Fishing for Fishers: Recruitment of fishers in three communities in Nordland
AuthorSwensen, Marit Helen
This thesis examines the development of recruitment within fisheries in recent years in three North Norwegian coastal communities. Recruitment of fishers is vital for the survival of coastal fishery communities, as well as for the cultural identity of the people living in them. Traditional fisheries have sustained coastal communities for centuries and were the reason the coast was inhabited in the first place. The riches of the sea will long be available to us if we manage them wisely. In an increasingly urbanized and specialized world, harvesting local fishery resources in a sustainable way is a sensible strategy, from both a resource perspective and from a community perspective. In recent decades coastal communities have experienced a dramatic decline in the recruitment of fishers, partly caused by, and partly resulting in, social changes. Not only does a coastal fishery depend on continued recruitment, but coastal people are also at risk of being alienated from their cultural identity if this industry is not maintained. This becomes a kind of dialectic process, in which the effect of a particular cause becomes in turn the cause of further, similar effects. One community in this study has gone from catching wild fish to fish farming, whereas the other two have been able to continue catching wild fish. If we are going to be able to secure the future of recruitment in coastal fisheries, we must more thoroughly understand the causes and effects of recruitment. The future for fishing communities depends on it. To explore these issues, during the winter of 2017–2018, several interviews with young fishers and other actors in these communities were conducted, as was a document study. A major goal was to examine what system of interaction were active in the communities, particularly as related to recruitment in the local fishery. This study also examines the local repercussions of centrally formulated fishing policies, and the room to maneuver they allow at the local level. This will help determine whether it is possible to steer recruitment processes through local involvement. The argument set forth here is that coastal fisheries cannot be viewed separately from the communities in which they are based. Policies based in overarching discourses should not be seen as all-determining factors for recruitment. More important are local social networks, local policies and alternative work options.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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