Social network is an effective strategy in promoting coexistence among shrimp fishers in Rivers State Nigeria. The study assessed how network bonding is stimulating the bridging and linking among actors in eight fishing settlements of Rivers State. A mixed method was used whereby 30 in-depth interviews and four focus group discussions with shrimp fishers were conducted using an interview guide. Data was subjected to content analysis and MAXQDA 2018 software to identify themes, connections and relationships. The results show three levels of social network: bonding, bridging and linking. Network bonding, which comes in the form of planned or unplanned within-group interactions, is a significant factor for bridging with similar fisher groups. Some of the challenges in forming and maintaining interactions with other groups include bunkering activities, high transportation costs, negative externalities and encroachments into fishing grounds. linkage of a fisher’s group with other actors or bodies are done through individuals/contact persons, delegates and group leadership. Linkage with other settlements was weak as each fishing settlement had specific requirements for membership and rules to abide by. However, group formation was more of fishers’ initiative than imposition by external bodies’ thereby promoting co-existence of fishers in coastal communities.
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RUFORUM Journal Articles
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Carnegie Corporation of New York; RUFORUM