Perceptions of socio-cultural beliefs and taboos among the Ghanaian fishers and fisheries authorities. A case study of the Jamestown fishing community in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana
Small scale Artisanal fishing accounts for majority of fish catches in Ghana and it is increasingly substantial to the traditional fishing communities of the country. The existence of fishing dependent communities in Ghana has predominantly been intertwined with the existence of socio-cultural beliefs and taboos. As an attempt to contribute to exploring how these socio-cultural beliefs and taboos pervade fisheries communities in modern Ghana, this research aims to map socio-cultural beliefs and taboos practiced in Jamestown, one of the most fishing intensive communities in Ghana, highlighting perceptions of both fishers and authorities about the influence of these practices on fishing activities. In this regard, data for the study was collected using semi-structured interviews with 16 fishers of various religions, the Chief fisherman and the Head of the Fisheries Directorate in the Jamestown community, in addition to observation. Data for the study provides detailed background of the general characteristics of the fisher groups involving gender, age, occupation, marital status, educational background and religious denominations. Findings indicate that fishers of various religious groups practice several beliefs and taboos. The most prevalent socio-cultural taboo that is practiced and enforced in the Jamestown fishing community is the ‘no-fishing on Tuesdays’. As a result of this enforcement, the practice of this taboo breeds misunderstandings among fishers of various religions. Further findings affirm that the Chief fisherman and the fishers of Jamestown are of the view that the beliefs and taboos positively influence their fishing activities by providing them with high catches and protection from gods. Contrasting with the accounts of the fishers and the Chief fisherman that the traditional beliefs and taboos are still highly practice in the community, the representative of state authorities is of the opinion that these practices are fading away. However, the perception of this representative is that connecting these practices with fisheries state laws would improve fishers’ compliance with these state laws. Keywords: Beliefs, Taboos, Socio-cultural practices, Traditional religion, Non-fishing days.
ForlagUiT The Arctic University of Norway
UiT Norges arktiske universitet
MetadataVis full innførsel
Følgende lisensfil er knyttet til denne innførselen: