Recent critiques of decentralized approaches to fisheries management have focused on problems related to poor governance. This paper aims to extend such critiques by considering in greater depth local perceptions of governance in the Philippines. Specifically, it deals with a set of regulations addressing the live reef fish trade in the Calamianes Islands. The paper shows how the entire process of implementing a closed season, the fishers' critique, and the subsequent overturning of these regulations exposes the way personalized politics is understood and practiced within Philippine society. Firstly, a background about the live reef fish trade is provided, and how the regulations were proposed and developed is described. The majority of the paper then analyses local opposition to the regulations in terms of local understandings of politics. The paper argues that when negative sentiments towards governance and governments are widespread among local residents, this may hinder successful co-management.
|Publication status||Published - 2009|