A fishery zone in Finnmark?

Report from Aslaug Kleppe Lyngra, Master Programme in Indigenous Studies, University of Tromsø
Project 200700333-11

Financial support to the project:
“An analysis of the discussion concerning Sami saltwater fishery rights in fjords and coastal areas in Finnmark – change of arguments as a consequence of the Finnmark Act in relation to the ILO 169.”
The Centre for Sami studies has kindly supported my fieldwork for my master thesis in Norway from June 2007, from the Sami Centre’s strategy fund.

I started my fieldwork period with a research topic where the aim of the project was to find out if there had been a new situation concerning saltwater fishery rights in fjords and coastal areas in Finnmark as a consequence of the Finnmark Act, in relation to the ILO No. 169 and the ICCPR art.27.

Unfortunately I had quite a struggle trying to do my fieldwork because; 1) It was holidayseason here in Norway during our fieldwork period, and therefore it was difficult to get in contact with people (I spent weeks trying to get a hold of people over the phone). 2) The discussion about the topic which I’m writing about is an on-going process, which makes it difficult to collect data about it. It seems to me that people want to wait until the report from the Coast- and Fishery Commission has been published, before commenting on my topic. 3) Controversial topic.

My fieldwork traveling experience, so far, consists of a trip to Båtsfjord and Berlevåg in Finnmark in June, where I went to two local meetings held by the Coast- and Fishery Commission. These meetings were quite interesting, I got to see how some of the local people in Finnmark react/feel/think about the issue concerning fishery rights.

As I have experienced quite a few difficulties, as mentioned above, in collecting data so far, I have had to change my time table on when and what to do further on. I was supposed to do some interviews during my fieldwork period this summer, but because of the complications that I met, I have had to postpone the interviews until later on in the writing process.

In order to be able to start writing on my thesis and be able to finish in time, I have had to do some changes in research focus as well. I have now decided to do a comparison of two documents. These two documents consists of the report from the Sami Fishery Commission, published in 1997, which I will compare with the report from the Coast- and Fishery Commission, that is to be published in December this year.

The financial support that I received from the Sami centre has helped me pay for the traveling expenses and housing for my trip to Båtsfjord and Berlevåg and for a cell phone with a builtin voice recorder. The financial support will also help me in order to pay for my travel expenses when I am going to do my interviews later on this semester and/or in the beginning of next semester. Even though I have not quite finished my fieldwork yet, I would like to thank the Sami centre now, for the financial support. I appreciate it!

Read the thesis online – Munin

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