This paper is about the efforts being made by communities of coastal fisherfolk in South India to build artificial reefs as a means of rejuvenating the ecosystem of their coastal waters damaged by indiscriminate trawling. These initiatives provide the basis for questioning the now influential opinions that in the case of resources in the realm of the commons, precious little will be done to save them from ruin, particularly by those individuals who enjoy access to them. It hopes to add to the accumulating evidence that collective action by the laboring masses in the developing world — peasants, fisherfolk and forest dwellers, to mention a few — to revive and rejuvenate their common pool resources calls to question the undiscriminating policy prescriptions which continue to see only "market or state" interventions to solve issues relating to environmental degradation.

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