Inshore Commercial Fisheries in the Service Economy: Session 1 Small-Scale Fisheries Research - towards sustainable fisheries using a multi-entry perspective

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The study frames a traditional industry in transition with the aim to understand the ways in which a work-identity is formed in the service economy along the west coast of Sweden. More specifically, we want to understand how diversified inshore commercial fisheries are discursively established and negotiated as a service enterprising subject in three everyday relationships; authorities, customers and colleagues. The theory behind the study lies within the application of cultural analysis and discourse-analysis (du Gay and Hall 1998) with a focus on three theoretical concepts; governance (Hajer 1996) experienced authenticity (Di Domenico and Miller 2010) and work identification (du Gay and Hall 2002).

Field-notes from participation and observations, together with thirty-five in-depth qualitative work-life interviews were generated and analyzed between 2011 and 2014 in 16 inshore commercial fisheries along the west coast of Sweden. The fieldwork was conducted within three EU-funded areas, where small-scale fisheries are considered having a potential to further diversify by developing for instance tourism activities, (FLAGs) of one in particular is a focused case of study.

Discourses of the inshore commercial fishery in the service economy play out in three prominent relationships, those to authorities, customers and colleagues. First, in meetings on various levels of fisheries management, narrative threads are commonly used to negotiate and enlighten changes from various situated perspectives. Both authorities and fishermen are aware of the contemporary coastal commercial fisheries in decline, but based on different knowledge basis and views of the future of fisheries. Secondly, in service work discourses from participant observations in fisheries service enterprising, “experienced authenticities” are negotiated, between fishermen and their customers. Third, in fishing discourses from interviews and observations in relation to colleagues and fishing, the fishery is constructed and negotiated between sets of “we” and “them”, to establish work identity.

To sum up, authorities and fishermen form and negotiate small-scale inshore commercial fisheries as modern and sustainable from different knowledge basis. The study addresses opportunities, challenges and expectations that permeate the coastal commercial fishing in a service-oriented economy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sep 1
EventYOUMARES 5 - the covention for young scientists and engineers: Opportunities and Solutions - Research for our Changing Oceans - Stralsund, Germany
Duration: 2014 Sep 102014 Sep 12
Conference number: 5


ConferenceYOUMARES 5 - the covention for young scientists and engineers

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economics and Business


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