Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/12324
Fishing for common ground : broadening the definition of 'rights-based' fisheries management in Iceland's Westfjords
Since the 1980s, so-called “rights-based” fisheries management regimes – specifically those designed to apply market forces to problems of inefficiency and overfishing by divvying up fixed, tradable proportions of a total allowable catch among individuals or cooperatives – have become both one of the most widely advocated and most contentious aspects of marine resource management. Iceland, promoted by some as a successful international model of this approach, has been the site – for nearly thirty years – of fierce debate and controversy regarding the system’s effects on regional development, social justice and wealth disparity. This thesis uses a phenomenological approach, a set of ten semi-structured interviews, and document analysis to explore how inhabitants of the Icelandic Westfjords understand and articulate their ‘rights’ in the context of fisheries management, particularly in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Respondents discuss a range of perceived ‘rights’ not usually considered in management design, most notably the right to ‘fate-control’. Discussions of rights-based management in the Westfjords reflect deeper concerns regarding identity, fear of change, democratic values and a sense of personal agency.