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People and Fish in Fiji: an ethnobiological study of a coral reef ecosystem

  • Author / Creator
    Gordon, Andrew Ross
  • People are active participants in coral reef ecosystems. This ethnobiology study considers and contrasts folkbiological knowledge of people living in two groups of artisanal fishing villages in Kadavu Province, Fiji. The high level of biological diversity on the Astrolabe Reef provides insights into folk categorization and classification methods that include colour, shape, size, physical features, and habits of certain reef fish and marine animals. Surveying large numbers of experts and novices on defined groups of creatures yields more depth and range of responses allowing higher confidence levels in response accuracy. A comparison of the data with Berlin’s (1992) proposed principles yields mixed results. Sea cucumbers have high ecological salience and their identification requires attention to the affect of two centuries of trade on Fijian society. Effective ethnobiological research provides productive options to contribute to coral reef sustainability programs with long term benefits for local people and marine life. Key words: Kadavu, naming and classification of fish, coral reef ethnobiology.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3NP92
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Anthropology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Forth, Gregory (Anthropology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Lowrey, Kathleen (Anthropology)
    • Samson, Jane (History and Classics)