Visualizing the social in aquaculture: How social dimension components illustrate the effects of aquaculture across geographic scales

Type Article
Date 2020-08
Language English
Author(s) Krause Gesche1, 2, 3, Billing Suzannah-Lynn4, Dennis John5, Grant Jon6, Fanning Lucia7, Filgueira Ramón7, Miller Molly8, Perez Jose9, Stybel Nardine10, Stead Selina M.11, Wawrzynski Wojciech12
Affiliation(s) 1 : Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570, Bremerhaven, Germany
2 : Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V., Berliner Strasse 130, 14467, Potsdam, Germany
3 : SeaKult Consulting– Sustainable Futures in the Marine Realm, Rembrandtstrasse 9, 28209, Bremern, Germany
4 : Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), Oban, Scotland, PA37 1QA, UK
5 : Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) – Irelands Seafood Development Agency, Cork, Ireland
6 : Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada
7 : Marine Affairs Program, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada
8 : University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA
9 : Ifremer, Univ Brest, CNRS, UMR 6308, AMURE, Unité d’Economie Maritime, IUEM, F-29280, Plouzane, France
10 : EUCC – The Coastal Union Germany, Friedrich-Barnewitz-Str.3, 18119, Rostock, Germany
11 : Institute for Aquaculture, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Pathfoot Building, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK
12 : International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), H.C. Andersens Boulevard 44-46, Copenhagen, Denmark
Source Marine Policy (0308-597X) (Elsevier BV), 2020-08 , Vol. 118 , P. 103985 (13p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2020.103985
WOS© Times Cited 35
Keyword(s) Social dimensions, Aquaculture, Indicators, Operationalisation, Sustainability, Finfish production, Mussel farming

Until very recently, governments of many countries, as well as their supporting organizations, have primarily addressed the biological, technical and economic aspects of aquaculture. In contrast, social and cultural aspects of aquaculture production have taken a backseat. Drawing on the observation that aquaculture development in Western Societies has largely failed to address these social effects across different scales and contexts, this paper offers a new way of capturing and visualising the diverse social dimensions of aquaculture. It does so by testing the ability to operationalise a set of social dimensions based on categories and indicators put forward by the United Nations, using several case studies across the North Atlantic. Local/regional stakeholder knowledge realms are combined with scientific expert knowledge to assess aquaculture operations against these indicators. The approach indicates that one needs to have a minimum farm size in order to have an impact of a visible scale for the different social dimension categories. While finfish aquaculture seems to be more social impactful than rope mussel farming, the latter can hold important cultural values and contribute to place-based understanding, connecting people with place and identity, thus playing a vital role in maintaining the working waterfront identity. It could be shown that aquaculture boosts a potential significant pull-factor to incentivise people to remain in the area, keeping coastal communities viable. By visualising the social effects of aquaculture, a door may be opened for new narratives on the sustainability of aquaculture that render social license and social acceptability more positive.

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Krause Gesche, Billing Suzannah-Lynn, Dennis John, Grant Jon, Fanning Lucia, Filgueira Ramón, Miller Molly, Perez Jose, Stybel Nardine, Stead Selina M., Wawrzynski Wojciech (2020). Visualizing the social in aquaculture: How social dimension components illustrate the effects of aquaculture across geographic scales. Marine Policy, 118, 103985 (13p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :