Beyond rights : developing a conceptual framework for understanding access to coastal resources at Ebenhaeser and Covie, Western Cape, South Africa.

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Within the context of small-scale fisheries, increased claims and demands made for access, as well as fisheries governance processes, this thesis examines local resources users’ access to fisheries resources. The study identifies and analyses various mechanisms harnessed to maintain access to fisheries resources, as well as the various strategies put forward to make claims for access. In the property literature, where access has predominantly featured, the main focus has been on the role of rights and economic benefits, with limited attention paid to the wider social dynamics and governance processes associated with access to fisheries resources. This study draws on an alternative view of access– specifically, that popularised by Ribot and Peluso (2003) in their access theory. Here, it is emphasised that studying access becomes a wider investigation into the many social means, processes and relations, or ‘mechanisms’, by which actors are able to benefit from access to natural resources.

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