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Culture, Conflict and Crises in the Icelandic Fisheries: An Anthropological Study of People, Policy and Marine Resources in the North Atlantic Arctic
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is offered as a contribution to studies of social and cultural change in the Icelandic fisheries and fishing communities. Such changes may be seen as a result of the interplay of internal dynamics with both national and global forces and processes, not least with regard to the impacts of fisheries governance. These changes occur also in an international context of new environmental ideologies and perceptions of marine mammals, with consequences for social dynamics of local resource-use. Here it is argued that the conflicts over the harvesting or conservation of cetaceans can productively be understood from a cultural perspective. The thesis discusses the elevation of whales as symbols of particular value, and the metaphorical and cognitive aspects of, in particular, anthropomorphism, the projection of human motives and values onto animal behaviour, as a significant and effective part of conservation rhetoric and ideology.

Specifically, the thesis deals with issues concerning whaling and whale watching along with issues and debates concerning these alternative forms of exploiting marine mammals. It also discusses central questions regarding fisheries governance and rights to fishing with reference to social and economic viability in Icelandic fishing communities. The unifying themes of this thesis are: how marine-mammal issues and controversies and social impacts of fisheries governance form part of globalization processes; how environmental and economic paradigms influence change, particularly in terms of marine-mammal conservation campaigns and market liberalist resource policy; and how these external ideological forces call for responses at local and national levels. The adaptive actions of the human agents and communities involved are described as creative, cumulative and complex. The thesis also highlights the central transformative role of the new regime of private property rights introduced into Icelandic fisheries governance in the 1980s.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2011. , 152 p.
Series
Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology, ISSN 0348-5099 ; 48
Keyword [en]
environmental perceptions, fisheries governance, fishing culture, common property resources, economic crisis, human and animal rights, Iceland, marine-mammal conservation, privatization, whale watching
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-146520ISBN: 978-91-554-8014-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-146520DiVA: diva2:399170
Public defence
2011-04-08, Geijersalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsv. 3H, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-03-17 Created: 2011-02-17 Last updated: 2015-02-03
List of papers
1. Of seals and souls: Changes in the position of seals in the world-view of Icelandic small-scale fishermen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Of seals and souls: Changes in the position of seals in the world-view of Icelandic small-scale fishermen
1990 (English)In: Maritime Anthropological Studies, ISSN 0922-1476, Vol. 3, no 2, 35-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keyword
small-scale fishing, Iceland, seals, environmentalism
National Category
Ethnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-142901 (URN)
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2011-03-22Bibliographically approved
2. All animals are equal but some are cetaceans: Conservation and culture conflict
Open this publication in new window or tab >>All animals are equal but some are cetaceans: Conservation and culture conflict
1993 (English)In: Environmentalism: the view from anthropology / [ed] Kay Milton, London: Routledge , 1993, 73-84 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 1993
Keyword
whaling, marine mammal conservation, environmentalism, animal symbolism
National Category
Ethnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-142903 (URN)
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2011-03-22Bibliographically approved
3. Environmental arguments and the survival of small-scale fishing in Iceland
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental arguments and the survival of small-scale fishing in Iceland
1993 (English)In: Green arguments and local subsistence / [ed] Gudrun Dahl, Stockholm: Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University , 1993, 117-127 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, 1993
Keyword
small-scale fishing, Iceland, environmentalism
National Category
Ethnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-142904 (URN)91-7153-131-9 (ISBN)
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2011-03-22Bibliographically approved
4. A sea of images: Fishers, whalers and environmentalists
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A sea of images: Fishers, whalers and environmentalists
1996 (English)In: Images of contemporary Iceland: everyday lives and global contexts / [ed] Gísli Pálson & E. Paul Durrenberger, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press , 1996, 46-59 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1996
Keyword
environmental perceptions, small-scale fishing, Iceland, whale conservation
National Category
Ethnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-142906 (URN)
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2011-03-22Bibliographically approved
5. From good to eat to good to watch: whale watching adaptation and change in Icelandic fishing communities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From good to eat to good to watch: whale watching adaptation and change in Icelandic fishing communities
2009 (English)In: Polar Research, ISSN 0800-0395, Vol. 28, no 1, 129-138 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Arctic and North Atlantic fishing communities may seem unlikely candidates for a viable whale-watching industry, because of the prevalent traditional consumptive attitudes toward marine mammals and their uses. The topic of this paper is the introduction of an internationally growing industry of whale watching in a fishing village in north-east Iceland, and how local inhabitants reconcile opposing views on whales, whaling and the new cetacean tourism. The paper also discusses the conflict between fishermen and marine mammals, and how it is managed in an area where fishing is still a mainstay of the economy, and where marine mammals are seen by many as competitors for scarce resources, and even as pests. This anthropological case study is used to address wider issues of adaptation, community viability and resilience in small resource-dependent coastal settlements, coping with rapid social and ecological change.

Keyword
Arctic anthropology human-environmental relations fishing Iceland whale watching
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-142900 (URN)
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2011-03-22Bibliographically approved
6. Fisheries Governance and Social Discourse in Post-Crisis Iceland: Responses to the UN Human Rights Committee’s Views in Case 1306/2004
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fisheries Governance and Social Discourse in Post-Crisis Iceland: Responses to the UN Human Rights Committee’s Views in Case 1306/2004
2011 (English)In: The Yearbook of Polar Law, ISSN 1876-8814, Vol. 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper deals with the social discourse on resource rights, fisheries policy and human rights in Iceland, especially in light of the 2007 United Nations Human Rights Committee view that the Icelandic fisheries management system is in violation of basic principles of human rights. The Committee’s ruling is discussed, together with the impacts on, and implications for, Icelandic fisheries policy and the discourse on resource rights and social justice it has evoked in Iceland. In this context, the relationship between fisheries management and the privatization of a former common property resource is discussed, in particular in the light of the 2008 economic and social meltdown in Iceland.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2011
Keyword
fisheries governance, Iceland, human rights, social discourse
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-146238 (URN)
Available from: 2011-02-15 Created: 2011-02-15 Last updated: 2013-02-28Bibliographically approved

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