Ringer, D., Carothers, C., Donkersloot, R., Coleman, J., Cullenberg, P.
For generations to come? The privatization paradigm and shifting social baselines in Kodiak, Alaska’s commercial fisheries
(2018) Marine Policy, 98, pp. 97-103.
This paper presents results from a study that explored a key threat to fisheries sustainability in Alaska – the graying of the commercial fishing fleet. In the Kodiak Archipelago region this research utilized a political ecology framework and mixed methods ethnography, including 70 semi-structured interviews and participant observation, to further understand this problem. Study results suggest that opportunities for young rural fishermen are increasingly constrained by interrelated socioeconomic and cultural barriers, which have created systemic equity and sustainability concerns. Furthermore, research indicates that the privatization paradigm of fisheries access is a major catalyst of change that has created and amplified barriers, transformed opportunity, and generated lasting inequities and social conflict. Foucault’s concept of governmentality is used to describe how some fishermen are internalizing and normalizing privatization discourses to advance further regulatory change. Pauly’s concept of shifting baseline syndrome is evoked to argue that current structures of degraded access and equity in the human fishery system are mistakenly assumed to be a natural state, rather than a result of a specific history of public policy choices. Due to the suite of challenges facing fishing people and communities, it is increasingly important to acknowledge the privatization of access as a key threat to sustainable coastal fishing futures. © 2018 The Authors
Alaska; Fisheries privatization; Governmentality; Individual transferable quotas (ITQs); Kodiak; Shifting baseline syndrome
baseline conditions, commercial activity, fishery economics, fishery management, future prospect, governance approach, privatization, quota system, sustainability; Alaska, Kodiak Island, United States