Sustainable rural development in the time of globalisation: Implications of the fishery export trade policy on the livelihoods of fishing communities in Samoa

Salele, Wood U.
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University of Guelph

This study unveils a conceptual framework that constitutes a pathway to sustainable livelihood for fishing communities in Samoa. Implications of global trade via export trade policy affect sustainable livelihood in fishing communities and the fishing industry. Identifying these problems stimulates new policy initiatives that should facilitate the re-examination of fishery policy. Some livelihood activities were selected and operationalised as variables to induce critical considerations of the relevance of their underlying values in fostering sustainable livelihood outcomes. These variables include household income, children's welfare, children's schooling, medical facilities, family nutrition, quality of life, tradition and culture, fishing communities better off economically; culturally or both; and Samoa better off economically; culturally or both. The collection of primary and secondary data was done in Samoa for a period of two months. The survey began on the second week of the month of April and ended on the fourth week of May 2002. The survey sampled randomly 26 boats crewed by 86 commercial fishers and boat operators. This sample represented a twenty-four percent (24%) of the total population (111) registered as commercial fishing licenses/boats during the survey period. All the questionnaires were answered, resulting in a 100 per cent response rate. The time series data were obtained from the Central Bank of Samoa, Development of Samoa, Department of Statistics, Treasury, Fisheries Division and IMF. Major findings are that globalisation in the form of export trade policy does affect the livelihoods of fishing communities in Samoa. The adoption of modern fishing technologies has led to fishing communities in Samoa being better off economically and culturally. Most fishers identified themselves as modernists based on the magnitude of modern technologies adopted. Development of the fishing export industry does provide sound sustainable livelihood outcomes for rural fishing communities. The cluster and factor analyses supported the claim that higher homogeneity in attributes between respondents/fishers occur frequently among closely related variables. The exchange rate in Samoa over the period 1990 to 2002 and export price of fish positively affect the quantity of fish exports. The domestic price of tinned fish has a significantly negative effect on the quantity of fish exports. The value of fishing boat loans and amount of remittances do have a significant positive effect on the supply of fish export. There was not a declining rate of increase in fish exports over the period 1990 to 2002. Conclusions and policy implications suggest new initiatives to improve the livelihoods of fishing communities and enhance the performance of fishery exports.

sustainable rural development, globalisation, fishery, export trade policy, fishing communities, Samoa