The different knowledges of coastal fisheries
The world of coastal fisheries is full of tensions and conflicts. On the public arena, professional fishing is often associated with the overtaxing of resources, unsustainable harvest practices and blame-games among actors. But fisheries are also upheld by boundary crossings, situated knowledge and relational work. Through the coexistence of such different patterns of rationality places are made. Through an empirical analysis of this complex situation as it has emerged in Öresund between Denmark and southern Sweden, we show how the tension between an ecological and an instrumental rationality results in the creation of Öresund cod fisheries – as place and contested practice. Through open-ended interviews with active and retired fishermen and representatives from a major legislative agency in combination with document analyses, we contextualize everyday place-making in relation to national and supra-national institutional frameworks. For the fisherman the making of place is a result of observations, listening, talking and doing in many different kinds of situations, while for institutional bodies place-making is abstract and based on quantifications, abstracted knowledge and control. By contrasting these competing and pragmatic logics the paper can be understood as a discussion on how the relationship between nature and society emerges as problematic in discourse and practice. In one way then, the study investigates the obstacles that surround fisheries and sustainable resource use. In another way, however, the discussion opens up for the possibilities to adopt an ecological perspective that prioritizes the co-presence in time and space of different knowledges.
- Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
4th NGM, Nordic Geographer’s Meeting, 2011