The Maritime Peoples of the Indian Ocean Region since 1800

By Peter Reeves, Frank Broeze & Kenneth McPherson, published August 1988


The paper provides an overview of maritime peoples in the Indian Ocean region. First, it seeks an understanding of how these peoples had traditionally structured their economic activities and relationships. Second, it seeks to outline the ways in which these communities have ben affected by the new economic forces in the period of European penetration. Although Europeans had been involved in the trade of the region since the 16th century, the changes to indigenous systems in the 19th century were more pervasive. The technological changes set in train produced more thorough economic and social shifts. The appearance of factory ship fishing fleets, highly developed trawling industries, and nation’s Exclusive Economic Zones and other factors in the 20th century may make traditional maritime communities in the region a thing of the past.

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Filed under: Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Miscellaneous | Whaling & Fishing

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