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Socio-Ecological Effects and Coping Strategies of Migrant Fishermen in Selected Communities in Gbarain & Ekpetiama Clans of Bayelsa State Nigeria

Indian Journal of Sustainable Development

Volume 3 Issue 2

Published: 2017
Author(s) Name: Elliot A. Sibiri | Author(s) Affiliation: Dept. of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Niger Delta Univ., Nigeria.
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The migration of the fishing folks remains one of the most important demographic factors that affect the environment. Despite this awareness, the study of population and the terrestrial environment has been under-researched. This study therefore examined the socio-ecological effects and coping strategies of migrant fishermen in Gbarain and Ekpetiama Clans of Bayelsa State. This study is anchored on social ecological model. The survey interviewed 180 migrant fishermen in a snowball sampling technique using questionnaire in four communities (Agudama-Ekpetiama, Tombia, Gbarantoru and Polaku) of the clans. Descriptive statistics was utilized as the analytical tool of the data collected from the field of study. Findings showed that 67.8% of the respondents indicated suspicion about the social relationship that existed between migrant fishermen and the host communities. Out of these, about 37.0% said the suspicion was based on the fear of species’ extinction due to the use of chemical substances (8.3%) for fishing, 30.6% signified wife elopement as the reason for suspicion, 18.9% said fear of religious sects invasion in their communities. Because of the feedback loop system of the migrant fishermens activities on the environment, findings further revealed that most migrant fishermen (71.1%) were faced with ill-health conditions. Findings also revealed that most migrant fishermen (61.1%) coped with their ill-health conditions by patronizing traditional and spiritual healers for health care. This study therefore concluded that while migrant fishermen should be encouraged to establish cordial relationship with the host communities, the use of chemical substances or other methods of fishing that may result to ecological problem should be discouraged.

Keywords: Migration, Fishing Folks, Species Extinction, Environment, Ecosystem

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