HDR Confirmation Seminar: Nittya Simard - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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HDR Confirmation Seminar: Nittya Simard

We would like to invite you to attend the Confirmation Presentation of Nittya Simard, a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in the School of Science, Technology and Engineering.

Thesis Title:

The role of shell handicraft livelihoods for coastal communities in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea.


Approximately 4000 coastal communities (Govan 2015) in Papua New Guinea rely heavily on marine resources for subsistence and income opportunities (Kaly et al. 2005; Cinner and McClanahan 2006; Purdy et al. 2017). Although fishing is the most prevalent activity among coastal communities, another activity generating income is the production of shell handicrafts (Simard et al. 2018). This activity consists of transforming mollusc shells and other marine taxa into customary ornaments, contemporary jewellery, and decorations (Chand et al. 2014). Despite substantial literature on the economic benefits afforded to coastal communities through the sale of whole mollusc shells (i.e., curios) to international tourists (Gössling et al. 2004; Dias et al. 2011), the extent to which shell handicrafts occur and contribute to coastal livelihoods within PNG has received minimal attention (Simard et al. 2018). The collectors of mollusc shells, artisans, mollusc resources, markets, and shell handicraft products are rarely the subject of thorough scientific evaluation (e.g., Resture and Resture 2005).

Understanding the socio-economic and socio-ecological impacts of developing shell handicraft in coastal communities as an alternative livelihood opportunity (e.g., ACIAR-funded project FIS/2014/060) has received minimal research attention to date. The proposed research will address this knowledge gap as well as examining the fishery aspects of this livelihood development.