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From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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Class differentiation in fishing communities: implications for food security and financial benefits from fish trade


Thursday, April 21st 2016 - 16:00 to 17:00 hrs.

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) - Room 106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
Michael Fabinyi
Michael Fabinyi

Abstract: This talk will present research that examines how coastal households in the Asia-Pacific are able to access the benefits of seafood commodity chains. Drawing from recent fieldwork in the Philippines, the focus is on how class differentiation based on the possession of fishing assets is a key factor in determining both food security and financial benefits deriving from these commodity chains. The talk will firstly show how for households in coastal Palawan province, food security is less about ensuring the availability of fish to eat, and more about the capacity to buy staple foods using cash income derived from selling fish. The level of cash income for a household depends heavily on their class position within the community, which is in turn heavily dependent on the possession of fishing assets. The second part of the talk will focus on how from the perspective of fishing households, class differentiation based on the possession of fishing assets is a key factor in determining access to the financial benefits of commodity chains. The talk concludes with some policy implications of the research.

Bio: Dr. Michael Fabinyi is a Senior Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University. His academic background is in social anthropology, and he uses theories and methods from the social sciences to understand the social, political and cultural aspects of marine resource use and governance. He specialises in the political economy of fisheries in developing countries, and the implications of Chinese seafood consumption for fisheries and food security. He has worked in the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. He has held visiting appointments at Peking University, and most recently at WorldFish, Malaysia.


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