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An Analysis of Archaeological and Historical Data on Fisheries for Pelagic Species in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands
Amesbury, Judith R., and Rosalind L. Hunter-Anderson. An analysis of archaeological and historical data of fisheries for pelagic species in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Micronesian Archaeological Research Services, May 2008. (PDF, 6 MB, 170 pp). Appendices (PDF, 10 MB, 105 pp).
Project researchers have access to and are familiar with the long-term data on fisheries in the Mariana Islands. Earlier reports produced for the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council evaluated existing evidence (archaeological, ethnological and historical) for preferential fishing rights for the indigenous peoples of the Marianas. For this project, research archaeologists will produce a report on the long-term data concerning fisheries for pelagic species in both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Though the report will be based mainly on archival review, researchers plan to conduct interviews and to have one or more collections of fish bones analyzed for taxa represented, body size, habitat and catch method.
From previous studies, project researchers have discovered that there is little information available concerning the Japanese Period (1914-1944 in the Northern Marianas and 1941-1944 in Guam). Also the early post-war years (1944-1960) are not well documented. It is almost too late to interview people concerning the Japanese Period, since anyone fishing before 1944 would have been born by 1930 and would now be more than 70 years old. But there are people who were children during the Japanese Period that may remember their parents' activities. There are also people willing to talk with project staff about the post-war years.
While several collections of archaeological fish bones from the Northern Mariana area have been analyzed at the University of Otago (New Zealand), only one collection from Guam was analyzed at the university. There are certain collections from Guam that were inventoried without adequate comparative collections, such as the fish bones from the Mangilao Golf Course excavations. This collection of more than 8,000 bones (weighing more than 3 kilograms and including bones of pelagic species) will be analyzed by Dr. Foss Leach using the comparative collections of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The objective of analyzing the Mangilao Golf Course collection or other Guam collections would be not only to obtain more accurate identifications, but to make it easier to compare the Guam collections with the collections from the Northern Marianas, where analysis has been more systematic.
Micronesian Archaeological Research Services (MARS) reports submitted to the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council:
Publications about changes through time in the archaeological faunal remains include:
Since ecosystem-based fishery management is becoming the preferred mode of fishery management, and since people are an essential part of fisheries ecosystems, it is hoped that this report concerning the people of the Marianas and how they have harvested the pelagic species over three millennia will contribute to the Council's policy making and the development of ecosystem-based fishery management in the Western Pacific.
Funding for this 1-year project to be awarded in mid 2004.
| Principal Investigators:
Dr. Judith R. Amesbury and Dr. Rosalind Hunter-Anderson
Micronesian Archaeological Research Services (MARS)
P.O. Box 22303
GMF, Guam 96921
Phone (671) 734-1129
FAX (671) 734-1132
This page updated August 7, 2008