Trash or Treasure? A Qualitative Exploration of Gleaning By-Products in Tourism Supply Chains in Remote Filipino Fishing Communities


  • Brooke Porter Auckland University of Technology
  • Mark B. Orams Auckland University of Technology
  • Michaek Lück Auckland University of Technology
  • Enrico Maria Andreini Legacoop Agroalimentare



souvenir, gleaning, supplemental livelihoods, shell handicrafts, tourism development


Souvenirs have become an integral part of consumptive tourism with marine curios being a common offering in coastal destinations. The Philippines, an emerging coastal destination is also a large exporter of marine shells. There is some overlap in the species exported as shell souvenirs and those that serve as an important protein source for coastal residents. In some such communities, following consumption of the mollusc, the shell by-products are discarded. Given the state of poverty common to many remote artisanal fishing communities coupled with the tourism demand for shell curio and handicraft, it is expected that potential opportunities exist for small-scale revenue generation from the sale of discarded shells. Using supply chain theory, this paper investigates the post-consumption use of shells obtained via gleaning activities in four remote Filipino fishing communities. Qualitative interviews revealed potential gaps and breakages in the supply chain that currently limit the potential for transitioning shells as waste/by-products to souvenir products in the tourism sector. The findings are discussed in terms of potential applications for environmental management and social development. The results suggest the potential for the transformation of an existing practice – gleaning and its by-products – into an in-demand curio product as a supplemental livelihood for impoverished fishing communities.

Author Biographies

Brooke Porter, Auckland University of Technology

Brooke Porter is a specialist in conservation strategy with a focus on the human dimensions of management. She currently works with UNFAO as an instructional designer developing content supporting environmental management strategies in lesser-developed regions. Brooke has worked in various capacities with NGOs, international aid agencies, and educational institutions across the globe.

Mark B. Orams, Auckland University of Technology

Professor Mark B. Orams is a researcher with a focus on marine recreation, tourism, and sport. He is currently the Dean of the Graduate Research School at the Auckland University of Technology in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Michaek Lück, Auckland University of Technology

Michael Lück is a professor in the School of Hospitality and Tourism at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. He is founding co-chair of the International Coastal & Marine Tourism Society. His research interests include (marine) wildlife tourism, the cruise industry, ecotourism, interpretation and education on wildlife tours, the impacts of tourism, and aviation. He has published in a number of international journals, is founding editor of the academic journal Tourism in Marine Environments, Associate Editor of the Journal of Ecotourism, and editorial board member of Marine Policy and Frontiers.

Enrico Maria Andreini, Legacoop Agroalimentare

Enrico Andreini is an international expert in fisheries development and seafood supply chains. Enrico currently works with LegaCoop managing a fisheries development project in the Mediterranean. He has worked on fisheries development projects across the globe, focusing on the complexities in fisheries management and the importance of community voices in the development and design of fisheries projects.


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