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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Freshwater Fishing Strategies in Early Modern Sami Households

Larsson, Jesper; Päiviö Sjaunja, Eva-Lotta

Abstract

Fish were absolutely necessary for survival for many households in preindustrial societies. Because fishing waters are considered a common-pool resource, it is difficult to exclude users, and the catch is subtractable. To learn what strategies were in place to avoid fish-stock depletion and secure continuous harvests, we investigated how Indigenous Sami households in Lule lappmark, Sweden, used low-productive freshwaters between 1660 and 1780. Our aim is to show how they conducted fishing and how it was linked to rules for fishing. Our sources are contemporary 17th- and 18th-century accounts and local court rulings. Rules for fishing were developed in a self-governance context. Users and fishing areas were well defined, and users often had exclusive rights to fish. Inheritance was important but not a sufficient prerequisite to obtain access. Our research covers a period during which abundant but low-yield fishing waters per household declined, making it more difficult to survive.

Published in

Arctic Anthropology
2020, volume: 57, number: 2, pages: 197-211

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development

UKÄ Subject classification

History
Cultural Studies
Ethnology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3368/aa.57.2.197

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/112046