Environmental perceptions of fishery resource users at Struis Bay, South Africa

Lindsay, Lois
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University of Guelph

This thesis describes an investigation into the environmental perceptions of commercial and recreational fishers in the fishing and resort town of Struis Bay, South Africa. Findings are based primarily on a series of in-depth interviews with fishers in the community. Analysis of interview transcripts was undertaken using an inductive process of coding and classification, which was facilitated by the use of NUD*IST software, yielding four conceptual levels of codes for each data set. These included descriptive, pattern, and thematic codes, and 'bedrock' or foundational principles. It was found that commercial fishers' understanding of the world was strongly informed by the constructs of 'History and Dispossession', 'Identity', and 'The Sea and the Fishery', while commercial fishers' environmental perceptions were found to contain the constructs of 'Laws of Nature' and 'Group Identity'. For all respondents, perceptions of the resource seemed to be underpinned by the principles of 'Justice', 'Territory', and 'Rights'.

environmental perceptions, commercial fishers, recreational fishers, Struis Bay, South Africa