Title

The Information Practices of the Fishermen

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Journal

Open Information Science

Volume

1

Issue

1

First Page

21

Last Page

40

Abstract

Utilizing de Certeau’s concepts of “tactics” and “strategies,” and Chatman’s “information poverty,” this study examines the information practices of the fishermen in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh. Using faceto- face surveys, this study gathers data from 102 fishermen in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh. The findings of the study reveal that the majority of fishermen (“fisher folks”) studied regularly need information on weather, fish buying and selling prices, daily consumable products, entertainment, and religion. Fisher folks in this study heavily rely on their informal information networks (e.g., family and friends) to meet their diverse information needs. The study also reports various information challenges faced by the participants. It is evident in this study that fisher folks, due to unwelcoming information environment of strategic institutions (e.g., various government agencies), tactically avoid services and information provided by them. A call for radical change in “information service culture” (i.e., offering information to only educated, the dominant group of the society) has been emphasized by the author of the paper. The study also highlights the importance of offering appropriate, need-based, welcoming information services to rural communities by various government information agencies including public libraries. It is expected that this study will help researchers design studies aimed at exploring the “tactical information practices” of various unprivileged groups such as victims of domestic violence, ready-made garments worker, sex workers, etc., who have diverse socioeconomic and political backgrounds.