the stake net fishery society sfs of negombo lagoon sri lanka l.
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The Stake-Net Fishery Society (SFS) of Negombo Lagoon Sri Lanka

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The Stake-Net Fishery Society (SFS) of Negombo Lagoon Sri Lanka

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  1. The Stake-Net Fishery Society (SFS) of Negombo Lagoon Sri Lanka Asha Gunawardena Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka

  2. Negombo Lagoon (3164 ha) Situated along the Western Coast of Sri Lanka About 30km north of the Colombo capital city. Northern part of the lagoon –several channels

  3. The Stake- Net Fishery • A traditional gear– small scale fishers to catch shrimp • Operated in channels (3.5m depth) which connect lagoon to sea • Larger Nets are tied across channels at particular locations (stations/sites) • Fixed at the on set of evening ebb-tide and removed after 4-6 hrs.

  4. History of SFS • Membership based organization has been in existence over 250 years • This has been evolved through conflicts & compromise • Government intervention has been limited to Legalization of fisheries management • In 1956– Gazette notification --legal power to operate in particular stations by particular groups • 1996 Fisheries Act -Negombo Lagoon Management Authority (NLMA) - Formal licensing system

  5. Current Information of SFS • There are 4 fishery groups Grand Street Sea Street Duwa- Pitipana Pitipana • 300 members • One member has access to fishing 6-7 days/month • 22 fishing stations -- 55 -60 nets can be fixed • Peak yields -- on set of rains – April/May & October/November • Daily income/member varies Rs. 300 -60,000

  6. Why SNS is served as a successful example for CPM? 1 Limiting open access • Only male household owns a Pela- A share of fishery. • Pela is a written legal document– fishing rights. • Access to Pela is primarily by inheritance –passed down to the youngest son • New membership is limited to 2 persons year • New members selection is based on conditions -only married males who are descendants of SNF - should posses fishing tools(Nets, canoe) - unemployed

  7. Why SNS is served as a successful example for CPM? 2 Equity Consideration • Complex Rotational System to access to the different fishery stations –determined in the annual general meeting • Daily rotational system when the fish yields are not high • Members of a particular group meet once in 3 days at 9.30 am to agree on rotation of sites

  8. Why SNS is served as a successful example for CPM? 3 Collective social responsibility • Society collects money from membership fee from bidding 1-3 fishing sites • Society spends on Death donation Rs.10,000/= per person To the Church – 4% of society’s income Considering payment for disable/very old fishers

  9. Why SNS is served as a successful example for CPM? 4 Mechanisms for rule making and conflict resolution Some rules • Each member should possess fishing tools on his own (cannot borrow from anybody) • Maximum length of the net –1.5 m • Stake-Net member must physically present at the place during the operation of a net • Specified mesh size of the net

  10. Why SNS is served as a successful example for CPM? Fines for non-compliance • Breaking certain rules -fixed fine system • Some cases – withdrawal of fishing rights for certain period • Both fixed penalties and penalties decided on case by case available • Case by case– general meeting of members

  11. Why SNS is served as a successful example for CPM? Conflict resolution • Discussions at the general meeting of the members • Involvement of Catholic church Rule making • Collective decision making by members • Government help in legalizing the rules

  12. Why SNS is served as a successful example for CPM? 5 Sustainable use of fishery resource • Fishing operations are taken place in Channels • Catch juvenile fish (shrimp) migrating back to the sea • Generally these shrimps are larger in size than those captured by other fishing gears • Mesh size of the net is more than one inch– catch only large ones

  13. Why SNS is served as a successful example for CPM? 6 Socio-cultural homogeneity • All the members are Roman Catholic • Belonged to same caste • Most of the members are relations • Makes easy to resolve conflicts • Church plays a significant role in conflict resolving

  14. Why SNS is served as a successful example for CPM? 7 Ensuring the net benefits are outweigh the costs • Benefits – income from fishing reduced conflicts social support network • Costs – membership fee fishing tools (Nets, pillars, canoe) opportunity cost of time for management

  15. Current challenges • Declining of number of fishing stations due to sedimentation & land use changes • Declining fish yield due to illegal fishing • Degradation of lagoon Environment due to • inadequately planned settlements • expansion of prawn farms • growth activities of the Negombo town • industrial and municipal pollution • Intensification of fishing • Deforestation and general habitat destruction

  16. Response to the challenges • Formal approach Negombo Lagoon Management Authority • Gazetted under 1996 Fisheries Act • Comprise representatives of 10 fishery committees (only fishermen) • Limited success due to lack of legal powers, financial resources and highly politicized system prevail in the area • Informal approaches • Fighting with prawn farm owners • Destruction of prawn farms

  17. Conclusion • The Stake-Net Fishery shows the sustainable utilization of common property resources through collective action. • However, future long term existence of SNS depends on the sustainable lagoon management .

  18. Meeting Starts with Praying

  19. Discussing some issues

  20. Implement lottery system to access fishing stations

  21. Auctioning/bidding for additional fishing sites