Marine Property Rights in Fiji: Implications for the Development of Giant Clam Mariculture

Marine property rights in Fiji are characterised by state (the Crown) ownership of offshore waters (including seabeds) and Fijian tribal ownership of fishing rights on customary fishing grounds. These fishing grounds are extensive, covering adjacent reefs, lagoons, estuarine and mangrove areas and some outer-reef zones (as well as rivers). Rights to fish on these customary grounds are regulated by tribal groups, as represented by a tribal lineage - the yavusa - or a subĀ­division of this lineage- the mataqali. The rights of each tribal group over its recognised fishing area apply to the right to carry out subsistence fishing and the power to regulate commercial exploitation of these waters. On biogeographical and ecological grounds, Fiji has the potential to develop giant clam culture as a major productive activity, both subsistence and commercial. However, as practically the entire reef area considered suitable for clam mariculture falls under customary forms of marine tenure, a major requirement is to gain access to these areas. The most critical step in this process is to obtain the consent of the tribal group in which the fishing rights are vested. Regardless of whether a major giant clam project is initiated by a tribal group or by an outside developer, a key ingredient for success is the active support of villagers. This support is critical - to gain access to the reef area in the first instance, and to ensure local co-operation during subsequent stages of project development and operation. There are any possible avenues for fostering meaningful and close co-operation with villagers, including some form of joint venture or partnership arrangement.

Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
ISSN: 1034-4294 (Other)
Record Identifier:
PURL Identifier:
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
Q57; Q21; Q22
Series Statement:
Research Reports in the Economics of Giant Clam Mariculture

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)