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Fisher relevant wellbeing indicators of migrant fishers in Sri Lanka

Author:

D. N. Koralegama

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
About D. N.
Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

Wellbeing is a person-centered and community-specific concept thus unique for the considered community. Identification of wellbeing priorities is a pre-requisite for any development programs and policies to uplift the living standard of the populace. This paper explores gendered wellbeing indicators of small-scale migrant fishers in Negombo and Chilaw in the West coast, who are migrating to Mannar, Sri Lanka. Three-dimensional wellbeing approach was adopted to assess; material, relational, and subjective dimensions of wellbeing, considering objective and subjective aspects together with relationships. Mixed method approach was employed to glean data administering a questionnaire survey (n=142) and in-depth interviews (n= 15). Ranked wellbeing factors were analysed using weighted frequencies. Remarkably 14 out of 25 factors belong to material wellbeing; six relational; and five are subjective. Most of these material wellbeing factors (8/14) namely financial stability, sustainable fishing methods, lower operational costs are livelihood-related. Being a collective and community-based occupation, fishing households value social cohesion and collaboration within their communities in relation to relational wellbeing. Women perceived access to sea (weighted mean (wm) 0.4), children’s education (wm= 0.32), and children’s future (wm= 0.48) than fishermen (0.16, 0.24, and 0.27 respectively). Despite fishermen and women value family relationships (wm = 0.82 and 0.88) and peaceful environment for fishing (wm = 0.38 and 0.27) as important relational wellbeing factors, fishermen also value good relationships within their own society (wm= 0.17) and harmony with local fishers at the migratory site (wm= 0.17). Religious activities, a subjective wellbeing factor has been valued by women (25%) than men (7%). Thus, most of the wellbeing indicators are occupation-specific and gendered. The 4Cs-catch, community, children and church have been recognized as fisher-relevant gender-responsive indicators for migrant fishers in the west coast, Sri Lanka.
How to Cite: Koralegama, D.N., 2022. Fisher relevant wellbeing indicators of migrant fishers in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension, 25(3), pp.297–310. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v25i3.5607
Published on 04 Oct 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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