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Fishers and Scientists in Modern Turkey

Fishers and Scientists in Modern Turkey: The Management of Natural Resources, Knowledge and Identity on the Eastern Black Sea Coast

Ståle Knudsen
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    Fishers and Scientists in Modern Turkey
    Book Description:

    Through the ethnography and history of fish production, seafood consumption, state modernizing policies and marine science, this book analyzes the role of local knowledge in the management of marine resources on the Eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey. Fishing, science and other ways of knowing and relating to fish and the sea are analyzed as particular ways of life conditioned by history, ideology and daily practice. The approach adopted here allows for a broader analysis of the role knowledge plays in the management of common pool resources (CPR) than is provided in much of the contemporary CPR debate that tends to have a somewhat narrow focus on institutions and rules. By contrast, the author argues that also local knowledge and the larger historical and ideological context of production, as manifest in state modernization policies and consumption patterns, should be taken into account when trying to explain the current management regime in Turkish Black Sea fisheries.

    eISBN: 978-1-84545-880-5
    Subjects: Anthropology, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-vii)
  5. Preface and Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-x)
  6. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. Chapter 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)

    This book tells the story of fish and fishing in Turkey. Through the ethnography and history of fish production, seafood consumption, state modernizing policies and marine scienceFishers and Scientists in Modern Turkeynarrates and analyses the role of knowledges in the management of marine resources on the eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey. Why does there seem to be such a long distance between fishers’ and scientists’ knowledge, and what are the implications for management of the marine resources? What are the characteristics of the knowledges? Whose knowledge counts and why? Which theoretical tools are best fitted to analyse...

  8. Chapter 2 Seafood Consumption and Turkish Identities
    (pp. 19-41)

    The small town of Çarsıbası near Trabzon in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey is one of the area’s major fishing centres. The sizeable harbour is filled with boats large and small, there are fishmeal and sea-snail processing plants, and fishing constitutes the primary livelihood for a significant portion of the population. Local people love to eat fish. Yet, surprisingly, in the 1990s it was impossible to buy a plate of seafood in the fifteen eating establishments in this town of ten thousand inhabitants. Nor was there a seafood restaurant in Çarşıbaş1. On the other hand, almost half of...

  9. Chapter 3 Fisheries and the State
    (pp. 42-75)

    Through a historical overview ranging from the Ottoman era until present, this chapter details the changing approach of the state to the fisheries. What interests did the Ottoman and Republican state have in the fisheries? To what degree and in what manner has the state influenced fishing practices? What has the role of science been? At a general level there has been a shift in emphasis in state policy from taxation to economic development, and, recently, to natural resource management. In parts of the Ottoman Empire, and especially in Istanbul, fishing was a very important industry. The Ottoman state heavily...

  10. Chapter 4 Fisher’s Knowledges
    (pp. 76-97)

    26 April 1998. Around 5 A.M. dark shadows appear out from the groves, paths and houses along the busy main road that passes through the village of Keremköy. The day is just about to dawn. Young men, and a few middle-aged ones, still dizzy with sleep, converge on the open space between the main road and the local kahve. Not many words are exchanged; there are only a few comments about who’s coming and who’s not. When we have waited for five or ten minutes we look down the road and see the red minibus starting up. Yavuz, the local...

  11. Chapter 5 Informal Regulations in Small-boat Fishing
    (pp. 98-123)

    Fisheries along all of Turkey’s coasts have developed considerably in both scale and technology since the 1950s. Parallel with the developments in the purse-seine and trawl fisheries, there has been a tremendous growth in the small-boat fishing sector. These fisheries have displayed significant technological development and a large expansion in the number of boats during the last decades. Small-boat fishing has proved to be a viable option for sustained livelihood for families with few other resources (such as land, capital, or education).

    Management in small-scale fishing is often seen to be based upon traditional knowledge and rules (see, e.g., F.Berkes...

  12. Chapter 6 Fishing Careers, Family and Friendships
    (pp. 124-143)

    This chapter tells the story of fishery development in the district of Çarşıýbaşı since approximately 1950. The focus here is particularly on big boat purse seine fishing. By way of narrating individual fisher careers I discuss the role state initiatives in fisheries, improved infrastructure, general economic development, and seafood consumption have had for the developments in the fisheries. I explore how the economic, technological and social changes in the fisheries have affected the kinds of knowledges fishers employ. Of particular importance for fishers’ knowledge are the extended social scale of the fisheries and the increased importance of politics. In the...

  13. Chapter 7 State Representatives: Elite Lifestyles and Knowledges
    (pp. 144-169)

    While in Chapter 3 I outlined general changes in state policies towards the fisheries, Chapter 6 detailed to some extent the effect of policy initiatives in the district of Çarşıbaşı. In this chapter I look closer at another result of state fishery policy initiatives: the emergence of a class of water-produce scientists and bureaucrats in Trabzon. The chapter starts with charting what kind of social world the water-produce state representatives in Trabzon live in. Marine science and state water-produce bureaucracy demonstrate considerable overlap with regard to careers and social life. I specifically chart the background, careers and practices of marine...

  14. Chapter 8 The Controversy over the Sonar: Does it Harm Fish?
    (pp. 170-192)

    The lives and knowledges of fisher and scientist meet in the case of the conflict over the use of the fish finder device sonar. Sonar use has remained a controversial issue among fishers since its introduction in the Turkish fisheries in 1980. Most fishers claim that sonars scare away or kill fish while local marine scientists and some fishers contend that sonars have no such effect. In this chapter I discuss ways in which fishers and scientists know the sonar. What is their involvement with the sonar and with one another in the context of sonar use? I discuss these...

  15. Chapter 9 Water Produce Cooperatives and the Cultivation of Ignorance
    (pp. 193-214)

    While the idealistic fishery policy in Turkey tended to emphasize the importance of western technology to increase production, state elites also envisioned fishery organization to be modelled on a western template. Hence, the state took a range of initiatives to organize fishers into cooperatives. This chapter surveys these initiatives and shows that the idealism inherent in the state development effort meant that the focus was on what was to be achieved, while traditional and contemporary social structures in the fishing communities were ignored. In explaining the failure of the water produce cooperatives, state representatives have ignored structural explanations and instead...

  16. Chapter 10 Articulation of Knowledges through Moralities and Politics
    (pp. 215-239)

    The termcahilhas its origin in the Islamic cultural universe. The search for and reproduction ofilm(learned and rational knowledge) has been a critical focus in Islam since it keeps alive the knowledge of how to avoid thecahiliyet. This religious meaning of cahil was still the primary frame of reference when Stirling (1965) did his fieldwork in an Anatolian village in the 1950s, but the concept has gradually moved from an Islamic context into a more ‘neutral’ one. While bureaucrats and scientists in reports and other kinds of texts may prefer to use the termeğitimsiz(uneducated),...

  17. Notes
    (pp. 240-246)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 247-266)
  19. Glossary of Turkish Words Frequently Used
    (pp. 267-270)
  20. Index
    (pp. 271-290)