Migration and fishing in West Africa

Sara Randall, University College London

West Africa is renowned for high levels of internal and international migration and mobility. Literature on West African artisanal fisheries constantly emphasises the importance of multiple types of migration in exploiting this critical resource which contributes substantially to national economies and local protein consumption. Yet systematic searches of demographic bibliographies indicate that demographic research has completely ignored these fishing migrations. This paper considers why demography has apparently been uninterested in these major movements and the critical gaps in the artisanal fishing literature in conceptualising and understanding some of the more demographic dimensions of migration. In moving beyond the insularity of the fishing research I examine research domains where communication and collaboration between the two research fields would be valuable and productive: in particular the multiple relationships between migration and environment, dimensions of migrant integration into host communities and recent observations of high HIV prevalence in diverse fishing communities worldwide.

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Presented in Poster Session 1