THE VAN CHAI OF VIETNAM - Managing Nearshore Fisheries & Fishing Communities
International Resources Management Institution. 2009. xii, 97pp. A4 Please be aware that the printed version is sold "loose-leaf". This is done because (1) printing is done on demand, and (2) this gives purchasers the flexibility to bind as they prefer (e.g., library hardbound, spiral/ring, etc.).. New. 55 photographs, 5 figures, 8 tables.
Time-tested, non-Western systems of marine resource and community management are widely used in small-scale, nearshore fisheries throughout the world. In Vietnam, the more than 300-year-old van chai offers an outstanding example of such a system.The van chai is a system of community fisheries management rooted in spiritual beliefs. Its main principles are the veneration of deities and ancestors, combined with the sacred obligations of mutual assistance within the community. At the heart of the system is the veneration of "whales" (a generic term for cetaceans) and community ancestors as deities. Based on that sacred core, the van chai is a comprehensive management institution that addresses several basic and interrelated resource and community issues simultaneously. These are: (1) assuring mutual assistance among fishers; (2) controlling the behavior, rights and obligations of fisheries stakeholders; (3) regulating the disposal of the catch and profit-sharing; and (4) regulating fishing operations by enforcing rules made by the local community regarding the eligibility and seasonality of the main gear types, conciliating fisheries conflicts, and meting out punishment. Only relatively recently has it been acknowledged that such pre-existing rights-based systems can provide potentially important alternative approaches for managing modern fisheries. Indeed, all contributors to this volume stress the future importance of the indigenous van chai in providing a foundation for organizing viable local management of the nearshore fisheries and fishing communities of Vietnam. Such a system, based on Vietnamese cultural roots, would be more politically acceptable and culturally satisfying than one constructed on the abstract and unproven imported concepts currently being promoted.Organized by the editors of this volume, a "Special Session" devoted to studies on the van chai by Vietnamese researchers was included in the "IFFET 2008" conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, held at Nha Trang University, July 22-25, 2008. Preliminary drafts of some of the chapters included in this volume were presented at that event. .$70.00 AUD
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