Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …
New journal!

Open Information Science

Editor-in-Chief: Sturges, Paul

1 Issue per year

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …

The Information Practices of the Fishermen in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh

Nafiz Zaman Shuva
  • Department of Information Science and Library Management, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh & Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-07-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2017-0003


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.

Keywords : Information practices of rural communities; tactical information practices; information poverty; information practices of marginalised population; Michel de Certeau


  • AFP. (2016, October 28). Bangladesh arrests 900 in bid to save favourite fish. Daily Mail. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3882644/Bangladesh-arrests-900-bid-save-favourite-fish.htmlGoogle Scholar

  • Ahmed, S.M.Z., Munshi. M.N.U. & Ahmed, M.U. (1997). Library and information services to the rural community in Bangladesh: CDL’s experience. Dhaka University Studies, 53/54(1/2), 129-138.Google Scholar

  • Asad, A. (2012). UISC in Bangladesh: E-Service access point for the marginalized. Retrieved from http://community.telecentre.org/m/blogpost?id=2086278%3ABlogPost%3A125004Google Scholar

  • Babbie, E. (2007). The practice of social research (12th Ed.). Belmont, CA:Wadsworth.Google Scholar

  • Bakar, A.B.A. (2011). Information seeking behaviours of rural women in Malaysia. Library Philosophy and Practice. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1479&context=libphilpracGoogle Scholar

  • Bangladesh, Department of Fisheries (DoF). (2016). About department of fisheries. Retrieved from http://www.fisheries.gov.bd/Google Scholar

  • Bangladesh, Department of Fisheries (DoF). (2013). Fisheries statistical yearbook of Bangladesh. Dhaka: Author.Google Scholar

  • Bangladesh, Ministry of Finance (MoF). (2012). Bangladesh economic review. Retrieved from http://www.mof.gov.bd/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=230&Itemid=1Google Scholar

  • Bangladesh, Ministry of Finance (MoF). (2014). General budgeting report-2014-2015. Retrieved from http://www.mof.gov.bd/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=280&Itemid=1Google Scholar

  • Benard, R., Dulle,F. & Ngalapa, H. (2014). Assessment of information needs of rice farmers in Tanzania; A case study of Kilombero District, Morogoro. Library Philosophy and Practice. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2666&context=libphilpracGoogle Scholar

  • Bryman, A. (2016). Social research methods (5th Ed). Oxford, UK: Oxford.Google Scholar

  • Case, D.O. & Given, L.M. (2016). Looking for information: A survey of research on information seeking, needs, and behaviour. Bingley, UK: Emerald.Google Scholar

  • Chakrabarti, B. (2001). Over the edge of information in the information age: Informational behaviour of the Totos: A small marginal tribal community in Sub-Himalayan North Bengal, India. International Information & Library Review, 33(12-3), 167-180.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Chatman, E.A. (1996). The impoverished life-world of outsiders. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 47: 193-206.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • De Certeau, M. (1984). The practice of everyday life. (S. Rendell, Trans.). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • Das, M. R., Ray, S., Kumar, U., Begum, S., & Tarafdar, S. R. (2015). Livelihood assessment of the fishermen community in the south west region of Bangladesh. Journal of Experimental Biology, 3 (4), 353-361. Retrieved from http://www.jebas.org/00300420082015/10.18006_2015.3(4).353.361.pdfGoogle Scholar

  • Dutta, R. (2008). Information needs and information-seeking behavior in developing countries: A review of the research. International Information & Library Review, 41(1), 44-51.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Freund, L. (2015). Contextualizing the information‐seeking behavior of software engineers. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 66(8), 1594-1605.Google Scholar

  • Hossain, M.A.& Islam, M.S. (2012). Information needs of rural women: A study of three villages of Bangladesh. Library Philosophy and Practice. Retrieved from http://unllib.unl.edu/LPP/hossain-islam.pdfGoogle Scholar

  • Hussain, M. (2016). Fisheries statistics in Bangladesh: Issues, challenges and plan. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/ess/documents/apcas26/presentations/APCAS-16-6.3.2_-_Bangladesh_-_Fisheries_Statistics_in_Bangladesh.pdfGoogle Scholar

  • Ikoja-Odongo, R.& Ocholla, D. N. (2003). Information needs and seeking behavior of Fisher folks in Uganda. Library & Information Science Research, 25, 89-105.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Iqbal, N. (2003).Building a knowledge society: information needs and information problems in rural areas and urban informal settlements in Bangladesh. In M.Z. Rahman et al. (eds), Proceeding from National Conference on Information and Communication Technology 200( pp. 90-103). Malaysia: The Research Centre and Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology, International Islamic University Malaysia.Google Scholar

  • Islam, M.S. (2010). Impact assessment of rural libraries in Bangladesh (Unpublished Doctoral thesis), University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh.Google Scholar

  • Islam, M.S.& Ahmed, S.M.Z. (2012) The information needs and information-seeking behaviour of rural dwellers: A review of research. IFLA Journal, 38(2) 137-147.Google Scholar

  • Jentoft, S., Onyango, P., & Islam, M. M. (2010). Freedom and poverty in the fishery commons. International Journal of the Commons, 4(1). Retrieved from https://www.thecommonsjournal.org/articles/10.18352/ijc.157/Google Scholar

  • Kabir, E. (2014). Kalapara upazila. Banglapedia. Retrieved from http://www.banglapedia.org/HT/K_0035.htmGoogle Scholar

  • Kalusopa, T. (2005). The challenges of utilizing information communication technologies (ICTs) for the small-scale farmers in Zambia. Library Hi Tech, 23(3), 414-424.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Khan, M.S.I. (1997). Information support for the rural people. In Sub-Regional Workshop on Redefined Roles of Libraries in an Information Society and Promotion of UNESCO Network of Associated Libraries (UNAL). Dhaka: UNESCO and BANSDOC.Google Scholar

  • Khanum, R. (2015). Socio-economic conditions of fishermen: Evidence from Hakaluki Haor of Bangladesh. Asian Business Review, 2(2), 19-21. Retrieved from http://www.journals.abc.us.org/index.php/abr/article/view/KhanumGoogle Scholar

  • Lingel, J. (2011). Information tactics of immigrants in urban environments. Information Research, 16(4). Retrieved from http://www.informationr.net/ir/16-4/paper500.htmlGoogle Scholar

  • Mamun-ur-Rashid, M., & Akanda, M. G. R. (2015). Fish farmer’s access to information communication media: A gender based comparative study in a selected village of Bangladesh. 2(4), 168-173. Retrieved from http://www.fisheriesjournal.com/vol2issue4/Pdf/2-4-17.11.pdfGoogle Scholar

  • Marcella, R. & Baxter, G. (1999). The information needs and the information seeking behaviour of a national sample of the population in the United Kingdom, with special reference to needs related to citizenship. Journal of Documentation, 55(2),159-183.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • McKnight, M. (2007). A grounded theory model of on-duty critical care nurses’ information behavior: The patient-chart cycle of informative interactions. Journal of Documentation, 63(1), 57-73.Google Scholar

  • Meitei, L.S. & Devi, T.P. (2009). Farmers information needs in rural Manipur: An assessment. Annals of Library and Information Studies, 56: 35-40. Retrieved from http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/4165/1/ALIS%2056(1)%2035-40.pdfGoogle Scholar

  • Momodu, M. (2002). Information needs and information seeking behaviour of rural dwellers in Nigeria: a case study of Ekpoma in Esan West local government area of Edo state, Nigeria. Library Review, 51(8), 406-410.Google Scholar

  • Mooko, N.P. (2005). The information behaviors of rural women in Botswana. Library & Information Science Research, 27(1), 115-127.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mtega, W.P. (2012). Access to and usage of information among rural communities: A case study of Kilosa District Morogoro Region in Tanzania. Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research. 7(1). Retrieved from https://journal.lib.uoguelph.ca/index.php/perj/article/view/1646/2462#.U8uyq-MiyrgGoogle Scholar

  • Musib, S. K. (1991). Information seeking patterns in the rural areas of West Bengali, Indian. A survey report on cottage industries. Indian Association of Special Libraries and Information Centre (IASLIC) Bulletin, 36(4), 177-187.Google Scholar

  • Naveed, M.A. and Anwar, M.A. (2013). Agricultural information needs of Pakistani farmers. Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science, 18(3), 13-23.Google Scholar

  • Niu, X., & Hemminger, B. M. (2012). A study of factors that affect the information‐seeking behavior of academic scientists. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(2), 336-353.Google Scholar

  • Njoku, I.F. (2004). The information needs and information-seeking behavior of fishermen in Lagos State, Nigeria. International Information & Library Review, 36, 297-307. doi:CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ojiambo, J.B. (1989). Communication of agricultural information between research scientists, extension personnel and farmers in Kenya. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar

  • Okwu, O.J., Yahaya, M.A.& Obinne, C.P.O (2011). Analysis of artisanal fisher folk information needs and accessibility in Benue State, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 3(5), 408-413. Retrieved from http://maxwellsci.com/print/ajas/v3-408-413.pdfGoogle Scholar

  • Owolade, E. O., & Kayode, A. (2012). Information-seeking behavior and utilization among snail farmers in Oyo State, Nigeria: Implications for sustainable animal production. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 19(3), 39-49.Google Scholar

  • Palmer, J. (1991). Scientists and information: II. Personal factors in information behaviour. Journal of documentation, 47(3), 254-275.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Palys, T., & Atchison, C. (2008). Research decisions: Qualitative and quantitative perspectives (4th Edition). Toronto: Nelson Education.Google Scholar

  • Paul. R. (2014, July 8). U.N. tribunal rules for Bangladesh in sea border dispute with India. Reuters. Retrieved from http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-bangladesh-india-seaborder-idUKKBN0FD15N20140708.Google Scholar

  • Pawley, C. (2003). Information literacy: a contradictory coupling. The library quarterly, 73(4), 422-452.Google Scholar

  • Ross, C. S. (2009). Reader on top: Public libraries, pleasure reading, and models of reading. Library Trends, 57(4), 632-656.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Rothbauer, P. (2010). Beyond a signpost for resistance: The promise of Michel de Certeau’s practices of everyday life for LIS scholarship. In Gloria J. Leckie, Lisa E. Given and John (eds.). Critical theory for library and information science (pp. 53-62), Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.Google Scholar

  • Rothbauer, P.M. (2007). Locating the library as place among lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer patrons. In John E. Buschman and Gloria J. Leckie (Eds.), The library as place: History, community, and culture (pp. 101-115). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.Google Scholar

  • Rothbauer, P. (2005). Practice of everyday life. In K.E. Fisher, S. Erdelez, & L.E.F. McKechnie (Eds.), Theories of information behaviour (pp. 284-288). Medford, NJ: Information Today.Google Scholar

  • Sahu, D. (2004). Information-seeking behaviour of rural people in West Bengal: A case study. In: A. Chatterjee et al. (eds). Information support for rural development (pp. 269-280). Kolkata: IASLIC.Google Scholar

  • Sahu, H. K., & Nath Singh, S. (2013, February). Information seeking behaviour of astronomy/astrophysics scientists. In Aslib Proceedings (Vol. 65, No. 2, pp. 109-142). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Saleh, A.G. & Lasisi, F.I. (2011). Information needs and information seeking behavior of rural women in Borno State, Nigeria. Library Philosophy and Practice. Retrieved from http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~mbolin/saleh-lasisi2.htm (Archived by WebCiteR at http://www.webcitation.org/6ecZ7vcRo ).Google Scholar

  • Sharma, A.K. (2007).Information seeking behaviour of rural people: A study. SRELS Journal of Information Management. 44 (4): 341-360.Google Scholar

  • Sonnenwald, D.H. (1999). Evolving perspectives of human information behavior: Contexts, situations, social networks and information horizons. In Wilson, T. and Allen, D. (Eds), Exploring the Contexts of Information Behaviour (pp. 176-90). London: Taylor Graham.Google Scholar

  • Sultana, P., Thompson, P.M., & Ahmed, M. (2002). Women-led fisheries management - A case study from Bangladesh. In Williams, M.J., Chao, N.H., Choo, P.S., Matics, K., Nandeesha, M.C., Shariff, M., Siason, I., Tech, E., Wong, J.M.C. (Eds.). Global Symposium on Women in Fisheries, Sixth Asian Fisheries Forum (pp. 89-96), Penang. Kaohsiung, Taiwan: World Fish Center.Google Scholar

  • Sundin, O. (2002). Nurses’ information seeking and use as participation in occupational communities. New Review of Information Behaviour Research, 3, 187-202.Google Scholar

  • Uzezi, O.P. (2015). Agricultural and information needs and utilization among migrant fishermen by gender: A study of Isoko Reverie Community, Delta State, Nigeria. Journal of Emerging Trends in Computing and Information Sciences, 6(5), 263-267. Retrieved from http://www.cisjournal.org/journalofcomputing/archive/vol6no5/vol6no5_5.pdfGoogle Scholar

  • Yu, L. (2010). How poor informationally are the information poor? Evidence from an empirical study of daily and regular information practices of individuals. Journal of Documentation, 66(6): 906-933.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Yusop, N.I. et al. (2013). Information needs of rural communities. The Journal of Community Informatics, 9(1). Retrieved from http://ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/586/965Google Scholar

  • Zhang, Y. & Yu, L. (2009). Information for social and economic participation: A review of related research on the information needs and acquisition of rural Chinese. International Information & Library Review, 41(2), 63-70.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Received: 2016-11-23

Accepted: 2017-05-29

Published Online: 2017-07-14

Published in Print: 2017-06-27

Citation Information: Open Information Science, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 21–40, ISSN (Online) 2451-1781, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2017-0003.

Export Citation

© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Daryl L Superio, Elvi S. Nemiz, Mary Grace H. Oliveros, Vince Ervin V. Palcullo, Anna May A Yap-Zerrudo, and Jessica B. Canaman
Information Development, 2018, Page 026666691879867

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in