Indigenous knowledge of marine ecosystems. Consumption, commercialization and management in the Miskito community of Sandy Bay and the Rama community of Punta Aguila, Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua
AuthorHulse, Kirkman Joe Roe
This thesis an effort is made to present the indigenous knowledge of marine ecosystems in the communities of Sandy bay (Miskito) and Punta Aguila (Rama) of Nicaragua. The aim is to identify and show how these fishing communities are using and transmitting their knowledge for resource harvesting and management. As indigenous people are facing changes in their daily life; conflict of resources use, land tenure, variation in the ecosystem and the environment in which they live their knowledge change and the communities to adopt new methods of management. The people Punta Aguila and Sandy Bay harvest lobster, turtle, fish from the sea. They also do agriculture activities for their subsistence. My research problem focuses on their knowledge of the marine ecosystem and whether their knowledge is used for management purpoes. How are these perceptions, ideas and beliefs shared within the communities? The theories of indigenous knowledge is the theoretical framework for this thesis . The methods used to collect primary data during the two months of fieldwork in the two communities, undertaken in July and August, 2004 were; • structured, intensive interviews with fishermen and –women who live from the sea , • conversations on tape recorder, • workshop and groups discussion to identify the different fishing grounds • observation of activities and daily life in the communities . The presentation of the primary data is mostly of qualitative character. The material presented shows that these indigenous communities do have extensive knowledge of the ecosystem. Despite their knowledge, and in spite of the management systems introduced by the government and other institutions, the marine resources are threatened with overfishing. I also found that outside fishing operations were seen as an intrusion and as a threat to the natural resources. While the communities may have knowledge relevant to the management of the natural resources and the balance of the ecosystem, management authorities pay little attention to such knowledge. This knowledge has been a way of interacting with nature and the environment for improving their lives and bringing harmony with their God.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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