Exploring marine tourism as a supplemental livelihood to artisanal fisheries in small island developing states
Rural fishing communities in the developing world are highly dependent on marine resources. Fisheries development projects that seek to modernize less developed economies through industrialization may result in failure, even creating an increased dependence on government subsidies (Nancy & Rosemary, 2004). The integration of an industry such marine tourism is suggested as an alternative to fisheries expansion projects. An alternate use of marine resources has the potential to benefit both the resource and the fishing community. The proposed model will afford the community greater control of an integration process and the resulting economy.
To explore the potential role of marine tourism in fishing cooperatives and communities and develop an integration model, a case study (Beeton, 2005) within an artisanal fishing cooperative will be undertaken. A mixed-methods approach will be used to better understand the social perspectives of a fishing community on marine tourism. The project will utilise components of participatory action research (PAR) with an integrated phenomenological inquiry as the primary research methods. The efficacy of the model will be tested as part of doctoral research on the integration of marine tourism within a depressed fishing community. The overall goal of this study is to examine marine tourism as a potential alternative activity to commercial fisheries in less developed small island nations.
Brooke Porter joined NZTRI in February 2011 as a PhD student. Brooke completed a Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology at Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida and relocated in 2001 to work with a leading marine ecotourism NGO in Maui, Hawaii. Becoming involved in the post-tertiary training of naturalists, Brooke returned to university to gain formal training in applied educational theory. She holds a Masters in Education from Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii. Having worked in various sectors of the marine tourism industry and using education to ensure sustainability, she has come to realize the unique applicability of marine tourism as an environmental intervention. Her PhD explores the integration of marine tourism into the fishing communities in less developed island nations. The impetus for this research began while on assignment in Eritrea, Africa coordinating an internationally funded Fisheries Development Project. The research seeks to provide developing countries
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