Institutions, mobility and resilience in the Fante migratory fisheries of West Africa
Through their spatial mobility, African fishermen and fish traders explore and exploit new niches: primarily fishing grounds and fish markets (see Chauveau 1991). Ghanaian canoe fishermen are among the groups most famous for such activity. In the twentieth century, they migrated extensively in coastal West Africa, reaching as far as Mauritania to the north and Congo to the south in order to fish in areas where the local fishermen have under-exploited their fishing grounds, and markets are unsaturated with fish (Delauney 1991; Boujou 2000). These migrants’ contributions in their host countries in terms of technological innovation in the fisheries, in terms of new knowledge and institutions, and not the least in terms of food supply, are increasingly being documented (Haakonsen and Diaw 1991; Chauveau, Jul-Larsen and Chaboud 2000).