Between the sea and the land: small-scale fishers and multiple vulnerabilities in Sri Lanka
Fazeeha Azmi Ibrahim
Department of Geography,
Faculty of Arts,
University of Peradeniya,, LK
I am Geographer, attached to the Department of Geography, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. My fields of interest are: Gender studies, Development Studies, Youth Studies, Post war development, migration, coastal and marine economies.
The small-scale fisheries sector plays a crucial role in the livelihoods, food security and nutritional needs of a large population in Sri Lanka. In the overall fisheries sector, the contribution of coastal fisheries, which is primarily generated by small-scale fishers (SSFs), has been continuously high. However, in recent years, it has started to decline. Changes occurring at local, national and global scales in the economic, political and policy spheres have impacted Sri Lankan SSFs differently, increasing their vulnerabilities. Drawing on a comprehensive review of the literature, this study examines the multiple vulnerabilities faced by SSFs in Sri Lanka, relating to four major themes: (1) Palk Bay geopolitics; (2) the war; (3) the tsunami and post-tsunami recovery; (4) post-war development and policy priorities. This paper builds a case for understanding these vulnerabilities and the way in which they continue, reemerge and threaten SSFs and their future livelihoods. It argues that, in the wake of new threats and opportunities created by post-war development, policy changes and geopolitical constraints, greater attention must be paid to SSFs. The paper concludes by summarising the discussion and recommending that SSFs should be meaningfully incorporated into the postwar development agenda and “blue economy” policy reforms.
How to Cite:
Ibrahim, F.A., 2020. Between the sea and the land: small-scale fishers and multiple vulnerabilities in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 43(1), pp.05–20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljss.v43i1.7641
30 Jun 2020.