first principal component in our PCA ordination of value-prioritizations. In other words, respondents’ prioritization of Leadership differentiated them along the x-axis in Figure 4.5 and caused Nicobari respondents in our study to cluster closer together and slightly away from the other cultural groups. This was because 58% of Nicobari respondents ranked Leadership as the most important value, leading to its median rank of 2 within the Nicobari cultural group. Similarly, all respondents within the pre-1900 settlement history category were Nicobari, causing settlement history to be a significant variable explaining the prioritization of Leadership. It is unclear why women on average rated Leadership higher than men (median rank 4 vs. 5), but it may be due to the unequal sex ratio in our sample of respondents. Leadership is an important value for the Nicobarese, as several respondents indicated that the presence of good Leadership would help ensure other values were maintained. Leadership was envisioned through the role of village Captains who lead resource management decisions and ensure that Group Solidarity is maintained. A Nicobari respondent from Chowra specified that “Leadership is very necessary and unity [Group Solidarity] should also be there. Only through Leadership can one achieve unity.” These findings are in agreement with other studies that have described the prominent role of leaders in Nicobari culture and resource management (Ramanujam, Singh, and Vatn 2012; Singh 2003). Leaders in Bengali, Karen and Telugu communities were viewed ambivalently. While the role of good Leadership was recognized and valued, respondents often envisioned leaders as corrupt individuals with political motives. A Telugu respondent specified “...it’s okay even if we do not have a leader. All the leaders are good for nothing. That’s the main problem. They favour their own kin. It’s really good if there is a good leader. That’s good for the country also but if there is a useless leader then that’s a problem.” In the Bengali community of Taal Bagaan, a respondent disillusioned with local Leadership stated: “A leader should be honest and sincere. We definitely need sincerity. Only if the leader is sincere will he be good for us.” Leaders were also viewed as a medium to avail of fishing subsidies, promote local development, and organize search and 121 rescue operations. A respondent from Wandoor stated: “Without a leader no development work will get done. If someone gets stuck [out at sea] and drowns, who will notice? A leader is necessary. Only a leader can send people to look for him. Only then will search parties go.” These conflicting visions of Leadership and its varied value across cultural groups in our study indicate that it is an important value to understand, address, and be mindful of when designing sustainable fishing policies and practices. Other studies of Leadership in global and south-east Asian fisheries have shown that good Leadership is essential for successful fisheries (Gutierrez, Hilborn, and Defeo 2011), but at the same time negative outcomes can also occur in instances of poor Leadership (Sutton and Rudd 2015). A greater focus on leaders and their influence on fisheries in the archipelago would be helpful. 22.214.171.124 Marine Biodiversity Couched in terms of ‘healthy seas with many different types of fish in them’, Marine Biodiversity was the most important value for the Telugu cultural group (median rank of 4.5), and somewhat important for the Karen and Bengali (median ranks of 4 and 4.5, respectively). As with Place Attachment, Nicobari respondents ranked Marine Biodiversity lower compared to other cultural groups (median rank of 9) and lower compared to other values. The low prioritization of this value by Nicobari respondents and higher prioritization by other cultural groups are linked to the finding that settlement history was a significant negatively correlated factor in the prioritization of Marine Biodiversity. While still considering Marine Biodiversity an important value, a prevailing sentiment among the Nicobarese is reflected in these Nicobari fishers’ statements: “fish will always remain a little. That’s why it isn’t that important.” and “the [amount of] fish is ok right now. There should be fish left though.” These perceptions indicate that Nicobari respondents did not consider fish populations in near-shore reefs to be at low levels. However, when asked about how fish stocks might be a decade later, respondents stated: “fish will become more important.” Or “the fish near the shore will reduce. Because all the fish close to shore, near the sandy bottom, all the outsiders [non-indigenous commercial fishers] have taken it all. But further out to sea, there will be lots of fish.” 122 Similarly, Karen respondents linked their prioritization of marine biodiversity to the current, low levels of fish stocks and their future resilience with statements like “[Marine Biodiversity] is necessary. Very necessary. There should be fish. Right now, there aren’t that many fish” or “This is quite necessary, because we have to think about the future. If we continue catching them then they’ll finish.” Meanwhile, for some Bengali fishers, ecological perceptions of value were linked to economic and food security values. A Bengali fisher vehemently stated, “There should be a lot of fish in the sea. The way we see it, the fish that we eat, that we catch to eat, there should be more of that. Other [government] department ministers, they will want turtles, sharks as well, they will think that it's good to have sharks. You know that, right? Whatever work each [minister] does, that's their duty. Even in terms of fish, that's how they think. We do not want sharks, because where will we sell it? Who will we give the fins to? Where will we keep the fish, because it will rot otherwise? How we sell it is, we see what people are buying, what people are eating, that’s the fish that we catch more of. Understood?” As the most important value for the Telugu cultural group, Telugu respondents’ descriptions of ‘healthy seas’ were linked to their economic livelihood or survival. Some respondents stated: “It is important to have the big fish [in the ocean] because the bigger fish are highly priced than the smaller ones” and “If we have a good sea then we’ll catch lots of fish, so that’s also important. To have a good sea is important because we survive on the sea… Because of the sea we are still alive.” The importance of a healthy sea was also linked to Telugu fishers’ decisions to move to the islands, as indicated through a respondent’s statement – “It is good if the sea is good here [Andamans] or in the mainland also. If the sea near the mainland was good then we would have stayed there itself and not come here. Wherever we have good seas, that place is better for us.” Marine Biodiversity was viewed as an important value by most respondents involved in the islands’ fisheries. Respondents perceived healthy oceans as a means of income, food, and survival. Even Nicobari respondents, with their comparatively lower prioritization of Marine Biodiversity, perceived it to be an important aspect to be maintained and secured. However, respondents’ statements reveal that the conveyed or perceived meaning of Marine Biodiversity to 123 respondents may have been vague, encompassing many aspects, such as fish abundance, economic importance, and intrinsic value. This suggests that the value of Marine Biodiversity is linked to other unmeasured values and that the value-prioritizations given to certain values need to be considered in relation to respondents’ understandings and descriptions of values. Meanings and understandings of “biodiversity” differ widely amongst local communities and scientific practitioners (Madhav, Berkes, and Folke 1993; Murray 2005; Hviding 2006). Further exploration into the values and meanings associated with Marine Biodiversity in local and cultural contexts would be clarifying. 126.96.36.199 Moderation Moderation was a value of mid-level importance amongst all the respondents. Within cultural groups, it was somewhat important for the Nicobari and Karen (median rank of 5 and 5.5, respectively) and not as important for the Telugu and Bengali (median rank of 7 and 8.5, respectively). Bengali and Telugu respondents, when describing their ranking of Moderation, often mentioned that it was a hard goal to achieve and that there would always be some amount of additional fish caught or wasted. A Telugu fisher stated: “No one thinks [in terms of Moderation]. The more fish they have, the happier they feel. Even if the fish do not get sold. We cannot catch fish without wasting some. Even God cannot tell how many fish we will have. Sometimes we go out for 10 days and in the last day we will not get that many fish and will return. But sometimes we might go today and by the next day we might get 1 tonne of fish.” A female Telugu fish vendor elaborated: “In terms of catching fish, when the fishers catch 100 kg of fish and they come across more fish, then they will not leave it. That’s how it is. They will catch those fish and only then come back. That kind of thinking is good. Because for those 10 men, fifty fish vendors will come and buy the fish. If they only catch 40 kg of fish, then how will all of us be able to buy the fish?” 124 Statements such as these further reinforce the economic and utilitarian value of fish for respondents from these communities. While relating Moderation to fish catches, Bengali fishers would often reminisce about glut catches of the past and the ability to catch as much as possible. “In the olden days, this is how it was. The icebox would be full but they would still catch fish, ok? They would catch 200 kg and the ice box would be full. On top of that they would catch 500 kg more to be stored on the deck of the boat… They would sell how much ever was possible and throw away the rest because it would get spoilt. We have seen lots of fish being thrown away at the jetty. if at that place, at that time, they had caught fish wisely, there would not have been so many problems.” (Bengali fisher, Wandoor) Whilst discussing Moderation, Bengali fishers insisted that fishing was predominantly for income and, possibly due to the artwork depicting women selling fish, that they had no responsibility after the fish was sold. “To catch carefully would be to catch only when the [middleman] comes. Then how will we make a living? This [Moderation] is less important. In our minds, selling is a later matter. It is a later thing. If there is some budgeting then there won’t be any loss. So [Moderation] is a little less [important].” (Bengali fisher, Taal Bagaan) However, not all Bengali respondents shared these sentiments, as some stressed upon the importance of Moderation, releasing under-sized fish, and not catching fish during spawning periods. Karen respondents agreed that some amount of Moderation was required while fishing and frequently provided examples of the wasteful levels of bycatch being discarded by trawlers. But they also often countered by stating that surplus fish could always be stored for later as fermented fish paste, gnappi (Chapter 2, Section 2.3.2). A Karen respondent stated: “Even if we catch a lot of fish, it does not go to waste. Whatever fish is not sold, we make it into gnappi. Which is why it is bad when those big trawlers go about and throw away all the small fish. Then there is a lot of problem caused and we do not get to catch the fish.” 125 Nicobari respondents, who were predominantly subsistence fishers in our sample, linked Benevolence to Moderation in their worldviews. One respondent inquired: “Can I ask about thinking about others [Benevolence] and Moderation? These two seem similar. For today this much fish is enough so that nothing is wasted and so that we can fish tomorrow as well. Can I place these two cards together?” In a similar vein, another respondent mentioned “I think that, when I’m out there fishing, that I should only get this much fish and not too much. So that tomorrow also we can go to fish there. So that then also we will get just as much there. Because if there is too much fish caught, then it will get wasted. Sometimes, people do not have money [to buy fish] or it does not get sold, so because of that I think that Moderation is important.” The Nicobarese considerations of Moderation, represented as ‘Balance’ in Lam et al. (2019), are similar to those of other coastal indigenous groups (R. Jones and Williams-Davidson 2000; Artelle et al. 2018) and potentially reflect a deeper relationship with marine ecosystems that are influenced less by global markets or commoditization. 188.8.131.52 Tradition Tradition, presented to study respondents as “younger generations catching and selling fish like their parents,” was ranked quite low overall (median rank of 9). Tradition as a value was prioritized differently: some respondents felt it was important, while others did not want their children to engage in fishing or did not view it as an activity that needed to be maintained. Other than the Nicobarese (median rank 5.75), all other cultural groups ranked Tradition at 10 or 11. Nicobari respondents felt that teaching children how to fish was an important value so that future generations would be self-sufficient and learn of customary marine management practices. A Nicobari respondent stated: “If we want a good life, we need to ensure that the future generation learns from us. When I’m not around, my child should have learnt things from me.” Another respondent, who had ranked Tradition and Marine Biodiversity as equal, elaborated, “Teaching my child is important because then he can teach his children that there should be fish in the oceans.” Amongst the non-indigenous cultural groups, respondents from settlements that were further away from the central export market in Port Blair seemed to rank Tradition higher than their counterparts close to Port Blair, suggesting the lower influence of global seafood markets in 126 eroding this value in remote locations; however, this difference was not statistically significant. Tradition was ranked higher for respondents from settlements further away from export markets, like Rajiv Nagar, Webi, and Taal Bagaan (median ranks of 7.75, 8.5, and 9.75, respectively), compared to those from settlements closer to Port Blair, like Karmatang 10, Junglighat, and Wandoor (median ranks of 10.25, 11, and 11.5, respectively). 12 respondents also chose to exclude Tradition from their value-prioritizations (Figure 4.10) and of these, 25% were Telugu from Junglighat, 33% were Karen from Karmatang 10, 42% were Bengali with 2 out of 5 from Wandoor. Within cultural groups, the largest variance in ranking of Tradition was for the Telugu. Several Telugu respondents recognized that teaching children how to fish was part of their culture and therefore important, while other Telugu respondents did not want their children to have any involvement with fishing. A female fish vendor felt that fishing was a way of life and gave the example of young males who were enlisted in the army, yet would still go out fishing when they would come home for vacation. Another respondent stated: “My family is a fishing family, we are from the fishing caste. So according to that we have to respect fishing. Even if [youth] are working in other fields, like medicine or engineering, they have to value fishing. They have to know their Tradition.” In contrast, Karen respondents felt that teaching children how to fish would interfere with their education or future job prospects. One respondent stated: “I do not want my children to learn how to fish because then they will leave school to fish, and then their education will suffer. They will want to go fishing regularly and then they won’t focus on their studies.” Faced with declining fish stocks, some respondents felt that fishing would not be an appropriate trade to enter, as exemplified by this statement: “The problem is, if children get interested in fishing, then one can not say in the future if they are going to get enough fish, which is why [Tradition] is not that important.” Bengali fishers in Taal Bagaan also echoed these concerns, by stating: “Based on what is going on in the sea over here, even though I am a fisherman, I do not think that my children will become fishermen. They can learn at home if they want to. No mother or father would want that in the current situation. Earlier it was different, but that time has passed now. Day by day the good fish are reducing. How will the kids do it?” Others felt that teaching children how to fish was slightly important so that they could “learn to catch fish for themselves,” or because “even very educated people are fishing. Big businessmen 127 have studied and entered into the fishing industry. Why? Because there is something in fishing. If I’m into the fishing business when I’m fishing, then my children should definitely know about it. Because he will come next.” These varying responses and prioritizations of Tradition, together with their interlinkages to other values, suggest that the value of Tradition amongst cultural groups in the ANI needs further exploration. 184.108.40.206 Freedom Freedom was described to study respondents as the ‘Freedom to catch fish anywhere and sell fish to whomever,’ with the additional description that Freedom included a relaxation of regulations that could have both positive and negative benefits. Freedom was clearly ranked differently by respondents from each cultural group (Table 4.10, Figure 4.9). No Nicobari respondents ranked Freedom higher than 9.5, while certain Telugu and Bengali respondents ranked it highest with a median rank of 1. Occupation was also a significant factor explaining differences in the prioritization of Freedom, with all subsistence fishers (exclusively Nicobari) ranking Freedom significantly lower than commercial fishers, fish vendors, and traders (Table 4.11). Nearly all Nicobari respondents ranked Freedom very low (median rank of 12, with lowest variance of 0.48) and were adamant that increased Freedom, or easing traditional management systems, would be disastrous for fish populations. Respondents simply stated, “There will not be fish if there is too much freedom” (Respondent 42) and “There should be no Freedom here. If we go into the sea during a taboo time, then we should obey all the rules. If there was Freedom, then anything could happen. Maybe the fish will also reduce if we fish on all four sides of the islands. And there are thousands of people who go fishing, diving.” (Respondent 29). In contrast to the consistently low prioritization of Freedom by Nicobarese, the greatest variance in rankings for a value within a cultural group were the Bengali respondents’ prioritization of Freedom (median rank of 11, σ2 = 14.23). Bengali respondents in Wandoor ranked Freedom higher than their counterparts in Taal Bagaan (median rank of 7.25 vs. 11.5, respectively). The fishing grounds for Wandoor’s fishers have been reduced in size with the creation and 128 enforcement of a marine protected area and crocodile sanctuary on either side of their village. Some respondents ranked Freedom high in relation to their Freedom being curtailed, as evinced by these statements: “Freedom, this is necessary, we do not have it. For a good life, this is ok.” And “there should not be many restrictions. Whatever work one has come to do, it should be done entirely freely.” Other respondents felt restrictions, and therefore lower Freedom, was better for their livelihoods, but recognized that fishing rules were not being enforced. A respondent from Taal Bagaan stated, “We need some restrictions. Because we do not have very big boats, we cannot go out that far, we catch fish close by and sell it here. [Other fishers] bring their big boats and come and take our fish. There are no restrictions, no rules. Anyone can come and take the fish. Then it is difficult for us because we will not get any later.” Freedom was ranked higher by Telugu respondents as several felt their Freedom to fish in parts of the sea were being curtailed. A respondent from Junglighat stated: “It is a very good value and there should be Freedom. When we have the greed to catch more fish and if there are fish available, we cannot go all the way to border of the Burma, right? If it’s in the Andaman Islands then that is fine but if it is near Thailand or Malaysia on that side (East) or Burma on this side (North), we cannot go there to fish. The greed is always within us to catch more fish when possible. If we go too far into the sea because of that greed then if there is an engine failure or something then that will be a problem. We should think about that also. The government should give us the chance to fish anywhere.” Another respondent suggested that restrictions from fishing in tribal reserves were unnecessary and curtailed their Freedom: “[The police] do not let people fish in a few places, there are a lot of problems. If [fishers] are seen catching fish in North Andaman they are caught and in the whole of the Andamans you are not allowed to fish in the tribal reserves. Sometimes they catch us even if we go to other places to fish. That is a problem… It is important to have that kind of Freedom.” While Freedom is not a very important value overall for the fishing communities in the ANI, the large differences in its prioritizations between cultural groups and the multiple interpretations of Freedom and freedoms being curtailed indicate that this value needs additional attention in future studies. The multiple definitions that study respondents assigned to Freedom and other values are 129 explored in the discussion section and linked to the binary understandings of this value in the literature. 220.127.116.11 God The additional value of spiritual faith or the importance of God was proposed by 37.6% of study respondents, with Nicobari respondents prominently suggesting it, followed next by the Karen (Figure 4.10). The predominance of Nicobari respondents providing this value may have been influenced by the Nicobari translator who would often suggest God as an example of an additional value. However, the Karen, who also often added God as an additional value, were not exposed to such a bias from their translator, which suggests that this reflected their Christian beliefs. Most individuals who suggested God as an additional value felt that having faith in God was necessary to achieve a good life or that a benevolent God was the most important aspect of a good life. The Nicobarese were an animist culture before being converted to Christianity after the 1920s (Singh 2001). Belief in supernatural punishments as a result of not following customary fishing rules are common in the culture and were frequently mentioned during interviews (Chapter 2, Patankar et al. 2015). These beliefs in God and the supernatural and their influence on local SESs are likely what prompted several Nicobari respondents to suggest faith in God as an additional value necessary to achieve a good life. This case may be similar for the Karen as well, who also were an animist society in Burma before their conversion to Christianity and migration to the Andaman Islands in the 1920s. 18.104.22.168 Education Education was included as a value necessary for a good life by 33.6% of study respondents. Karen respondents most frequently proposed this value (Figure 4.10). Education was seen as an important value by the Karen, as the youth in the community are currently engaging in livelihoods other than fishing, farming, and forestry. These alternate livelihoods include working in the dive tourism industry, in government posts, and in the informal sector. Education was viewed by study respondents as a means to alternate livelihoods and lucrative job prospects, so was thus proposed frequently. 130 4.4 Discussion and Conclusion A major finding of this study on the values of multicultural fishing communities in the ANI is that values as a whole differ widely across respondents and that there are intra-cultural differences and socio-economic and socio-cultural factors, like settlement history, gender, occupation, and age, influencing these differences. Within and across cultural groups, study respondents’ affinity and indifference to certain values have produced value landscapes with heterogeneous terrain (Bremer et al. 2016; Meisch and Potthast 2011; Lam et al. 2019). The patterns of value-prioritizations produced within the value landscape of fisheries overall for the ANI (Figure 4.8) and within dominant cultural groups (Figure 4.9) will be useful to local fisheries management agencies and policymakers in developing appropriate policies that are sensitive to the needs of fisheries stakeholders. Group Solidarity, Place Attachment, Leadership, Marine Biodiversity, and Wealth are important values for fishing communities in the ANI. These values may serve as desired end-states contributing to the social-ecological resilience of fisheries in the archipelago (Armitage et al. 2012). Future fisheries policies and management interventions should be crafted to ensure that these values are not compromised. The “wickedness” (Jentoft and Chuenpagdee 2009; Rittel and Webber 1973; Lam et al. 2019) of management and governance of the multi-species and multicultural fisheries in the archipelago increases in light of the heterogeneity of value-prioritizations that exist amongst fisheries stakeholders. The findings of our study can help fisheries managers and policymakers draft policies that will more likely achieve sustainable utilization of marine ecosystems by valuing not only revenue generation from fishing, but also group solidarity and attachment to the islands and the need for better leadership in fisheries. Addressing the wickedness and complexity of fisheries management in the ANI will also involve accounting for the differences in value-prioritizations across cultural groups. From our findings, it is clear that there is a reasonable overlap in the value-prioritizations of most cultural groups involved in fishing, with the exception of indigenous groups such as the Nicobarese (Figure 4.6). The rights of indigenous groups to access customary fishing grounds without encroachment from other cultural groups needs to be seriously considered and addressed in future policies. Conflicts have arisen when indigenous resource management practices clash with colonial or western ideals of conservation and development (West 2005; Lynch, Fell, and McIntyre-Tamwoy 2010; 131 S. Jackson 2006; Turner et al. 2013; Lam et al. 2019) and our approach of presenting contrasting cultural values can provide a way to illuminate, address, and avoid such conflict. Furthermore, given that value-prioritizations also differed based on importance placed on wealth and food security (Figure 4.6), fisheries policies need to ensure that the food security needs of local fishing communities are not compromised whilst trying to achieve the goal of wealth generation from fisheries. These nuanced understandings of differences in value-prioritizations across cultural groups in our study are important and highlight the advantages of the methodological approach to the creation of value cards and value-prioritization exercises. Other studies on coastal communities across the globe have not found much differences in value-prioritizations between cultural or ethnic groups (Lau et al. 2018; Lam et al. 2019; Song and Chuenpagdee 2015). The differences in value-prioritizations across cultural groups in our study are supported by our sensitivity analysis of cultural group centroids (Figure 4.6, Table 4.7). It is possible that our findings may be the result of wide differences across cultural groups only in the ANI. However, our findings do highlight the need for more in-depth studies in other multicultural fisheries and resource management contexts that explore the plurality of values (Johnson et al. 2019; Lam et al. 2019). Cultural groups and communities in the ANI are characterized by their history of settlement in the islands. Settlement history is an important factor explaining the prioritization of certain values within our study. While we did not find place attachment as a value to be influenced by settlement history, and in fact observed contradictory patterns in the prioritization of place attachment by cultural groups that were indigenous to the islands and those that had settled somewhat recently, the literature on place attachment may help explain our observations. Increasingly, there is a realization that place-based values can help inform values-led management, especially in the context of environmental relationships forged between indigenous groups and settler communities (Artelle et al. 2018; Lam and Borch 2011; Lam et al. 2019; Lam and Pitcher 2012a). However, there is also a growing recognition that framing a rooted, sedentarist lifestyle as good for place attachment with mobility degrading this attachment is problematic. Place can still matter to communities characterized by high levels of mobility, and the social sciences have often overlooked this aspect (Di Masso et al. 2019; Gustafson 2013). 132 Escobar (2001) argues that we need to closely examine how cultural processes attach meaning to places and should include the processes of localization that subalterns, such as refugees or migrants, engage in their new places. For the Bengali refugees in the Andaman Islands, this process of localization has meant positive representations of settlement that gloss over memories of violence and victimization (Zehmisch 2018; Sen 2011; Mazumdar 2016). The same perhaps can be said about other settler communities in the islands, such as the Karen and Telugu. The higher prioritization of place attachment value by respondents who settled in the islands between 1900 and 1960 could be considered a reassertion of cultural identity tied to the ANI as place. Freedom as a value had multiple meanings for study respondents, as demonstrated by its low, yet variable ranking within and across cultural groups. This is likely due to different interpretations of freedom by study respondents, as found of opposing sides in a fishery conflict in Manitoba, Canada (Johnson et al. 2019), that are in line with categorisations of freedom in the literature. A prominent classification of freedom like Berlin’s (1969) positive and negative freedoms distinguishes between the freedom to realize individual potential and the freedom from interference. In the context of small-scale fisheries, Jentoft et al. (2010) highlight that Garrett Hardin’s “freedom in a commons” has been the dominant discourse of fisheries management, whereas Amartya Sen’s notion of “freedom as development” might be better to address the values and governance of fishing communities. The Bengali and Telugu fishers who prioritized freedom in our study likely did so because their positive freedom to fish and access livelihoods were being curtailed by marine protected areas and enforcement agencies. For these individuals, negative freedoms from exploitation and suppression would also have been important. For Nicobari respondents, negative freedoms that would ensure communal harmony and access to food and resources were important. However, they felt that positive freedoms, embodied as individuals acting independently of communal resource management or commercial and industrial fishers encroaching on traditional fishing grounds, were bad for fisheries resource management and should be discouraged. Given these divergent views of freedom amongst cultural groups in the ANI and in the contexts of small-scale fisheries management in general (Jentoft, Onyango, and Mahmudul Islam 2010), the meanings and values of freedom in fisheries need further consideration and deliberation (Johnson et al. 2019; Lam et al. 2019). 133 The effective elicitation of values that encompass material and non-material benefits, ecosystem services, and cultural elements of stakeholder groups is an important task and a frequent academic preoccupation (Satterfield 2001; Song and Chuenpagdee 2015; Gould et al. 2015; Wallace, Wagner, and Smith 2016; Lam et al. 2019). Developing meaningful and respectful metrics to measure and compare natural, socio-economic and socio-cultural values to inform natural resource management policies is an ongoing pursuit (Satterfield et al. 2013). Methodological developments to eliciting values and capturing their priorities contribute to the rigour of the field (Lam et al. 2019). We combined several approaches to elicit the cross-cultural values of local communities and reflect on their successes and limitations. Throughout the process of eliciting locally- and culturally-contextualised values we relied on insights from local communities and cultural groups to develop the value cards. Despite our sensitivity to local, cultural contexts, there are potential issues with the translation and interpretation of values, value imagery, and descriptive phrases. The ‘value literacy’ of our study respondents (Satterfield 2001), i.e., their articulation of values, was explored through narratives of importance of marine ecosystem components and experiences of fishing, as gleaned from respondent interviews. Some fishers, particularly spearfishers, described at great length the sense of joy and excitement they experienced while fishing. This led us to include Hedonism in our set of values, despite us not asking about it directly in our semi-structured interviews. However, Hedonism – described as “fishing is fun and makes me happy” in our value set – was frequently excluded or ranked the lowest. Moreover, during value-prioritization exercises, respondents willingly articulated additional values, such as God (Spiritual value) and Education (Knowledge value), which we as researchers were uncomfortable with introducing ourselves due to the cross-cultural sensitivities inherent in this kind of research. The multitude of meanings ascribed to Marine Biodiversity, Place Attachment, and Freedom, serve to support our concern that the translation of values into metrics, particularly in cross-cultural situations, require further reflection on which values to talk about and indeed, what interpretations of values are being discussed. This also indicates that solely quantitative analysis of value-prioritizations would be subject to greater misinterpretation if the qualitative aspects of how respondents interpret and prioritize values were not adequately considered. 134 Deliberations on values by stakeholders themselves could inform pertinent framing of values (Kenter et al. 2019; Lam et al. 2019). Our method, utilising recommendations from Song and Chuenpagdee (2015), ensured that study respondents could depict their value-prioritizations themselves and the ensuing discussion on their rankings offered respondents another opportunity to articulate their values (Lam et al. 2019). However, individual value-prioritizations, even when aggregated, still represent individual preferences and may not represent the deliberation and discussion that significantly contribute towards group or societal decisions (Sagoff 1998). To select the artwork and descriptive phrases to represent each value, we asked a multicultural focus group to vote and discuss their decisions. Focal group discussions at several study sites could also serve to validate whether the values, artwork, and phrases to be used in the study are appropriate and capture the majority of fishing-related values at each study site. A next step in our study could be to share our findings with communities by conducting focal group discussions at each study site to discuss community value-prioritizations to verify our findings of individuals’ prioritizations obtained through semi-structured interviews. While navigating the mess of values research, it is important to consider and differentiate how one’s research has operationalized values theory (Kenter et al. 2019). We have used locally-contextualized and plural conceptions of core or held values through which to consider the cross-cultural values of small-scale fishing in the ANI. Individual study respondents expressed values associated with fishing livelihoods at the individual scale and these were then aggregated at the cultural and entire archipelago scale. Epistemologically, we ensured that the operationalized values were place-based but, in light of their cross-cultural application across the fishing industry, they were still slightly abstract and open to redefinition. We ensured that values were relativistic or value-neutral but acknowledge that they could be interpreted as normative in certain contexts. Value-prioritizations were elicited through individual deliberation. While study participants were given the option to add and remove values from their value sorts, our quantitative analysis ranked rejected values with the lowest rank in order to maintain commensurability. By eliciting the values of multiple cultural groups and actors within seafood commodity chains, we attempted to collect power-neutral values, but also have made efforts to portray value-conflicts across cultures. By reflecting upon, and restating, our operationalization 135 of values research, we hope to effectively contribute to the growing field of social values of sustainability. As a methodological tool, the value-prioritization exercise used in our study was effective in uncovering the value preferences of our multicultural study respondents. Study respondents from all demographics were able to understand the value-prioritization exercise and interpret each of the value cards, including individuals who had no prior experience of being interviewed. Our use of locally-contextualised phrases and representative artwork created by local artists may have helped with the interpretability of the value cards. While there may have been some bias due to different art styles, future studies may consider including an artist throughout the ethnographic process to design truly cross-cultural value artwork that incorporates design elements and symbols from all the cultural groups and study communities. Future studies that try to uncover the values of several cultural groups should consider exploring different types of value orientations at the start of the study to gain better initial insights on differences in cultural attitudes towards the environment, each other, and the future. As values are often abstract and difficult to operationalize or portray through clear examples, researchers may also consider the use of scenarios to better explore trade-offs in values. Scenarios have proven to be a useful tool to understand study participants adaptations to marine resource declines (Cinner et al. 2011) and the acceptable trade-offs they are willing to make in relation to resource management (Bremer et al. 2016). Lam et al. (2019) combined a value-prioritization exercise with an exercise eliciting stakeholder preferences of alternative fishery management scenarios. These scenarios were also modelled to assess their ecological and socio-economic impacts: the integrated value- and ecosystem-based management approach highlighted policy trade-offs and recommdend a compromise solution in an ongoing Pacific herring fishery conflict in Canada. The unconstrained free-sorting of values that we offered participants allowed for more accurate representations of individual value landscapes (Lam et al. 2019). The techniques we used to analyze the value-prioritizations demonstrate the statistical rigour of this approach. We agree that there are benefits to a constrained-sorting approach that standardizes participants’ levels of ranking, particularly in instances when debates on values can polarize the public, such as human-wildlife conflicts or coastal aquaculture (MacDonald, Murray, and Patterson 2015). Approaches 136 such as the Q-method constrain the sorting of value cards to a normal distribution grid and thus help identify the most pertinent values (Watts and Stenner 2005). These grids are usually structured based on how controversial a topic is, and therefore how polarized stakeholders’ viewpoints might be. Distributions would thus be flatter in order to provide more room for strong (dis)agreements with statements. However, when dealing with values that are not frequently articulated or considered, they may be lumped together as least, somewhat, and very important. For future studies, particularly those where there is interest in determining the few (un)important values, we suggest a methodological improvement that incorporates the strengths of our approach and the Q-method (Figure 4.11). The sorting of value cards can be constrained within the fuzzy boundaries of a quasi-normal distribution, thus permitting participants the ability to freely sort and rank value cards with some constraints. To better understand the most pertinent values in a large set, a steep distribution would leave more room for ambiguity or indecisiveness related to values in the middle, and a few clearly (un)important values towards the edges. These considerations should be incorporated into future attempts at understanding the values of heterogenous communities in relation to their interactions with natural resources. Least Important Somewhat Important Very Important Figure 4.11: Proposed sorting grid with positive kurtosis for 15 items (thick-lined grid), expandable to 20 items (thin-lined grid). The thin-lined portions could also be presented as additional grids if respondents could not bring themselves to (de)prioritize certain value cards. Making the diversity of value priorities in a system transparent can foster dialogue among stakeholders and assist decision-makers in addressing policy trade-offs and resource conflicts (Lam et al. 2019). By making apparent the contrasting and shared values in a system to diverse sets of stakeholders and influential actors outside the system – such as bureaucrats, aid agencies, and non-governmental organization staff – societal wellbeing and better, perhaps even ethical natural resource governance can occur (Armitage et al. 2012). An understanding of values also 137 can help shape narratives of social-ecological change to account for and not impinge upon the values of stakeholders (Jones et al. 2016). However, the wickedness of multicultural small-scale fisheries and the trade-offs across cultural groups’ values and commensurable and incommensurable values will not ease the task of translating values and implementing value-based policies (Jentoft and Chuenpagdee 2009; Johnson et al. 2019; Lam et al. 2018, 2019). This study has shown that multicultural fishing communities in the ANI have a diverse range of values. The next important steps to be taken involve sharing these values with the archipelago’s communities and policymakers and through active dialogue, translating them into meaningful goals and fisheries policies that foster social and ecological sustainability. While our study has been successful in uncovering the value landscape of fishing communities in the ANI, there is not a clear understanding of how respondents’ values result in their resource management behaviours. A better understanding of aggregate resource management behaviours is needed in conjunction with considerations of the links between individual values and behaviours (Brosch and Sander 2016). Future studies should consider cultural values in relation to fishing practices and the sustainability of fisheries that cultural groups engage in. The next chapter modifies a rapid appraisal technique, Rapfish (Pitcher and Preikshot 2001; Pitcher et al. 2013), to assess the sustainability of the cultural fisheries within the ANI and compare these results with the value landscapes of the cultural groups obtained and discussed here. 138 Chapter 5: Sustainability assessment of cultural fisheries through a modified Rapfish approach 5.1 Introduction Considerations of fisheries sustainability must incorporate social-ecological perspectives in order to be effective in the future and across cultures (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Multi-species small-scale fisheries are often data-poor and lack adequate information to assess their sustainability and manage them effectively. In culturally complex fisheries, where different dimensions of fishing livelihoods can hold varying importance for cultural groups, policies should account for the trade-offs involved in prioritizing certain aspects of the fishery and the concomitant losses imposed on other aspects or cultures. Flawed policies are often based on assumptions of homogenous characteristics of fisheries, while research continually shows that small-scale fisheries are diverse, complex, and dynamic (Johnson 2006; McGoodwin 2001; Chuenpagdee and Jentoft 2019). Diverse cultural values are also linked to fisheries and marine ecosystems (Johnson et al. 2018; Lam and Borch 2011). Fisheries management would be more effective and in the interests of the larger community if it were to embrace the complexity, diversity, and cultural importance of fisheries rather than managing fisheries along single dimensions of ecological or economic sustainability. Understanding the sustainability of fisheries that cultural groups engage in also provides insights into their behaviours in relation to marine resources, other cultural groups, and within market contexts. These behaviours help contextualise or represent the values that different cultural groups deem important (Lockwood 1999; Jones et al. 2016). Examining a cultural group’s core values provides information about their worldview and how things ought to be in order to achieve a good life (Bremer et al. 2016). Behaviours, on the other hand, are driven by the environmental and social constraints that individuals face and are thus more realistic and practical to understand and address. Fisheries in the ANI are complex – historically, socially, culturally, economically and ecologically. Various cultural groups have settled in these islands at different points in time and engaged with fisheries and export markets for marine commodities in different ways (Advani et 139 al. 2013; A. Singh and Andrews 2003; Jaini et al. 2018). Unfortunately, there is a severe lack of data regarding their ecological sustainability, fishing community composition, and governance structures. Presently, these fisheries are managed with the intent to maximize economic benefits and promote development of fishing communities (Dam Roy et al. 2009; Chapter 2), but with poor regard to other aspects that could contribute to the sustainability of the archipelago’s fisheries. Problematic discourses promulgate the underutilization of fish stocks and the need for greater investment in developing fishing capacity, further marginalizing indigenous, subsistence, and small-scale fisheries. Assessing the sustainability of fisheries in these islands in order to provide suggestions for management and policy thus requires a flexible and rapid technique to assess fisheries sustainability across multiple dimensions. The values of cultural groups involved in the islands’ fisheries may also be represented through (un)sustainable fishing practices and resource management behaviours. It is thus important to also consider how cultural groups’ fishing practices relate to their value priorities. Rapid APpraisal of FISHeries, or Rapfish, is a multidisciplinary technique to evaluate fisheries sustainability based on transparent and semi-quantitative scoring of different attributes of fisheries (Pitcher and Preikshot 2001). The technique is normative, as scoring is based upon expert-defined criteria with transparent guidelines (Pitcher et al. 2013), although it recently has been adapted for use as a multicriteria participatory assessment tool (Aguado, Segado, and Pitcher 2016). It is also scalable and flexible. It has been used to assess tropical small-scale fisheries (Pauly and Chuenpagdee 2003; Suresha Adiga et al. 2016), regional fisheries (Tesfamichael and Pitcher 2006), and compliance with international treaties (Pitcher et al. 2009). The technique is constantly being updated and improved, notably with growing understandings of the human institutional and ethical dimensions of fisheries (Pitcher et al. 2013; Lam and Pitcher 2012b; Lam 2016). Rapfish has been modified and used to assess fisheries in mainland India, but without the inclusion of these critical human dimensions (Suresha Adiga et al. 2016). While Rapfish has proven to be a versatile tool to assess the sustainability of fisheries across multiple dimensions, there are some limitations to this approach. Rapfish has traditionally been scored by experts (Pitcher et al. 2013), but in the case of data-poor fisheries, expert knowledge may not be adequate to assess the sustainability of fisheries. Instead, 140 local ecological knowledge and the perceptions of fishers can be used to inform these sustainability assessments. Fishers’ knowledge has rarely informed mainstream fisheries science, but in reality, its incorporation could lead to better decision-making (Hind 2015). A few studies have successfully incorporated fishers’ knowledge into scientific understandings of fisheries sustainability, such as Tesfamichael et al. (2014). As well, a recent modification of the tool explores the importance or weightings given to sustainability indicators and the cognitive links between them (Aguado, Segado, and Pitcher 2016). A common approach to assessing the sustainability of fisheries through Rapfish demarcates fisheries based on the species targeted or the gear type used. In the case of multi-species and multi-gear fisheries, sustainability assessments can be difficult, but can be undertaken, as demonstrated by Tesfamichael and Pitcher (2006). However, cultural differences in fishing practices may be an additional way to demarcate fisheries and assess their sustainability. This chapter applies the Rapfish technique to assess the multi-dimensional sustainability of fisheries practiced by the four cultural groups in the ANI, India. We also compare cultural groups’ fishing practices with their value-prioritizations, based upon the results of the Rapfish assessment and Chapter 4 prioritizations. Our analysis relies on a normative scoring framework of what the sustainability of fisheries ought to look like across the dimensions of ethics, institutions, ecology, economics, society and technology. However, the framework has been modified to reflect local contexts and scales, with our scores based on information gathered from interviews with individuals involved in the fishing industry in each cultural group. Our sustainability assessment of fisheries in the ANI is thus informed by fishers’ knowledge and perceptions and is based upon cultural differences in fishing practices, thereby better reflecting the ground realities of fisheries. We first describe the modifications we have made to the most current Rapfish framework, details of our interviews, and our analysis. We briefly present our results of the sustainability scores of each cultural group’s fisheries, while accounting for the uncertainty in our estimates, followed by a comparison between cultural groups’ values and the sustainability scores of the fisheries they engage in. In our discussion, we contextualize the results in terms of cultural groups’ values and the insights that such a sustainability assessment can provide to fisheries policy and management in the islands. 141 5.2 Methods To account for the multiple dimensions of fisheries sustainability, fisheries in which the four cultural groups in the ANI participated were assessed using the Rapfish method (Pitcher and Preikshot 2001; Pitcher et al. 2013; Lam 2016). The analysis was based upon the latest evaluation fields from the Rapfish website (http://www.rapfish.org/evaluation-fields-attributes). Due to the data-limited nature of small-scale fisheries in the ANI, and the narrow, archipelago-scale focus of the analysis, several attributes were modified to suit local contexts. Modifications to the Rapfish framework are appropriate and can better assess the sustainability of local or regional fisheries (Aguado, Segado, and Pitcher 2016). The modifications are detailed in the next section and summarized in Table 5.1, while the whole framework is provided in Appendix C.1. 5.2.1 Modified Rapfish framework Table 5.1 provides a summary description of the attributes included in each of the six dimensions of fisheries sustainability: Ecological, Technological, Economic, Social, Ethical, and Institutional. Details and reasons of the modifications within each dimension are provided in the following sub-sections. 142 Table 5.1: Summary of modified Rapfish attributes and their descriptions used in this study to assess the sustainability of cultural fisheries in the ANI. Scoring guidelines are provided in Appendix C.1 Attributes Description Ecological Serial exploitation Number of species sequentially targeted for commercial and/or export purposes. Vulnerability of fish species in fishery Assesses susceptibility of commonly landed species in the commodity-oriented fisheries Size of fish in catch Assesses changes in size of fish in catch or species composition Discards / Bycatch Percentage of catch biomass discarded or landed as bycatch Range collapse Assesses geographic range reduction of the fish population in the past 20 years Technological Fleet capacity in relation to resource Assesses overcapacity in the catching power of the fishing fleet over past 20 years Change in catching power Assesses alterations to gear and vessels to increase catching power over past 20 years Change in fishing practices Assesses changes in fishing practices, such as trip duration or depth Selective gear Assesses if fishery deploys devices to increase selectivity and reduce bycatch and/or environmental damage Fishing gear side effects Assesses whether fishing gear and practices have undesirable side effects on the habitats and/or other species Economic Local discount rates in relation to fish productivity Assesses effect of economic pressure on vulnerable fish populations Rate of change in profitability Assesses changes in profitability in either direction in last 20 years Alternative livelihoods Assesses other sources of income through alternative livelihoods Marketing system Assesses the impact of the marketing system Commoditization Assesses degree of commoditization based upon proportion of commoditized names for target species (e.g., P. leopardus) Export Markets Assesses the extent of the export market of the fishery product 143 Attributes (contd.) Description (contd.) Social Strength of social network Assesses the strength of social peer-group support, including kin, for fishers’ actions and decisions Leadership Assesses presence and effectiveness of community leaders Extent of LEK Assesses local ecological knowledge (LEK) contribution to sustainable fishing practices, ownership, management decisions, and governance Fishers-to-owners ratio Assesses spatial and demographic equity in benefits distribution among fishers, vendors, middlemen and exporters. Adverse change in fishery benefits Assesses the stability of benefits derived from fishing Ethical Adjacency Assesses geographical proximity of fishers to the resource Iconicity Assesses if any fishery resource has cultural or symbolic value beyond monetary value Equity of price transmission Assesses whether access to information about prices of fish is equitable and regulated Just Governance Assesses the inclusion of fishers in forms of management and local governance, including customary marine tenure Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing Assesses illegal, unregulated and unreported fish catches (poaching, etc.) Institutional Legitimacy Assesses acceptance and justification of shared rules by the community Fairness Assesses reciprocal respect among stakeholders, recognizing the diversity of opinions and values Connectivity Assesses degree of fisher interactions with systems of governance that include customary and national Resilience Assesses community resilience to perturbations Compliance Assesses knowledge of and compliance with regulations concerning community-based or legislated protected areas 22.214.171.124 Ecological This field is meant to score ecological and ecosystem factors that affect biological sustainability of the resource. The standard attributes used to score this field rely on adequate information of stock status, are usually meant for single-species fisheries, and often account for a large spatial footprint of industrialized fisheries that may cross international boundaries. Fisheries in the ANI 144 are data-poor, multi-species, and for the most part, small-scale. Thus, use of attributes such as Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), recruitment variability, and migratory range of target fish would not have been appropriate for our analysis. Instead, there exists adequate information about patterns of serial exploitation for marine commodity fisheries in the ANI (Chapter 2; Advani et al. 2013). This pattern may be due to serial depletion of targeted species, policy changes, and changes in market prices. The serial exploitation attribute, as a refinement of species changes, scored the number of fisheries for marine commodities in which cultural groups had engaged. For the Intrinsic Vulnerability Index, we relied on the best available information of species targeted by cultural groups. This was based on the information about fisheries for marine commodities and species commonly landed and sold in local markets. This created a slight bias towards bigger, more valuable species, and caused smaller, cheaper, schooling pelagics to be poorly accounted. Information about Intrinsic Vulnerability for vertebrates was derived from Fishbase (Froese and Pauly 2019), and for invertebrates, from SeaLifeBase (Palomares and Pauly 2019). Attributes of Discards and Bycatch were combined in the scoring, as fishers in the islands often retain bycatch species and only at the landing sites, discard them if they are unable to sell them or the fish have spoilt. 126.96.36.199 Technological The technological field of Rapfish assesses the effects of fishing gears and activities on the biological sustainability of marine resources and ecosystems. This field retained all the original attributes, but modified their scoring guidelines to reflect local conditions. The capacity of fleets has been increasingly gradually in the islands in recent decades. However, boats provided as development aid after the December 2004 tsunami rapidly increased the fleet size in the span of a few years in the parts of the islands more accessible to aid efforts (Advani et al. 2013; Jaini et al. 2018). More recently, in response to dwindling fish stocks and increased globalization, fishing boats increasingly utilize Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and echosounders to increase their catching power. These technological changes are reflected in our modified scales. For fishing gear side effects, we used information from interviews regarding fishing practices to score the destructiveness or side effects of fishing practices. Unlike other parts of South Asia, destructive fishing methods, such as cyanide or dynamite fishing, are not used by local fishers (but are used by foreign poachers). However, other destructive practices occur in the archipelago’s fisheries. 145 For example, before the use of GPS and other navigational aids, novice fishers would often search for reefs or rocky patches by dragging an anchor along the sandy bottom until it hit a reef. Similarly, skin-divers for lobsters would dive, with an iron crowbar, to pry loose coral boulders to access lobsters hiding underneath. 188.8.131.52 Economic Economic factors, such as changing prices and the influence of export markets, can greatly impact a fishery’s sustainability. Most attributes, such as discount rates, marketing systems, and commoditization, were retained as scoring attributes. The attribute of subsidies was removed from our list, as fishers were unable to provide adequate information about which subsidies they had availed and from which department. The study’s focus on marine commodities permitted an accurate assessment of commoditization and access to export markets. The commoditization attribute was scored using the ratio of commodity-to-vernacular names for Plectropomus leopardus as a proxy, derived from Chapter 3. The original commoditization attribute was modified, as there was a paucity of information related to the provenance or niche within which fish were marketed. The linkages to export markets were scaled to reflect local seafood marketing networks through information from Jaini et al. (2018) and our interviews with traders. To calculate bioeconomic vulnerability (Cheung and Sumaila 2015), we used local money lending rates to obtain discount rates, while intrinsic population growth rates were obtained from Fishbase and SeaLifeBase (Froese and Pauly 2019; Palomares and Pauly 2019). 184.108.40.206 Social Social factors contribute greatly towards fisheries sustainability by affecting how fishers work in cooperation with each other, collectively manage resources, and know about the impacts of fishing practice through generations of trial-and-error experience, etc. We retained all existing Rapfish attributes for this field, but modified them to reflect local contexts. For certain communities in the ANI, cooperative and kinship networks have been shown to explain social resilience and resource management practices (Chandi, Mishra, and Arthur 2015). The attribute of social networks was broadened to account for these social networks, alongside formal fisheries associations or cooperatives. The number of generations involved in a fishery can 146 inform the extent of Local Ecological Knowledge (Lam, unpublished; Lam and Pitcher 2012a). In Chapter 3, we determined that individuals’ history of settlement in the islands influenced their propensity to commoditize marine resources. We thus used number of generations settled in the islands for each fisher as a proxy for the number of generations involved in the fishery. 220.127.116.11 Ethical Ethical fisheries may also be more sustainable (Lam and Pitcher 2012b), an aspect that has been overlooked or poorly considered until recently (Lam 2016). The transmission of price information is very poor in the marine commodity chains in the islands. On the other hand, there is high equity in access to fisheries, due to the open-access nature of fisheries in the islands. I thus modified the equity of access attribute to equity in price transmission in order to reflect an ideal type of distributive justice (Lam and Pitcher 2012b). The attribute for just governance was also modified to include aspects of customary marine tenure and fishing taboos (Cinner et al. 2012; Lam and Pitcher 2012b; Gutierrez, Hilborn, and Defeo 2011; Lam 2015). Customary management systems are prevalent amongst indigenous groups in the islands (Patankar et al. 2015), yet most are not recognized or respected by the islands’ administration and commercial fishers. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is persistent globally (Agnew et al. 2009) and common in the ANI, leading us to include IUU in the framework. Fisheries monitoring in the archipelago is poor and voluntary reporting of catches is expected only from the mechanized sector. Furthermore, illegal fishing of protected species and poaching in tribal marine reserves and marine protected areas are common due to poor enforcement, compliance, and knowledge of protected area boundaries and regulations. The scoring across fisheries reflected a baseline low score on overall aspects of unregulated and unreported fishing and more in-depth scoring for illegal practices by fishers from each cultural group. We excluded Discards, waste, and bycatch to avoid reassessing an attribute included in the Ecological field, though we recognize there are ethical issues associated with discards and bycatch. 18.104.22.168 Institutional The institutional dimension has been updated by Pitcher and Lam (www.rapfish.org) to reflect the good governance attributes (Lockwood 2010). These updates were incorporated and modified 147 to suit the fisheries institutional structure in the islands. The resilience of communities to perturbations such as the tsunami or market shocks was qualitatively assessed. Levels of fairness in fisheries were also assessed through qualitative considerations of fairness in fishery transactions, as well as participants’ rankings of the value of equality in access to price information and fish sales (Chapter 4). 5.2.2 Interviews The majority of information used to score the six dimensions of fishery sustainability were derived from semi-structured interviews conducted in the ANI between January and April 2017. Interviews conducted between April and August 2018 provided additional qualitative information. Individuals from four cultural groups – Nicobari, Karen, Bengali, and Telugu – were interviewed in the eight sites spanning the length of the archipelago, as mentioned in Chapters 3 and 4. Certain individuals were interviewed twice across field seasons and responses cross-checked for consistency, adding to the reliability and depth of the information obtained. For interviews conducted with fish vendors, middlemen, and exporters, aspects of the fishery were only scored if they were mentioned in the interview. Our scoring thus relies on perceptions by individuals from fishing communities in the four cultural groups of fisheries status and changes. While there may be a large amount of uncertainty as a result of differences in responses, this is accounted for with a large sample size of included interviews and estimations of uncertainty (see next section). In total, the responses of 96 individuals were used to score fisheries sustainability: 23 Nicobarese, 26 Karen, 21 Bengali, and 26 Telugu. 5.2.3 Analysis Each attribute within the six dimensions of fisheries sustainability was scored for all 96 interviewed individuals. The average scores for each cultural group and the upper and lower bounds of scoring were then analysed using the Rapfish routine designed for R (http://www.rapfish.org/software). Scoring was normalized between 0 and 10, corresponding to “bad” and “good” scores, respectively. An individual’s scoring uncertainty for each evaluation field was calculated using a hundred iterations of Monte Carlo sampling from uniform distributions (Pitcher & Preikshot, 2001). However, these scores could be validated further by 148 additional individuals scoring these interviews to assess the uncertainty and variance in scores. To report uncertainty in the ordination position of each cultural group’s fisheries, we used the overall median and quartiles for each field (Pitcher et al., 2013). The influence of each attribute on the results, or its leverage, was tested using the leverage function in Rapfish, which sequentially drops each attribute from an MDS analysis for each field (Pitcher & Preikshot, 2001; Tesfamichael & Pitcher, 2006). A kite diagram was used to represent the overall score for each cultural group’s fisheries across the six dimensions. We correlated each cultural group’s median value-rankings with their fisheries sustainability scores to explore any linkages between values and behaviours. Correlations were conducted using the corrplot package in R (R Core Team 2019). 5.3 Results The fisheries for each cultural group differed across most dimensions of sustainability (Figure 5.1), and the uncertainty in their scores is displayed in Figures 5.2 and 5.3 (actual scores can be found in Appendix C.2). Across all sustainability dimensions, fisheries of the indigenous Nicobarese scored the highest, while Bengali fisheries scored the lowest. The Ethical dimension had the greatest range in scores and uncertainties, with two clusters forming, corresponding to Nicobarese fisheries and fisheries for the other three cultural groups (Figure 5.3). Within the Institutional dimension, the overall range in scores was the least with the Nicobarese clustering with the non-indigenous groups, and the Telugu fisheries ranking higher than those of the Karen. The uncertainty in scoring ordination is displayed by a median score bounded by quartiles in Figure 5.2. The two-dimensional MDS ordination results (Figure 5.3) show fisheries arranged according to their sustainability score for each field along the X-axis, while the Y-axis displays similarity in sustainability scores in the ordination based upon different combinations of scores (Pitcher & Preikshot, 2001; Tesfamichael & Pitcher, 2006). In all ordinations, Bengali and Nicobari fisheries scored predominantly on either side of the 50% mark on the sustainability axis. Moreover, the final scores for Nicobari and Bengali were on the higher and lower ends of the range of scores available, suggesting a slight skew in scoring. 149 Figure 5.1: Rapfish kite diagram of the perceived sustainability of each cultural group’s fisheries. Figure 5.2: Median values and 50% inter-quartile ranges derived from uncertainty estimates of uniform Monte Carlo sampling for each Rapfish field and each cultural group’s fisheries. 150 Figure 5.3: Two-dimensional Rapfish plots of MDS ordination of fisheries of four cultural groups in the ANI displayed as large, solid coloured circles. Uniform Monte-Carlo (MC) estimates displayed as smaller, empty circles. 151 Our leverage analysis indicates that no particular attribute had a disproportional effect on its field and on the analysis. No attributes had a mean standard error (S.E.) leverage greater than 10% (Table 5.2), thus all attributes contributed nearly equally and could be retained for statistical analysis. Notably, the attribute with the highest leverage overall, with a mean S.E. of 8.91, was the Generational Index (G-Index, Lam unpublished; Lam and Borch 2011; Lam and Pitcher 2012a) or the average number of generations since respondents’ families had settled in the islands. The attribute with the next highest leverage was Resilience in the Institutional field, with a mean S.E. of 6.62. This suggests that the histories of settlement of various cultural groups is an important factor for fisheries sustainability and corresponds to our findings in Chapters 3 and 4. Table 5.2: Leverage of modified Rapfish attributes, expressed as mean standard error (S.E.), by each evaluation field. Details of attributes given in Table 5.1. Ecological Technological Economic Social Ethical Institutional Attribute S.E. Attribute S.E. Attribute S.E. Attribute S.E. Attribute S.E. Attribute S.E. Discards 3.99 Fishing practices 2.64 Alternate livelihoods 4.32 G-Index 8.91 Iconicity 5.39 Resilience 5.62 V-index 3.74 Selective gear 2.31 Export markets 3.61 Social network 3.06 Just governance 4.08 Governance connectivity 2.72 Size of fish 2.07 Fleet capacity 1.85 Commoditization 3.59 Leaders 2.40 Adjacency 3.99 Legitimacy 1.83 Range collapse 1.19 Gear side-effects 1.72 Discount rate 2.52 Fishing benefits 1.81 Price transmission 3.38 Fairness 1.56 Serial exploitation 0.99 Catching power 1.20 Change in profits 2.07 Fisher: Owner 1.65 IUU 3.11 Compliance 0.94 Marketing system 1.10 The value-prioritizations of each cultural group (Chapter 4) showed no clear overall pattern of correlation with the sustainability scores of their fisheries (Figure 5.4). There were five Spearman rank correlations each on the margin of significance (p = 0.0503). These weak correlations may be due to the low number of variables being correlated, such as only four cultural groups. Cultural differences in these correlations were represented through scatterplots between value-prioritizations and sustainability scores, where the best scores and highest value-152 rankings are projected in the top left corner of each scatterplot (Figure 5.5). The strong positive correlation between ethical field and place attachment (Figure 5.4) is likely due to the differences in the high score received by Nicobarese and lower scores by other cultural groups in relation to the low value for place attachment provided by Nicobari respondents and the high place attachment value of other cultural groups. The strong negative correlations recorded between Tradition as a value and Rapfish fields Ecological, Technological, Economic, and Social are possibly also due to intracultural differences in values and fishing practices. Tradition was an important value for the Nicobarese compared to other cultural groups, and similarly, the Nicobarese scored higher than the other cultural groups in these fields. We were interested in further exploring the interplay between cultural groups values and their perceptions and behaviours related to fishing. We assumed there would be a strong correlation between the cultural groups’ scores in the ecological field (as a composite score of several attributes of ecological sustainability) and their rankings of the value of Marine Biodiversity. However, there was no significant Pearson product-moment correlation between the two variables (r = 0.88, n = 4, p-value = 0.119). Similarly, we were interested in exploring correlations between cultural groups’ ranking of the value of Leadership and their perceptions about the presence of effective leadership in the community. To do this, we used the attribute Leaders directly rather than using the composite score for the Social field. We found no significant Pearson product-moment correlation between the two variables (r = 0.56, n = 4, p-value = 0.439). 153 Figure 5.4: Correlation matrix of each cultural group’s median value rankings (horizontal axis) and their median sustainability scores in six Rapfish fields (vertical axis). Marginally significant correlations are coloured.154 Figure 5.5: Scatterplot matrix of median value ranks (horizontal axis) and median sustainability scores in six Rapfish fields (vertical axis) for each cultural group. Values are arranged left to right in order of their overall importance to fishing communities in the ANI. Value ranks are between 1 and 12, with 1 being the highest rank, while sustainability scores are between 0 and 100 with 100 being the most sustainable. Thus, cultural fisheries with the highest sustainability score and greater value ranking would be in the top left of each scatterplot.155 5.4 Discussion Our analyses indicate that the sustainability of each cultural group’s fisheries is different. These fisheries vary not only in terms of the ecological impact, economic factors, and technological development that exists in certain fisheries, but also due to the diversity of social, ethical and institutional dimensions that arises from cultural diversity. It is also important to note that no fishery received a perfect score in any particular field and that all commercial fisheries scored less than 75% in all fields (cf. Nicobari subsistence fisheries). This suggests that fisheries management in the ANI needs to incorporate considerations of socio-economic and socio-cultural factors and impacts when trying to achieve fisheries sustainability targets. Overall, fisheries that indigenous Nicobarese engaged in were assessed as the most sustainable, while fisheries that Bengalis engaged in were the most unsustainable based on our assessment. Nicobari fisheries scored highest for sustainability in relation to the other fisheries due to their usage of low-impact and selective fishing gears, strong social ties, systems of customary marine tenure, poor interactions with export markets, and their ethical interactions with marine systems (Chapters 2, 3, and 4). These fisheries scored lowest in the Institutional field (yet still highest of all communities) due to their exclusion from fisheries management decisions and encroachment on traditional fishing grounds by commercial fishers and the military (Sekhsaria 2015). Similarly, Karen fisheries scored higher than Telugu and Bengali fisheries for all fields except Institutional. The Karen have been involved in export-oriented fisheries for commodities, such as Trochus, Sea cucumbers, Lobsters and Groupers. However, their reliance on low-impact and selective fishing techniques, such as reef gleaning and spearfishing, increase the sustainability of their fisheries. The Karen are not as politically involved in fisheries management institutions as other fishing groups in the Andaman Islands. Fisheries for the Bengali and Telugu cultural groups scored similarly for their sustainability. The Telugu community is the traditional commercial fishing community on the islands and uses a variety of gears, including non-selective fishing nets. The community is politically active, with leaders of the islands’ Fisheries Associations hailing mostly from this community, while governance within the community is divided based on traditional kinship and village networks rooted in mainland India (Chapter 2 and 4). This caused their median Institutional score to be 156 highest among all cultural groups (Figure 5.2). We expected there to be greater uncertainty in scores for the Telugu cultural group, as they were derived from two sites with large differences in export market accessibility. Despite this, communities in both study sites contributed largely to local commercial fisheries, had a greater spatial footprint, and were actively involved in the trade of marine commodities. Bengali fisheries were composed of settled refugees from Bangladesh and recent migrant labour from West Bengal that sequentially targeted most marine commodities and often mentioned range collapses due to their lower spatial footprint. They scored the lowest on the Ethical field as they were often subject to inequalities in the transmission of information about prices and market trends. These findings closely match those of a previous social-ecological fisheries monitoring study that surveyed Bengali and Telugu fishing communities in South Andaman (A. Singh and Andrews 2003) and found large differences in the levels of market engagement between the two groups. Our Rapfish analysis provides an effective description of the interplay in fisheries sustainability for cultural groups across the six fields. As mentioned previously, it is notable that the Generational Index, as an indicator of settlement history amongst the four cultural groups, had the highest leverage or influence within the Social field and amongst all other attributes. Additionally, as per our analyses, Nicobari fisheries scored the highest sustainability score in all fields, followed by Karen with moderate scores in four fields and then Telugu and Bengali fisheries with mostly low scores. This pattern parallels the history of settlement of the four cultural groups on the islands and has great potential for further analysis. Our exploration of linkages between cultural group’s value-prioritizations and their fishing-related behaviours and perceptions showed no clear patterns. For example, indigenous Nicobari fishers ranked Marine Biodiversity lowest of all cultural groups (Chapter 4), yet their fishery sustainability scores were highest of all groups. This may be due to the poorly understood linkages between the values that individuals and cultural groups believe are necessary for a good life and their behaviours and perceptions that are constrained by environmental and social factors (Bamberg and Möser 2007; Stedman 2002; Seymour et al. 2010). Future work could directly link 157 value-prioritizations into a new Rapfish scoring field to effectively portray the normative beliefs of fishery resource users in contrast to their fishing practices and behaviours. We based our Rapfish analysis on information related to fisheries status and perceptions of change derived from interviews with fishing community members from four cultural groups in the islands. This allowed us to incorporate information unique to local contexts and cultures, which would not have been possible through a standard scoring of fishery sustainability status by experts. We acknowledge that basing our scoring on facts and perceptions stated by fishers has its limitations on the quality of data that could be obtained, but we overcame this through accounting for uncertainty using Monte Carlo estimates and by including interviews from a large number of individuals from each cultural group, with diverse roles in the fishing industry, and both genders. For data-poor, multi-species and multicultural small-scale fisheries, such as those in the ANI, rapid assessments of fisheries sustainability through Rapfish will greatly assist fisheries managers and policymakers. There is considerable uncertainty associated with the estimates of fisheries potential of these waters as well as the mechanisms for fisheries monitoring and management (ANDFISH 2005, 12). Studies of fisheries ecology and catch effort indicate that fisheries for Malabar grouper (Kirubasankar et al. 2013), yellowfin tuna, and pelagic sharks (Sajeevan and Sanadi 2012) have declining catch rates and are no longer sustainable. Moreover, findings from a recent census of fishing communities in the islands indicated that 89% of respondents feel that fish catches have declined in the last five years (FSI 2011). The findings of our study provide fisheries managers and policymakers in the islands with clear indicators of dimensions of fisheries sustainability that need improvement, as well as cultural nuances within these dimensions. The advantage of using Rapfish to assess fisheries sustainability has already been demonstrated by Indian government researchers in their assessments of fisheries in mainland India (Suresha Adiga et al. 2016, 2015). Our study is thus a valuable contribution to the assessment of fisheries sustainability in the ANI. The well-rounded display of results of the assessment, through tools like kite diagrams, helps policymakers understand trade-offs involved in fisheries policies and the effects they could have on different communities. Insights produced 158 by such rapid assessments of fisheries sustainability are critical to developing sound fisheries policies for data-poor fisheries. 5.5 Conclusion Fisheries development planners need to consider fisheries sustainability beyond narrow dimensions of economic growth and ecological health. Small-scale fisheries are complex and dynamic SESs, where placing emphasis on certain dimensions of sustainability can have great implications and unintended consequences on others. Fisheries in the ANI are culturally and historically complex, with development in the fisheries sector driven by export markets and infrastructure (Jaini et al. 2018). Fisheries managers in the islands have overlooked the valuable contributions of indigenous and subsistence fisheries in the islands and the increasing dependence on imported labour in unsustainable sectors of the fishery. We present a rapid assessment of fisheries sustainability in the archipelago, which provides policymakers and fishery managers with a multidimensional perspective of the status of these fisheries. While we found no statistically significant linkages between the values of fishing communities and their fishing practices and behaviours, we suggest this aspect needs to be explored further. Our Rapfish results highlight potential trade-offs if policies were to favour certain dimensions of fisheries sustainability and not others, as well as the impacts and/or benefits to certain cultural groups. 159 Chapter 6: Synthesis of research Understanding the values of natural resource-dependent communities can inform policies aimed at enhancing sustainable resource management practices and societal wellbeing. This research highlights the roles that culture, settlement history, and interactions with natural resources and markets can play in the values that communities ascribe to natural resources and the social-ecological sustainability implied by those interactions. This dissertation explored the interacting effects of global markets and commoditization on natural resources. While this research highlighted the values of multicultural communities, the translation of this research into sustainable management and policies remains to be undertaken. There also is an underlying, untested assumption that cultural groups act in accordance with their values and that the incorporation of these research findings into policy considerations and decision-making will lead to effective natural resource management. The dissertation adopted a case-study approach focusing on the context of multicultural small-scale fisheries in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI), India. Examining the socio-economic, socio-cultural, and historical aspects of cultural groups’ engagement with marine fisheries in the islands (Chapter 2) provides an overview of the complexity of the social-ecological system and aspects of fisheries management and policies in the archipelago. Cultural groups’ interactions with and values towards a present-day marine commodity, Plectropomus leopardus, are then explored to highlight the effects of commoditization (Chapter 3). Contrary to expectations, market access and occupation played no significant role in the usage of the commoditized name, ‘dollar’, for this fish by the interviewed inhabitants of the islands. Instead, settlement histories and experience fishing or selling fish significantly influenced the probability of using a commoditized name. Analysis of the value landscapes of the four cultural groups engaged in fishing in the archipelago (Chapter 4) revealed that value-prioritizations varied by cultural group, indicating that cultural values towards fishing livelihoods need greater consideration in fisheries policies and management, especially if decision-makers want greater legitimacy and acceptance of fisheries policies. Amongst the socio-economic and socio-cultural factors tested, settlement history, gender, occupation, and age were most correlated with the observed patterns of value-prioritizations across cultural groups. Finally, we assessed the sustainability of each cultural 160 group’s fisheries and fishing practices using six dimensions of sustainability: Ecological, Technological, Economic, Social, Ethical, and Institutional (Chapter 5). The findings from this chapter, notably the assessed higher sustainability of Nicobari fisheries, highlight key issues and intervention points for sustainable fisheries management in the ANI. Key issues in ANI fisheries were the low overall sustainability scores for most commercial fisheries, particularly for the ethical and institutional dimensions. By highlighting various aspects and dimensions of (un)sustainability of cultural groups’ fisheries in the ANI, the information presented in this chapter could help policymakers draft policies that better reflect fishing communities’ values and practices to foster fisheries sustainability. This chapter seeks to synthesize the findings of the dissertation through a consideration of the theoretical and policy implications of the research. The strengths, limitations, and future directions of the research are then discussed, followed by the policy implications of the research findings. The chapter concludes with recommendations to fishing communities in the ANI on ways to build upon their shared values for fisheries and marine ecosystems. 6.1 Theoretical and policy implications This dissertation is one of few cross-cultural studies (Johnson et al. 2018) of the values of fishing communities (see also Lam et al. 2019). Its in-depth consideration of historical aspects, such as settlement history, together with present-day aspects, such as commoditization and cultural fishing practices, makes it a valuable contribution to the literature on the trajectories of fisheries and the potential role of cultural factors and seafood markets in driving these changes. Moreover, the comparison between the socio-economic and socio-cultural values of indigenous and commercial fishing groups adds to the growing literature and awareness of the complementarity and important lessons that indigenous resource management practices can bring to western notions of environmental stewardship. The main theoretical and empirical contributions of this doctoral dissertation to values research in the context of small-scale fishing communities are summarized below. First, understanding the effects of fish commoditization on the values of local fishing communities may help curb the growing market pressure placed on global fish stocks and 161 disruptions to community values. Commoditization has been long recognized as a transformative force altering the relationships between human societies and natural resources (Appadurai 1986; Manno 2000; Pitcher and Lam 2015; Lam and Pitcher 2012a; Marx 1971). Globalization and commoditization are likely to erode traditional systems of marine resource management (Ruddle 1993) and refocus fishers’ attention away from local ecological knowledge towards collecting global harvester knowledge (Murray, Neis, and Johnsen 2006). In fact, the historical trajectories of global fisheries from the ancient past to the present day have been influenced frequently by mercantilization, mechanization, globalization and commoditization (Pitcher and Lam 2015). While commoditization’s insidious effects are now being recognized and discussed (J. L. Anderson, Asche, and Garlock 2018; Lam and Pitcher 2012a), we still lack effective decommoditization strategies, though social subsidies have been proposed that redirect investment away from harmful fisheries subsidies to sustaining community values and relationships with living resources (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). The analysis of the commoditization of P. leopardus from an ignored fish to the highly-valued ‘dollar’ fish, as presented in Chapter 3, indicates that shorter settlement histories and experience fishing correlate with increased probabilities to use commoditized names for P. leopardus. The in-depth, mixed-methods examination of this cross-cultural case study highlights the important role that indigenous groups and historically-settled, experienced fishers can play in sustaining marine resources. Second, settlement history may serve as a useful metric to gauge the likelihood of a community’s ability to sustain natural resources. In the ANI, settlement history is a common factor influencing communities’ fishing practices, values towards marine resources, and likelihoods of sustaining or commoditizing them. Prolonged histories of settlement in an area and ancestral or cultural connections to a place lead to stronger attachments to place and better environmental stewardship (Hay 1998; Artelle et al. 2018; Lam and Borch 2011). Communities with longer histories of living adjacent to and harvesting local marine resources, such as the indigenous Saami in Norway (Lam and Borch 2011), have a greater likelihood of culturally valuing these resources through inalienable relationships and are thus less likely to commoditize or overfish them (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Lam (unpublished) has proposed a Generational-index or G-index to assess ecological and cultural feedbacks and resilience using continuous generations 162 lived in a place as a quantitative proxy for historic investments, local ecological knowledge, and exploitation of local resources. Lam hypothesizes that communities with longer histories of settlement in a place and thus a greater G-index score would be more culturally dependent, and thus more likely to sustain local resources than transient or migrant communities with a lower G-index score. Through its rich empirical case study of four cultural groups with varying histories of settlement and engagement with fisheries in the ANI, this dissertation supports this theoretical prediction (Lam, unpublished) and proposed sustainability indicator (Pitcher et al. 2013), while elucidating nuances of values related to place attachment and ecosystem conservation. Third, conducting research on values can be difficult, messy, and yield unexpected results, yet it is an important field to engage in, if we truly want to manage resources in ecologically and socially sustainable ways (Kenter et al. 2019). Values research encompasses numerous fields (Brosch and Sander 2016) and there exist multiple typologies to explain what values really are and how to best operationalize them (Jones et al. 2016; Tadaki, Sinner, and Chan 2017; Rawluk et al. 2018). This has resulted in competing theories of values being largely inaccessible or ignored by natural scientists and environmental practitioners (Ives and Kendal 2014). In an era of increasing resource degradation and conflicting societal needs, the plurality of values and ensuing wickedness of fishery systems becomes even more apparent (Jentoft and Chuenpagdee 2009; Rittel and Webber 1973; Lam et al. 2019). Trans-disciplinary approaches that incorporate post-normal science (Funtowicz and Ravetz 1993) in fisheries management can test values theories in resource management contexts where values may be disputed by relevant stakeholders (Lam et al. 2019; Johnson et al. 2019). This dissertation has harnessed and extended existing values theories to understand the needs and values of multicultural fishing groups in the ANI by adapting novel contextualized valuation methodologies (Lam et al. 2018, 2019; Song and Chuenpagdee 2015; Bremer et al. 2016). Rather than relying on standard value frameworks and methodologies produced by Western academics, values were elicited in cultural and local contexts using locally produced artwork, in-depth interviews, and participant observation. While the values elicited are specific to this region and cultural context, how diverse cultural communities prioritized them is relevant to the local contexts of fisheries management. Additionally, the final medium of elicitation and translation was English in this dissertation, leading to the possibility that certain cultural values could have been misinterpreted or 163 misrepresented. Fisheries researchers should embrace the particularities of context and conduct values research with local resonance, as aggregated case studies can provide important insights for natural resource management globally. Adopting non-Western value frameworks could lead to more effective elicitation of values, and in turn their incorporation into policies could foster management that is decolonized and reflective of local values. 6.1.1 Strengths and limitations The biggest strength of this dissertation is the detailed empirical examination of the historical, socio-economic, and socio-cultural aspects of fisheries and values in the ANI from multiple angles and perspectives. The research findings have real implications for fisheries management and policies in these islands. Analysis of the historical development of fisheries in the islands was informed by multiple sources of knowledge, including ethnographic research, fisheries research, participant observation, and interviews with stakeholders at various levels in seafood value chains. Synthesizing these different sources of knowledge permitted us to provide specific recommendations to policymakers and consider future orientations of the fishery. The co-participatory creation of a set of value cards that specifically reflected local, cultural contexts may have assisted the accuracy and reliability of measures of value-prioritization across fishing communities in the islands. The insights generated by the cross-cultural value-prioritization exercises provide a clear perspective of the needs of local communities in the islands and potential directions for fisheries management and policy to foster the wellbeing of fishing communities and other stakeholders in the archipelago. The rapid appraisal technique, Rapfish (Pitcher et al. 2013), was used to assess the sustainability of the data-poor fisheries in the ANI. Modifications of the Rapfish scoring framework and assessments of cultural (rather than species-specific) fisheries resonated better with the local context. The overarching aim of this research was to inform more effective fisheries management and policies in the ANI through recognizing the local and cultural contexts in the system being studied, the methods and approach utilized, the analysis undertaken, and the generated findings. The local and cultural contexts of the fishing communities and cultural groups in the ANI greatly influenced our research approach and methods. In-depth delving into the SES and values of fisheries in the ANI has meant that the findings within the dissertation are limited in their 164 generalizations. However, insights gained from these findings can contribute towards global understandings of the influence of seafood markets and approaches towards sustainable fisheries management. Additionally, the study’s methodology can be readily adapted and reapplied to other systems. Moreover, the primary focus on marine commodity fisheries and fishing communities meant that the values of fisheries producing for local markets and industrial fisheries were not considered. While I broadened the research focus on the fishing community to include other important actors in the seafood value chains, such as fish vendors, middlemen, and exporters, I did not include other important and influential stakeholders, such as local seafood consumers, recreational fishers, NGOs, and fishery managers. These stakeholders could have offered useful insights on the values and sustainability needs of fisheries in the ANI. Neither did I interview members of the general public for their values and perceptions of the status of the archipelago’s fisheries, which restricts the findings of this research to fishery stakeholders. Issues of cognition and misrepresentation can affect research findings, so precautions were taken methodologically to minimize these. For example, the photographs of commonly targeted marine species that were used in Chapter 3 may not have been representative of locally available species and could thus have been mis-identified. To overcome this, I ensured that nearly all photographs used were taken in the islands and that study respondents had adequate opportunities to discuss the species being represented. As discussed previously in Chapter 4, biases and mistranslations likely occurred while framing values and creating the value cards, particularly due to the multicultural contexts and the general abstractness of values. Repeated rounds of pre-testing and cross-validation with multicultural focus groups potentially helped overcome this issue. Despite these measures, I acknowledge that these tools may still need refinement, which I will seek to address in future research endeavours. 6.1.2 Future directions My multi-cultural and multi-sited ethnographic doctoral research has yielded several interesting insights and, in the process, has opened up many potential avenues for future research. Using my research findings on cultural values, local involvement in marine commodity fisheries, and trading networks across the archipelago, an agent-based model can be created to investigate the cultural evolution of market-related unsustainable behaviours, such as commoditization. Agent-based models can simulate human behaviours and social networks to explore emergent 165 phenomena, such as the evolution of sustainable practices amongst cultural groups (Waring, Goff, and Smaldino 2017; Waring and Tremblay 2016), territoriality of lobster fishers in the Gulf of Maine (Waring and Acheson 2018), and Fijian marine tenure institutions (Waring et al. 2015). A potential agent-based model could represent the settlement history and fishing behaviours of cultural groups in the ANI and explore the social networks created between groups based on social- and market-ties. The diffusion of unsustainable practices, such as commoditization, or sustainable practices, such as fish cooperatives that foster fisheries sustainability and wellbeing of their members, could be tested within this model to provide advice to policymakers. This avenue was explored, but not pursued, however, not only due to limited time, but also the limited understanding of values in general. Without a coherent theory of values, any outputs of agent-based model simulations would be suspect, reinforcing value assumptions. Instead, I decided to focus on locally-contextualized empirical research, rather than to model simulations of a complex reality. Small-scale fisheries are connected to global seafood markets often through a few key individuals that establish the trade in marine resources and set the prices. These key individuals are often middlemen, exporters, and importers (Crona et al. 2010; Purcell et al. 2017; Johnson 2010). A growing body of research highlights the critical role they play in potentially driving the unsustainability of fisheries (Drury O’Neill and Crona 2017; Thyresson et al. 2013). Furthermore, additional key actors outside the purview of fisheries management may be in better positions within social networks to influence sustainable practices across the wider community (Mbaru and Barnes 2017). Future research could focus on understanding the values and behaviours of these key actors within seafood value chains (Lam 2016), as identified through a social network analysis, as a prerequisite to changing their influential and unsustainable behaviours. While study respondents’ reasonings for their value-prioritizations were qualitatively analysed, further analysis could be done also on respondents’ perceptions of interlinkages between values. The findings generated through such an analysis could help identify key values that underpin respondents’ value landscapes. And as mentioned previously in Chapter 4, conducting value-prioritization exercises through focal group discussions could better reveal social values. A jury-166 style deliberation of which values matter and why would present a better perspective of group and societal values (Sagoff 1998). I intend to share my research findings with fishing communities in the islands and organize workshops, with the support of the Dakshin Foundation, to deliberate upon the veracity and utility of the findings. A large final workshop would be the most appropriate forum to discuss the multicultural values of fisheries in the ANI and determine strategies that could ensure these values are met and fisheries sustainability achieved. To effectively represent the larger set of fisheries stakeholders, such a meeting could involve representatives from each cultural group and node of the value chain, as well as invited civil society groups, policymakers, and the general public. 6.2 Policy recommendations Fisheries in the ANI are ecologically, culturally, and socio-economically important and should be sustainably managed if they are to sustain fishery-based livelihoods for indigenous and settled communities of the archipelago. After tourism, fisheries are the next biggest industry in the islands, employing large proportions of the population and feeding a considerable number of the islands’ inhabitants. The ANI’s fisheries have been shaped by the marine biodiversity of the region, the historically abundant fish stocks, the cultural groups that participate in fishing activities, and commoditized seafood markets (Chapter 2). Fishery managers and policymakers could benefit from considering historical aspects of social and economic drivers of the archipelago’s fisheries. Rather than focusing primarily on economic aspects of fisheries development, policymakers and fisheries managers could also work towards developing socially and ecologically sustainable fishing livelihoods. While seafood trade can drive the economic development of the fisheries sector in the islands, commoditization also can impact the values of local fishing communities. However, communities with longer histories of settlement on the islands and longer experience fishing are less likely to use commoditized names for marine resources (Chapter 3). Fisheries policymakers could use the opinions and values of such stakeholders to help frame policies to sustain local marine resources. The prominent role of middlemen and exporters, key individuals within seafood value chains that connect local fisheries to global markets, also could be utilized by policymakers and managers to effect more sustainable and ethical outcomes (Lam 2016). 167 Keeping abreast of developments in the marketing of seafood can help fisheries managers adapt policies to support and sustainably manage newly developing fisheries, such as the grouper or crab fishery. Information from middlemen and exporters knowledgeable about the varieties and sizes of species commonly caught and sold could help determine effective size and catch limits. Moreover, these key actors could contribute to fisheries monitoring efforts by providing information about important areas where marine species are being landed or locale-specific trends in catches. These actors are quite knowledgeable about the rules and regulations pertaining to protected species (Patankar 2019) and could assist in strengthening enforcement and compliance efforts. Better recognition of the effects of markets, the key actors driving fisheries, and local socio-economic conditions is essential for sustainable management that effectively engages with the local social environment. The value priorities of multicultural fishing communities of the ANI vary (Chapter 4). For fisheries management to be more effective, greater engagement with the needs and values of local communities is thus required. The values of local fishing communities represent desired end states of the fishery, important factors for fisheries resilience (Armitage et al. 2012). Policies that are sensitive to cultural values related to fishing and marine ecosystems, while accounting for the strong driving forces of global seafood markets (Lam and Pitcher 2012a), could more effectively manage fisheries and sustain local communities in the ANI. For example, the clear differences in the value priorities of indigenous and commercial fishers indicate that fisheries policies need to reflect value plurality and ensure that certain values are not impacted through policy decisions. The importance of subsistence fisheries in the livelihoods of communities in not only the Nicobar Islands, but also the Andaman Islands, should be recognized by policymakers, if sustained local food security is a major goal of fisheries management. Fishing communities across the islands considered Group Solidarity, Place Attachment, Leadership, and Marine Biodiversity as more important values than Wealth generation from fisheries (Figure 4.8). Effectively designed policies should recognize these values and not focus only on economic aspects in subsidizing fishing communities. The high variance in the prioritization of Leadership does not necessarily indicate that fishing communities in the islands do not value leaders. Instead, it points to the fact that local communities are dissatisfied with the 168 effectiveness of current leadership. This leaves the space open to competent and responsible fisheries management through strong leadership at multiple levels of governance and amongst different cultural and stakeholder groups. Similarly, effective policies need to be developed that recognize indigenous rights and titles to marine resources. While existing tribal reserves encompassing marine areas are recognized through policies, frequent instances of poaching (local and foreign) continue to occur due to poor enforcement and inadequate demarcation of these boundaries. In the Nicobar Islands, traditional resource management systems need to be recognized (Chandi 2016b; Sekhsaria 2015) by fisheries management agencies, the local administration, and commercial fishing communities. In the past, specific policies were developed and enforced to manage lucrative fisheries for Trochus and sea cucumber, but policies for more recent fisheries, such as elasmobranchs, crustaceans, and groupers, are lacking or are ineffectively framed or enforced. The sequential exploitation of marine species in the ANI for global seafood markets are symptomatic of roving banditry (Berkes et al. 2006) and need stronger, more effective policies to curb this trend. These fisheries have developed without government intervention and have utilized unforeseen routes. Increases in flight connectivity between the islands and mainland India likely spurred the export capacity for chilled seafood commodities like groupers (Jaini et al. 2018). Development of transshipment and free trade ports in parts of the archipelago (Simhan 2019) and the introduction of international flight connections are likely to significantly impact the magnitude of fisheries exports and place considerable pressure on marine resources around the islands. To sustain ANI fisheries, managers could limit additional entry into the fishery, prioritize local employment in fisheries, and engage in better monitoring of catch-per-unit-effort of the local fishing fleet. Policymakers should proceed with caution and take steps to improve fisheries management before increasing fishing effort by upgrading fishing vessels and developing offshore tuna fisheries. Flexibility with management practices and the development of fishery-specific policies, as was the case for Trochus and Sea cucumber fisheries, could greatly assist fisheries management efforts. Fisheries monitoring and management in the islands is plagued with issues of uncertainties in estimates, problematic mandates, staff shortages, etc. The rapid assessment of fisheries 169 sustainability conducted in Chapter 5 indicates that most fisheries in the islands are not sustainable, with the exception of the subsistence fisheries of the Nicobarese. Fisheries in the islands currently target higher-trophic-level fish, which are usually slow-growing and late-maturing, and thus highly vulnerable to fishing pressure. The serial exploitation of fisheries in these islands is a clear sign that these fisheries rapidly experience declines in populations and are often boom-and-bust operations. The narrow continental margin surrounding the islands also means that the majority of small-scale and subsistence fisheries are subject to range collapse. Policies need to be developed that place effective species-specific size limits for vulnerable species with small home ranges, for instance, several reef fish and sharks. Given that 89% of fishers indicated that there were recent declines in catches (FSI 2011) and that marine biodiversity was the fourth-most important value overall (Chapter 4), fisheries management in the islands needs to seriously consider ecological aspects of these fisheries. There remains a large amount of uncertainty associated with the estimates of exploitable fish biomass (ANDFISH 2005; Dam Roy et al. 2009) and a re-assessment of the local ecological conditions and scientific principles for collecting fisheries data are important first steps (DoF 2018). Managers could consider cheaper, yet effective, approaches to assess fish stock status, such as newly developed length-frequency methods (Froese et al. 2018; Mildenberger, Taylor, and Wolff 2017), or involving fishing communities in catch-monitoring efforts. However, given the multi-species nature of fisheries in the islands, fisheries managers would benefit from considering an ecosystem-based fisheries management approach. Transitioning to such an approach will take time and trial-and-error, and fisheries management agencies need to be cognizant of the effectiveness of adaptive co-management and its pitfalls (Walters 2007; Armitage, Berkes, and Doubleday 2007). Adaptive co-management approaches that are based upon the values of local fishing communities, particularly the value for marine biodiversity, can contribute towards a value- and ecosystem-based management approach to fisheries (Lam et al. 2019). To develop fisheries in the islands, the local administration has employed technical fixes and capacity-enhancing subsidies through infrastructural development and schemes to increase the fleet size. But not all technical measures will sustain the archipelago’s fisheries, and thus need 170 careful consideration. For example, new technologies like GPS and echosounders have been purchased recently by fishers and incentivized by government subsidies to increase the catching power of local fleets. However, the uptake of these new technologies is also in response to declining fish stocks on the narrow continental margins surrounding the islands. Technological improvements in on-board fish storage, catch reporting, and fleet monitoring may instead be more beneficial. Additionally, the values of local communities and their relationships with living resources, that this research has highlighted (Chapter 3 and 4), could be sustained through social subsidies (Lam and Pitcher 2012a). Other effective measures to sustain fisheries in the islands could involve reducing or capping fishing effort. It is clear from the value priorities of local communities that fisheries are important for multiple reasons, yet the tradition of fishing is not an important value for most cultural groups (Chapter 4). Fisheries managers can easily monitor demographic changes in the number of fishers applying for licences each year and prioritize the entry and participation of local cultural groups and communities rather than migrant fishers from depleted fisheries in mainland India. Effective monitoring of trends in fishing grounds accessed, catch-per-unit-effort for several fisheries, and gear types will help fishery managers determine overall trends in the fishery in real-time and to determine the appropriate numbers of annual fishing licences to be issued. Fisheries management institutions on the islands received the lowest scores among the six dimensions in our rapid assessment of fisheries sustainability (Chapter 5). This suggests that policymakers need to consider approaches to better involve fishing communities in management decisions and recognize and address the barriers between managers, enforcement agencies, researchers, and the fishing industry (Bavinck and Salagrama 2008). These steps may improve connectivity within governance systems as well as effective enforcement and greater compliance with fisheries regulations. Small-scale fisheries and fishing communities in the ANI will soon have to deal with the effects of climate change. Coral reefs in the archipelago have experienced several bleaching events within the last two decades. Studies indicate that for ANI reefs, transformative policies and 171 actions by fishery managers and local communities can help address other drivers of coral reef decline such as overfishing (Darling et al. 2019). Moreover, long-term investments in alternate livelihoods, better education, and adaptive management could increase the resilience of coral reefs. Marine species, and in turn fisheries, are going to be affected by rising ocean temperatures, especially in the tropics (Cheung et al. 2009). However, the risks and impacts of climate change on fisheries can be substantially lowered through effective fisheries management and policies that actively address overfishing (Cheung et al. 2018). Climate change is also going to lead to rising sea levels and unpredictable weather events (IPCC 2019). The entire archipelago of the ANI will face some form of these effects and needs to start considering adaptation measures. The values of ANI fishing communities, as presented in this dissertation, can be used to develop a transformative narrative that emphasizes the value of marine biodiversity, education, and future livelihoods that are not solely dependent on fishing. These findings have multiple implications for fisheries policies, management, and governance in the ANI. I have presented a few policy recommendations that could help steer these fisheries to ecological and social sustainability and foster their resilience. However, active deliberation among fishing communities, fishery managers, and scientists, in which values are explicitly embedded in policy options, along with considerations of their ecological risks and impacts, could be a meaningful approach to formulate effective policies (Lam et al. 2019). Fisheries and marine ecosystems in the ANI are valued for a variety of reasons and fisheries management and policies would be more effective if they reflected the values of the diverse socio-economic and socio-cultural groups that constitute these fisheries. 6.3 Advice to local communities I address this section directly to the fishing communities and fishing industry of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. I have really enjoyed my interactions with you, all the multiple cultural groups and individuals across the islands. But the status of fisheries sustainability in the islands worries me and other researchers working in the islands. In my conversations with so many of you, I heard of resource declines, rampant overfishing, unfair marketing practices, and increasing hardship for everyone. However, even more worrisome are published narratives and discourses from the ANI administration that state quite the opposite – that fish in the islands are dying of 172 old age, fishery resources are underexploited, trawl fisheries support much of the fisher community in the islands, etc. But what I don’t hear are the voices of you, the small-scale fishers, fishing communities, and indigenous groups, countering these narratives at meetings and in the public discourse and media. Your voices and concerns are the most valuable in ensuring these fisheries are ecologically and socially sustainable. I offer advice to you of what you can do to achieve this, based on my research findings and insights that I have gleaned from my research of your collective values. Group Solidarity or everyone living peacefully together and helping each other out is the most important value across the archipelago. This is not surprising, given how proud you are of your multicultural society and lack of a caste system. Your fishing communities should operationalize this value by standing strong beside each other and resisting efforts to significantly damage fisheries in these islands, even if these negative efforts come from small factions within the fishery. In conversations with many of you across the islands, you mentioned how you often saw trawlers (foreign or Indian) illegally fishing in waters close to the shore and leaving plumes of dead, discarded fish in their wake. You tried reporting these illegal acts to the Coast Guard or the Marine Police, but to no avail. In other instances, you have told me that catches are rapidly declining, fish stocks are not what they used to be, but the babus (government officials) do not give a damn about this and continue to allow more and bigger boats to fish in these waters. My advice to you in this situation is to stand in solidarity with your fellow fishers and make your voices heard. Unless you collectively speak up about the serious ecological problems you face everyday, few people in government will hear you. 173 Leadership is an important value to many of you. The few of you who felt it was not an important value felt so because there were no identifiable leaders within fisheries or because you were disheartened seeing the current ineffectiveness of leaders. Leaders can help you have your concerns voiced effectively to fisheries managers. In other parts of the world, the presence of effective leadership has led to healthy fisheries. However, there is a clear lack of leadership within fisheries in the islands. There are Fishery Cooperative Societies and Fisheries Welfare Associations that negotiate with the Fisheries Department, but these groups do not represent the interests of the wider community and instead represent those of an elite few. Effective leaders within fisheries need to be elected and representative of the larger constituency. Their purpose should not be to secure loans to buy bigger boats and improve marketing facilities. Instead, your leaders should seriously engage with policymakers about the degraded status of local fish populations that you encounter on a daily basis and the difficulties you are starting to face in getting hold of fish to eat. You need to hold your leaders accountable to represent your collective voices to the fisheries managers so that you have sustainable fishing livelihoods. The value of healthy seas, represented by many, varied types of fish, was considered important by many of you. But fish for your family was not very important to most of you. These two values are closely tied, especially for island communities. While marine biodiversity and food 174 security may not be important issues now, under scenarios of climate change and overfishing, these aspects will likely become more important. Fishing communities in the islands should consider using food security issues as an important point when negotiating with policymakers and fisheries managers about management strategies to ensure sustainable fisheries. Through my research, and that of others, we are trying to steer fisheries in the islands towards sustainability. However, the values and voices of fishing communities matter the most in these discussions and you need to ensure that your socio-economic and socio-cultural values are acted upon for sustainable and value-based fisheries management. 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UBC Theses and Dissertations
How commoditization and cross-cultural values influence the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in… Advani, Sahir 2020
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