Journal of International Development Studies
Online ISSN : 2434-5296
Print ISSN : 1342-3045
Articles
Financial Sustainability of the Nepal Fishers' Organizations: The Effects of the Social Transition from Fish Catching to Fish Farming
Akiya SEKO
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2001 Volume 10 Issue 2 Pages 141-156

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Abstract

Despite many studies on the sustainability of organizations in community development, little attention has been given to the small scale fishing sector. The organizing of fishers and the sustainability of fishers' organizations has become more important nowadays, not only from the view point of fishers' poverty reduction, but also from the point of view of their being actors for environment conservation.

The purpose of this study is to explain how the financial sustainability of the Fish Farmers Association in Nepal became possible by examining the social transition of the fishers from fish catching activities to fish farming activities.

This analysis focuses on the reasons why the fishers became conscious of the importance of continuous repayment of loans as one of the important factors in maintaining the sustainability of such an economic organization. The main results of my research can be summarized as follows: 1) The transition of the fishers' working style acted as a catalyst to decrease fishers' idiosyncratic tendencies toward, for example, individualism and independence, which could be one of the main obstacles to the financial stability of their organization. 2) Both the regularity of working time caused by the introduction of fish farming and the participation of women in the joint-forwarding system of fish products, give many more opportunities for communication among fishers' societies. 3) These circumstances, formed “unintentionally”, support the “intentional” actions implemented by the government and/or NGOs to maintain financial sustainability of the organization.

These findings appear to suggest that the level of individualism and independence of fishers is largely influenced by their working circumstances and the fishing methods. The importance of an increase of communication among the members of a society, a topic discussed by other scholars, is also explained in this paper. I suggest that consideration of these two aspects is also important for the effective organizing of fishers and for sustaining and improving of existing fishers' groups in other countries. The present considerations are not sufficient for molding a universal model of the relationship between social transition and a sustainable organization; I would like to leave this issue for future research.

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© 2001 The Japan Society for International Development
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