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From good to eat to good to watch: whale watching adaptation and change in Icelandic fishing communities
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2009 (English)In: Polar Research, ISSN 0800-0395, E-ISSN 1751-8369, 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 28, no 1, 129-138 p.
Keyword [en]
Arctic anthropology human-environmental relations fishing Iceland whale watching
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-142900OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-142900DiVA: diva2:388468
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Culture, Conflict and Crises in the Icelandic Fisheries: An Anthropological Study of People, Policy and Marine Resources in the North Atlantic Arctic
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Culture, Conflict and Crises in the Icelandic Fisheries: An Anthropological Study of People, Policy and Marine Resources in the North Atlantic Arctic
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
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:nbn:se:uu:diva-146520 (URN)978-91-554-8014-1 (ISBN)
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

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Einarsson, Niels

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