Critical Aquaculture Studies I: Social Construction and Contestation in the Global North

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Taylor, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Young Rae Choi, Timothy Gorman, Melva Treviño-Peña
Chairs: Melva Treviño-Peña


Aquaculture — the cultivation of fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic species — is one of the fastest growing agri-food sectors globally (Bostock et. al, 2010; Belton and Bush 2013). As such, it plays an increasingly large role in the global food system, and in the livelihoods of people across the globe. The rapid growth of aquaculture has been hailed by some as a “Blue Revolution,” capable of delivering “improved human nutrition, economic well-being and environmental sustainability” (Sachs 2007). Others, however, have taken a more critical approach, highlighting — for example — intensifying conflicts over land for shrimp farming in Bangladesh (Paprocki and Cons 2014); the gendered impacts of aquaculture expansion (and the gendered nature of social mobilization against aquaculture) in Ecuador (Veuthey and Gerber 2012); power imbalances in global seafood certification regimes (Vandergeest 2007); and the creation of a food production system that addresses industrial over human needs (Islam 2014).

In recognition that critical scholarship around aquaculture has proliferated in recent years and yet remained diffuse and fractured, this session brings together papers as a groundwork to build a community of scholars and venue for academic exchange in the emerging field of what we call “critical aquaculture studies.” In naming the field, we draw inspiration from “critical agrarian studies” (Edelman and Wolford 2017) and its focus on power, property, and the transformation of the socio-ecological relations around agriculture that has accompanied development and globalization. However, we also recognize the need to go beyond the traditional focus of agrarian studies. We ask how the socio-ecological relations of aquaculture differ from those in agriculture, how the shift from agriculture to aquaculture, now underway in communities around the world, inflects and reshapes patterns of social and environmental change, and how this will require a new set of theoretical and methodological tools. The session presents papers that explore the transformative nature of aquaculture, in all its aspects, from diverse disciplinary and theoretical backgrounds.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Young Rae Choi*, Florida International University, Assembling sea cucumber aquaculture in South Korea 20 9:55 AM
Presenter Maggie Siebert*, University of New Mexico, Transgenic Salmon and the Future of Food: A critical investigation into the discursive construction of the AquAdvantage Salmon™ 20 10:15 AM
Presenter Teresa Johnson*, University of Maine, Samuel Hanes, University of Maine, Conflicts, Communities, and Carrying Capacity: A Critical Look at Marine Aquaculture in Maine 20 10:35 AM
Presenter Julie Minde*, GMU, Lynnhaven Oysters: Insights for Geography, Cartography, and Conflict Resolution 20 10:55 AM
Presenter Julia Bingham*, Duke University Marine Lab, Grant Murray, Duke University, Luke Fairbanks, Duke University, Haven Parker, Duke University, Opportunity Narratives in Down East Aquaculture 20 11:15 AM

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