Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

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Presentation Discussion

  • Icon for: Philip Loring

    Philip Loring

    May 21, 2012 | 05:55 p.m.

    Nice piece of work, Cat! I can’t wait to read/hear more about your work. See you at AFS?

  • Icon for: Catherine Chambers

    Catherine Chambers

    May 22, 2012 | 01:30 a.m.

    Thanks Phil. Unfortunately, I’ll still be in Iceland in October during the American Fisheries Society meeting. But you will for sure see me on the conference circuit in 2013!

  • May 23, 2012 | 12:51 p.m.

    Cat this is excellent! Great work!

  • Icon for: Catherine Chambers

    Catherine Chambers

    May 23, 2012 | 07:44 p.m.

    Thank you Courtney!

  • Icon for: Lee McDavid

    Lee McDavid

    May 23, 2012 | 04:21 p.m.

    Do you have any thoughts about the viability of sustainable fisheries and fishing livelihoods existing together amicably?

  • Icon for: Catherine Chambers

    Catherine Chambers

    May 23, 2012 | 08:03 p.m.

    Hi Lee-

    Your question is of course a major underlying theme of my research and something I hope to work on throughout my career! As I’ve mentioned in my video and poster, I do think that the definition of sustainable fisheries needs to include a social component of fair access to fishing livelihoods and fair labor. I think this is possible but every fishing community, species, and nation have a unique combination of political, social, and environmental aspects to take into consideration.

  • Icon for: Roy Murray

    Roy Murray

    May 23, 2012 | 11:33 p.m.

    Great video! Were the fishers on the boats concerned about fishery collapse or the sustainability of their work?

  • Icon for: Catherine Chambers

    Catherine Chambers

    May 24, 2012 | 03:21 p.m.

    Thanks, Roy.
    There are a wide range of kinds of fishermen, so your question is something I’m addressing throughout my project. I don’t have a full answer yet! I’d say overall there are many small boat fishermen who are concerned about the sustainability of the fishery resource, but I’m still exploring the details of these conservation ethics.

  • Icon for: Franz Mueter

    Franz Mueter

    May 24, 2012 | 11:13 a.m.

    Nice work!
    Are those Cyclopterus ?? Biggest lumpsuckers I’ve ever seen!

  • Icon for: Catherine Chambers

    Catherine Chambers

    May 24, 2012 | 03:18 p.m.

    Thank you Franz!
    Yes, Cyclopterus lumpus. The one I’m holding in the video was one big momma. The fishermen asked me to hold her up for a picture.

  • Icon for: Pamela Allen

    Pamela Allen

    May 24, 2012 | 01:49 p.m.

    Very nice! I’m wondering what you see as some of the next steps you’ll take in further understanding the impacts of such management schemes?

  • Icon for: Catherine Chambers

    Catherine Chambers

    May 24, 2012 | 03:28 p.m.

    Thank you very much. One thing I would like to do after this particular project is look a little more deeply into the connections between fisheries privatization, fishing livelihoods and well-being. There is a good amount of literature focusing on well-being and happiness in fishing communities, and I think this might be another effective angle to address the questions I’m interested in.

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Icon for: Catherine Chambers


University of Alaska at Fairbanks
Years in Grad School: 3

Fishing livelihoods and culturally-appropriate fisheries management in North Iceland

Fisheries consist of myriad ecological, social, economic, and political factors that can create complicated management scenarios. Iceland is often hailed in the management literature as having one of the most sustainably-managed fisheries in the world, due largely to the reduction of fishing participation by privatizing the right to fish. Fisheries privatization brought about dramatic changes in fishing livelihoods, leading to rural job loss and even loss of community well-being. The theoretical background for privatization rests on the notion that individuals are profit-maximizers, and without private property rights, effort will flood into fisheries and destroy resource sustainability. However, my research challenges the dominant “tragedy of the commons” framing of fisheries by asking: can a truly “sustainable” fishery management scheme be good for fish and bad for fishing livelihoods? I use theories from political ecology to quantitatively and qualitatively explore the relationship between different types of fisheries management, motivations for participation in fisheries, and the importance of small-scale fisheries in North Iceland. Here, I present preliminary data focused on exploring motivations in fisheries to better understand the ways varying management schemes affect people’s ability to access resources and engage in culturally and historically important livelihoods. Fisheries management schemes assuming one culturally-specific reasoning over another can often lead to tension between user-groups and ultimate failure. At a time when privatization of fisheries is increasing worldwide, it is important to understand the impacts that varying management schemes have on the cultural dimensions of fisheries in order to design management scenarios that are effective from economic, environmental, and social standpoints.