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Prehistoric Marine Resource Use in the Indo-Pacific Regions

Prehistoric Marine Resource Use in the Indo-Pacific Regions

Rintaro Ono
Alex Morrison
David Addison
Series: Terra Australis
Volume: 39
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Prehistoric Marine Resource Use in the Indo-Pacific Regions
    Book Description:

    Although historic sources provide information on recent centuries, archaeology can contribute longer term understandings of pre-industrial marine exploitation in the Indo-Pacific region, providing valuable baseline data for evaluating contemporary ecological trends. This volume contains eleven papers which constitute a diverse but coherent collection on past and present marine resource use in the Indo-Pacific region, within a human-ecological perspective. The geographical focus extends from Eastern Asia, mainly Japan and Insular Southeast Asia (especially the Philippines) to the tropical Pacific (Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia) and outlying sites in coastal Tanzania (Indian Ocean) and coastal California (North Pacific). The volume is divided thematically and temporally into four parts: Part 1, Prehistoric and historic marine resource use in the Indo-Pacific Region; Part 2, Specific marine resource use in the Pacific and Asia; Part 3, Marine use and material culture in the Western Pacific; and Part 4, Modern marine use and resource management.

    eISBN: 978-1-925021-26-4
    Subjects: Archaeology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    Rintaro Ono, Alex Morrison and David Addison
  4. Part 1: Prehistoric and Historic Marine Resource Use in the Indo-Pacific Region

    • 1 New Flesh for Old Bones: Using Modern Reef Fish to Understand Midden Remains from Guam, Mariana Islands
      (pp. 1-32)
      Richard K. Olmo

      In the mid-1990s, I tried to build a strong prehistoric cultural context for the findings from an extensive archaeological survey and testing project sited at the northern end of Guam (Olmo 1996). While I had limited success with this, one area that caused me great consternation was my inadequate treatment of the midden remains, and in particular the fish remains. It is from my discontent with my discussion from that time that I have embarked in the direction outlined below.

      I suspect that I am not alone in being frustrated by an inadequate discussion of fish remains after reading what...

    • 2 Pelagic Fishing in the Mariana Archipelago: From the Prehistoric Period to the Present
      (pp. 33-58)
      Judith R. Amesbury

      The Mariana Islands lie between 13° and 21° north latitude at about 145° east longitude (Figure 1). The geological division of the Mariana Archipelago is not the same as the political division. Politically there are two entities: Guam, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), which comprises the fourteen islands north of Guam. Geologically there are two island arcs. The southern arc includes the six islands from Guam to Farallon de Medinilla, while the northern arc includes the nine islands from Anatahan to Uracas.

      The southern arc islands, which...

    • 3 Historical Ecology and 600 Years of Fish Use on Atafu Atoll, Tokelau
      (pp. 59-84)
      Rintaro Ono and David J. Addison

      A NZ dependency, Tokelau is a group of three atolls as including Fakaofo, Nukunonu and Atafu, which located around 500-600km north of Samoa at a latitude of S8-10° and longitude of W171-173° (Figure 1). Marine exploitation, especially fishing, is the most important subsistence activity in Tokelau and has multifarious cultural implications (e.g., Hooper 1985, 1991, 2008, 2010; Huntsman and Hooper 1996; Mafutaga a Toeaina o Atafu i Matauala Porirua 2008; Matagi Tokelau 1991; Ono and Addison 2009). For instance, the Mafutaga a Toeaina o Atafu i Matauala Porirua (2008) report Atafu’s rich traditions of fishing lore and a total of...

    • 4 Red Abalone, Sea Otters, and Kelp Forest Ecosystems on Historic Period San Miguel Island, California
      (pp. 85-96)
      Todd J. Braje, Jon M. Erlandson and Torben C. Rick

      With prominent marine scientists calling for deeper historical perspectives to overcome the “shifting baselines” syndrome and help restore fisheries and ecosystems degraded by human overexploitation (e.g., Dayton et al. 1998; Jackson et al. 2001; Lotze et al. 2006; Pauly et al. 1998; Worm et al. 2006), archaeological data play an increasingly significant role in documenting the structure of past fisheries and foodwebs (see Rick and Erlandson 2008). Recent archaeological and historical ecological research on California’s Northern Channel Islands (Figure 1) has focused on building trans-Holocene sequences of human-environmental dynamics to better understand the long histories of local marine ecosystems and...

    • 5 Exploring the Social Context of Maritime Exploitation in Tanzania between the 14th-18th c. AD: Recent Research from the Mafia Archipelago
      (pp. 97-122)
      Annalisa C. Christie

      This paper presents some of the results of recent research in the Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania. The archipelago is situated approximately 21 kilometres off the coast of mainland Tanzania, opposite the Rufiji Delta. It comprises four main islands – Mafia, Chole, Juani and Jibondo – as well as several smaller islands and uninhabited coral atolls formed by the emergences of the fringing reef, which extends along the East African coast (Baumann 1895:5) (Figure 1).

      Part of the archipelago was designated as a marine park in 1995 (Walley 2004:3). This has resulted in a number of studies that have examined the nature of the...

  5. Part 2: Specific Marine Resource Use in the Pacific and Asia

    • 6 Beyond Subsistence: Cultural Usages and Significance of Baler Shells in Philippine Prehistory
      (pp. 123-140)
      Timothy Vitales

      For apparent reasons, Molluscan remains constitute a very large portion of materials recovered from archaeological sites in the Indo-Pacific. The tropical Indo-Pacific biogeographic region has the largest diversity of marine molluscs in the world (Vermeij 1993); however, despite the variety of molluscan species, only certain taxa were significantly collected for food consumption and for shellworking and utilisation. Some of the taxa collected for the manufacture of artefacts include species in the Tridacnidae (giant clams), Trochidae (top shells), Turbinidae (turban shells), Conidae (cone shells), Pteriidae (Pinctadaspp. pearl oysters), and Volutidae (volute and baler shells) families (Szabó 2005, 2008).

      Baler shells...

    • 7 The History and Culture of Dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) Exploitation in Japan, East Asia, and the Pacific
      (pp. 141-152)
      Hashimura Osamu

      What is the history behind human exploitation of dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), and why were they so sought after by groups in the Pacific over such long periods of time (Figure 1)? The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between humans and dolphinfish, a highly migratory species that requires trolling technologies in order to catch.

      The Japanese Archipelago is situated along the northwestern Pacific Rim, at the juncture where numerous species of migratory fish pass through nearby waters. In total, there are 350 species of endemic fish and two types of migratory fish. These include: 1) fish found...

  6. Part 3: Marine Use and Material Culture in the Western Pacific

    • 8 Oceanic Encounter with the Japanese: An Outrigger Canoe-Fishing Gear Complex in the Bonin Islands and Hachijo-Jima Island
      (pp. 153-166)
      Akira Goto

      The sea that lies to the east of the Philippines and west of the Marianas is called the Philippine Sea (Figure 1). It is surrounded by the islands of the Japanese Archipelago and the Ryukyu Islands to the north. To the west, there are a series of islands comprising Taiwan, the Philippines, and Maluku of Indonesia. The southern edge includes New Guinea and the Melanesian islands. North of Melanesia, there lies a series of Micronesian islands – Palau, Yap, and the Marianas, the latter of which are connected to the Bonin Islands and the Izu Seven Islands in the Japanese archipelago....

    • 9 The Technique and Ecology Surrounding Moray Fishing: A Case Study of Moray Trap Fishing on Mactan Island, Philippines
      (pp. 167-182)
      Takashi Tsuji

      The Republic of the Philippines is made up of over 7,100 islands and archipelagos of all sizes. The Visayas region of islands is centrally located south of Luzon and north of Mindanao, and is surrounded on the east and west by the Panay and Negros islands, and the Samar and Leyte islands, respectively. The residents of the Visayas region fish masterfully, applying fishing methods and tools that are suitable to this inland sea ecology (Balogo 1996; Calderon-Hayhow et al. 1994; Green et al. 2004; Rau 1979; Schoppe et al. 1998; Tawa 1981, 2006; Tsuji 2007a; Yano 1994; Yano and Kobayashi...

  7. Part 4: Modern Marine Use and Resource Management

    • 10 Marine Resource Use in Transition: Modern Fishing in Tonga, Western Polynesia
      (pp. 183-192)
      Kazuhiro Suda

      Marine resources were very important as a protein source for the initial settlers of the islands of Oceania, where terrestrial animals were extremely scarce. The traditional subsistence of the area consisted of the horticulture of aroid tubers and bananas, arboriculture of breadfruit and coconut trees, and the intensive utilisation of marine resources. Islanders throughout Oceania were prominent horticulturists and fishermen. Anthropological and archaeological studies of fishing in Oceania have mainly focused on the classification and distribution of traditional fishing equipment, as well as the reconstruction of traditional fishing methods and resource use (Bellwood 1978; Lieber 1994; Oliver 1989; Reinman 1967)....

    • 11 Territoriality in a Philippine Fishing Village: Implications for Coastal Resource Management
      (pp. 193-204)
      Shio Segi

      The study of local territorial arrangements has been an important approach to common property resource management including that of fisheries and coastal marine resources among scholars and practitioners over the last few decades (Pollnac and Johnson 2005: 34). These scholars have been critical of the fact that modern ‘top-down’ style management based on economic models can be inappropriate in many parts of the world (Ostrom 1990). That common property resources in the sea be under an open-access regime is an assumption on which these centralised systems are often based and they can be both enormously costly as well as ineffective,...