Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Factors influencing the sustainability of customary dugong hunting by a remote indigenous community

  • DONNA KWAN (a1) (a2), HELENE MARSH (a1) (a2) and STEVEN DELEAN (a3)
Abstract

The sustainability of indigenous customary hunting and fishing in remote areas can be influenced by human factors operating at global as well as regional and local scales because of the hybrid nature and sectoral interactions of the local economic environment. The internationally significant population of dugongs (Dugong dugon or seacow) in Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea supports an important indigenous fishery. The economic, socio-cultural and environmental factors that influenced hunting activity in 1998 and 1999 by the members of the community of Mabuiag Island were investigated to inform the sustainable management of the fishery. The landed catch during the eight months March to October of 145 dugongs in 1998 and 170 dugongs in 1999 potentially provided the community with an average of 290 g of dugong meat per person per day. Fifty-seven per cent of adult males on the island participated in dugong hunting, but more than half the catch in each year was caught by only two hunters. The probability of at least one person from the community going dugong hunting in 1998 and 1999 was 0.59 ± 0.02 per day. This probability was influenced by local environmental factors, including the abundance of dugongs in the traditional hunting grounds (affected by wind speed, year, season and lunar day) and the size of the commercial crayfish catch (which is influenced by the global market price, as well as local conditions). Although dugong hunting remains a very important part of the islanders’ contemporary culture and customary economy, the capacity to hunt dugongs is facilitated by the ease with which some hunters move between the state, commercial and customary sectors of their local economy. The complexities of the economic, social and cultural environments need to be considered in planning for the sustainable harvesting of threatened species by remote indigenous communities.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Dr Helene Marsh Tel: +61 7 4781 5575 Fax: +61 7 4781 6126 e-mail: helene.marsh@jcu.edu.au
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 32 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 165 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 30th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.