Accepted Paper:

Lines in the water: (destabilizing) lobster fishing areas under conditions of rapid change in Atlantic Canada  

Authors:

Melanie Wiber (University of New Brunswick)
Allain Barnett (University of New Brunswick)

Paper short abstract:

Examines the destabilization of Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) in Atlantic Canada, resulting from changes in the material practices of fishing and of access to fishing rights that challenge the adjacency principle, where people living next to a resource have the strongest claim to it.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper, we draw on Actor Network Theory to examine the destabilization of Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs) in Atlantic Canada. This destabilization is the result of changes in the material practices of fishing and of access to fishing rights, which in turn challenge accepted morality within fishing communities of the adjacency principle, where people living next to a resource have the strongest claim to it. This moral claim has underpinned longstanding federal policy in Atlantic Canada, which has been designed to spread the benefits of fishing as widely as possible within fishing communities, and to protect the inshore, independent fishing sector from corporate take-over. Actor Network Theory allows us to view these invisible lines in the water as powerful actants. They divide geographical fishing spaces and organize the temporal and spatial scale of fishing activity in ways that protect moral objectives. Destabilizing these lines, then, challenges temporal, spatial and moral understandings within fishing communities.

Panel LL-AS08
Values and risk: the politics of knowledge in the living marine oceanscapes