Through Boom and Bust: Coping with Poverty in Sea Snail Fisheries on the Turkish Black Sea Coast

Knudsen S., Kocak H.

POVERTY MOSAICS: REALITIES AND PROSPECTS IN SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES, ss.221-249, 2011 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier

  • Cilt numarası:
  • Basım Tarihi: 2011
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1007/978-94-007-1582-0_11
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.221-249


Small-scale fisheries for the introduced sea snail (Rapana venom) have seen booms followed by irreversible bust. This chapter focuses on the role of this fishery relative to poverty dynamics on the Turkish Black Sea coast, and explores how fishers cope with boom and bust, respectively. We consider poverty as a multifaceted issue and analyze in some detail fishers' income, social security, health, education, housing, as well as people's own, culturally-informed perception of what constitutes poverty. Yet, our analysis aims beyond a descriptive account of poverty among fishers, and queries the epistemological status of the vicious circle model. Thus, we discuss how sea snail fishing has also constituted a way out of poverty; that it is uncertain whether overfishing can be blamed for the bust; that contextual factors, such as state welfare and agricultural policies, international organizations, and world economic dynamics, can have significant impact on poverty and wealth among the coastal population of the Black Sea coast of Turkey. The boom years of the sea snail fisheries clearly created a frontier situation inhibiting prospects of co-management between the state and communities of fishers. The observed lack of collective action among fishers and their concomitant incapacity to participate can be considered a dimension of poverty. Therefore, fishery development should not only go hand in hand with fishery management, but also with social policies aimed at reducing poverty and inequality.