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Community, State, and Market on the North Atlantic Rim

Community, State, and Market on the North Atlantic Rim: Challenges to Modernity in the Fisheries

  • Book Info
    Community, State, and Market on the North Atlantic Rim
    Book Description:

    Examines the implications of common market integration, privatized resource management, and small business development policies for fishery-dependent communities in terms of long-term sustainability and participatory democracy.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7315-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Ottar Brox

    This important book documents and explains the historical processes that have generated coastal communities on both sides of the northern North Atlantic, draws a clear picture of the present social organization of fishing, and gives us some very important clues to what the future of the fishing populations might be.

    The problematic relationship betweencommunityandeconomic sectoris the dominant theme. Villages and industries may grow and develop in harmony, one serving the other, but unfortunately one cannot take for granted that what is good for the fishing industry is good for Fogo Island or the Varanger Peninsula.


  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-20)

    The fisheries of the North Atlantic are in turmoil. In the spring of 1996, as we complete this book, crisis is widespread in Norway as well as in Atlantic Canada. In both areas codfish is a key resource, and, when it is in trouble, coastal communities and regional economies suffer. In the Atlantic provinces of Canada the collapse of cod stocks has resulted in a moratorium on fishing that has brought many communities to the brink of dependency or abandonment. In Norway, after the fishery recovered from a resource crisis in the early 1990s, a record low price for cod...

  7. Section 1: Institutional Development

    • Introduction: Institutional Development
      (pp. 23-28)

      The commercial fisheries of Norway and Atlantic Canada have fundamental traits in common. Both are based on groundfish, particularly cod, which typically display large fluctuations in stock sizes and availability. Both are dependent on export markets, which create uncertainties because of long distances and transportation problems, incomplete information, currency fluctuations, cultural differences, trade barriers, and competition. The instability in the industry’s environment has had far-reaching consequences for organizational solutions and economic development in the fisheries. Throughout the twentieth century predicting and controlling such environmental uncertainties have been at the centre of a succession of attempts to modernize the fisheries of...

    • 1 The End of Commercialism
      (pp. 29-58)

      The fisheries of the North Atlantic went through a major crisis during the interwar period. This crisis was set off by the combination of an increasing supply of fish in international markets, brought on by, among other things, the mechanization of the fisheries, and falling demand, caused by the international economic recession. The result was severe economic and social distress in coastal communities all over the North Atlantic, as fish prices dropped to historic lows. Characterizing the situation as a ‘crisis’ is justified by more than these hardships, however.

      Concomitantly, a fundamental structural transformation occurred in the fisheries, as the...

    • 2 The Rise of Industrial Capitalism
      (pp. 59-84)

      The commercial salt fish industry had been shaken to the core by the interwar economic depression, despite the attempts to protect it. Although salt fish continued to be an important commodity in the world fish trade during the postwar era, the commercialist principles on which it was based lost their dominant position. Which principles should replace them and form the basis for the fisheries of the modern era became the subject of intense political struggles. When the Second World War was over, the governments of fish-exporting nations across the North Atlantic had come to virtually identical conclusions: frozen fish markets...

    • 3 The Resource Management Revolution and Market-Based Responses
      (pp. 85-118)

      As we have seen in the previous chapters, the fishing industries on both sides of the Atlantic have always had to cope with problems caused by fluctuations in both resources and markets. This has led to the development of various strategies and institutions to buffer the industry from whatever the current problem was. In the first third of the twentieth century, most of the problems originated on the market side. With technological improvements and changes in the industrial form of the industry, however, harvesting capacity has increased enormously, making resource problems more dominant in the latter part of the century....

  8. Section 2: Resource Regimes – Co-managing the Commons?: The Politics of Fisheries Management in Atlantic Canada and Norway

    • Introduction: Resources Regimes
      (pp. 121-130)

      The ineffectiveness and outright failures of management revealed in the crises of the 1980s and 1990s triggered an international debate on the proper role of government, science, and user groups in the management of marine resources. There is now widespread concern that national jurisdiction and centralized decision-making based on biological data and bioeconomic models may be neither capable nor sufficient for the conservation and enhancement of marine resources. The ensuing debate, to which social scientists have contributed (Jentoft and Kristoffersen, 1989; Lamson and Hanson, 1984; Maclnnes and Davis, 1990; McCay and Jentoft, 1996), is part of a broader critique of...

    • 4 Managing the Fisheries: Procedures and Politics
      (pp. 131-171)

      The introduction of exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in 1977 signaled the shift of most responsibility for fisheries management from international fisheries organizations to national institutions. In both Norway and Atlantic Canada, management came to be based on a process of consultation between government, science, and industry: in Norway chiefly through formal consultative arrangements at the national level; in Atlantic Canada through a fairly complicated, and more loosely coupled, network of advisory committees at the regional and local level. These two systems, different in structure as well as procedures, have adopted the same general approach to management. They have thus come...

    • 5 From Procedures to Policies
      (pp. 172-186)

      Three issues loom large on the management agenda for the fisheries of both Norway and Atlantic Canada: resource conservation, economic efficiency and regional development and employment. Conservation of resources, how to avoid resource depletion, has been there since the state started to take an interest in the industry, even if it did not – with a few exceptions – become its major focus until the late 1960s. The second, how to make the fisheries economically viable, has spurred a wide range of state policies including the safeguarding of collective institutions in Norwegian fisheries through formal legislation (Hallenstvedt, 1982), modernization programs,...

    • 6 Institutional Structures and Management Policies: The Case of Individual Quotas
      (pp. 187-204)

      As we have seen, individual vessel quotas have become an integral part of management policy in both Norway and Atlantic Canada. In Atlantic Canada this sort of ‘rights-based’ fishing dates to the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the introduction of IQs in the Scotia-Fundy herring fishery (Parsons, I993b) and enterprise allocations (EAs) in the offshore groundfish fishery. These quota allocations have since been made fully transferable and were extended to parts of the inshore dragger groundfish fleet. In Norway group quotas and individual vessel quotas have been in place in offshore fisheries since the late 1970s. They were introduced...

    • 7 Management Reform: The Search for Appropriate Institutions
      (pp. 205-226)

      Fisheries management in both Norway and Atlantic Canada has long been based on a process of consultation between government and industry – in Norway chiefly through formal consultative arrangements at the national level, in Atlantic Canada through a complicated, and more loosely connected, network of advisory committees at the regional and local levels. Pressures for change exist within both systems: in Canada for a ‘downsizing’ of traditional consultative practices and a larger role for professional and independent bodies, or ‘management by independent commission’; in Norway for broader representation within corporatist arrangements and more decentralization to lower level administrative agencies, or...

  9. Section 3: Communities and Entrepreneurship – Re-embedding Coastal Communities

    • Introduction: Parallel Crises
      (pp. 229-234)

      In this section we will address two pertinent questions: First, what is rational behaviour for an industry like the fishery, in face of the two major challenges to its coastal communities in the 1990s (and beyond) — crisis in supply and globalization of markets? Second, how can governments enhance the fishery industry’s own capacity to live with chronically unstable conditions? These questions have no easy answers. But certainly they can no longer be addressed with no reference to the people within the industry who have to cope with the situation every day.

      Much can be learned from the ways households,...

    • 8 Community Sustainability, Small Firms, and Embeddedness
      (pp. 235-245)

      This chapter presents the theoretical framework for our study of small business management and coastal fishing communities in Atlantic Canada and north Norway. It lays the foundation for our central thesis: coastal communities need to be re-embedded in order to be flexible and, hence, sustainable. The relevant literature on industrial organization and community development is summarized and our key analytical concepts are introduced: embeddedness and flexible specialization.

      For liberal economies the relationship between business and community is at best an instrumental question and at worst a non-issue. Why in making business decisions would managers take the needs of their communities...

    • 9 Modernization and Crises
      (pp. 246-258)

      The history of the fishery in Atlantic Canada and Norway, despite obvious differences in the postwar era, has a number of striking similarities. Foremost among these has been the adoption of the Fordist model in the fishery, the industrialization of fish processing, the strength of the offshore sector, and the emergence of single-industry communities. In each area, whole communities become reliant on large-scale, vertically integrated companies whose scale of operation dictated a Fordist style of plant management and a monocultural approach to the harvesting sector. However, in both areas these single-industry towns coexisted alongside other and more embedded fishing communities...

    • 10 Traditionalism and Crisis: The Social Bases of Disembeddedness and Re-embeddedness
      (pp. 259-269)

      This chapter explores the nature of traditionalism in the coastal communities and fishing industries of Nova Scotia and north Norway. For many years the prevalent social science framework has been characterized by a dualistic view of the industry. A monolithic ‘traditional’ sector is thought to be comprised of small plants utilizing archaic techniques and organization, unskilled ‘sticky’ labour, and closely tied to an artisanal and undercapitalized fishing fleet. In the 1960s and 1970s this sector was blamed for inherent inefficiency and backwardness (Brox, 1966). Most recently this sector has been blamed for overexpansion since the declaration of the 200-mile exclusive...

    • 11 Fordism, Neo-Fordism, and Community Disembeddedness
      (pp. 270-283)

      Almost a hundred years have passed since the time of homogeneously embedded coastal fishing communities along the coasts of Canada or Norway (Barrett, 1992). As in forestry, mining, and agriculture, the Fordist model of industrialization has prevailed in the fisheries sector. Coastal communities assumed a single-industry character with distinctive sociological features. The fisheries crises of the 1990s greatly affected these communities, and this process has been compounded by the general crisis within the Fordist system.

      In this chapter we examine Fordism in coastal fisheries communities and explore some issues related to the transformation of this type of firm following the...

    • 12 Post-Fordism and Re-embedding Coastal Communities
      (pp. 284-296)

      In the previous chapter we described the fish-processing industry in Finnmark as having become more disembedded as a consequence of outside take-overs in the wake of the 1989 fisheries crisis. These developments are consistent with neo-Fordism. There is, however, an alternative model of development for crisis-ridden communities: our term for it is ‘post-Fordism.’

      The post-Fordist model is characterized by an attempt to move beyond the limitations of traditional embeddedness, without destroying the firm’s ability to accumulate social capital. In the process, communities can re-embed their resources on a more sustainable basis. The focus in this chapter is on a range...

    • 13 Bugøynes: A Case Study of Community Resistance
      (pp. 297-306)

      During the cod crisis few fishing communities in Norway caught the attention of the press as did Bugøynes. For some days in August 1989 Bugøynes was headline news, and not only in the Norwegian media. Reporters from Finland and Sweden went there.Le Mondeof Paris sent a journalist. A radio reporter even came from across the Atlantic, from Canada. And, the Bugøynes case was discussed in the Norwegian Parliament. How did Bugøynes come to deserve this fame? It was created by an advertisement placed in a leading Oslo newspaper,Dagbladet, headlined with a simple but rather peculiar question: ‘Will...

    • 14 Fogo Island: A Case Study of Cooperativism
      (pp. 307-314)

      The islands off the northeast and east coast of Newfoundland offer access to rich fishing grounds, and hence these were the first areas of Newfoundland to be settled by English (and, briefly, French) in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Fogo Island, and its town of Fogo, was one of the centres of the Newfoundland fishery for more than three hundred years (see map).

      ‘Fish’ means cod in the Newfoundland vernacular. The northern cod stocks that range from Labrador to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and overwinter and spawn off the coast of southern Labrador were the centre and mainstay of...

    • 15 Sambro: A Case Study of Participatory Development
      (pp. 315-325)

      Sambro is a fishing community of four hundred that is located approximately twenty kilometres from Halifax, Nova Scotia, a metropolitan centre of 300,000. Sambro has been the site of an active fishery since the founding of Halifax by the British in 1758. However, it was not until the 1820s that a significant influx of loyalist, white Protestant refugees established the contemporary religious and demographic character of the community (Loucks, 1993). Thirty to forty years ago three local merchants ran the local grocery stores, gas pumps, and the post office. The local merchants and fisher families were intimately connected through credit...

    • 16 Re-embedding Coastal Communities: Towards a Localized Globalization?
      (pp. 326-334)

      The central theoretical perspective in this section assesses the issue of community disembeddedness as a consequence of the fisheries resource crisis within an increasingly globalized economy. As we have seen, by disembedding we mean a process through which the economic activities, rational, and social relations are ‘lifted’ from local contexts of interaction (Giddens, 1990). What the consequences of such a process are for coastal communities is a theoretical focus of our work. For instance, globalization may be seen both as a threat to coastal fishing communities that are already weakened by resource crises, but it may also provide new opportunities...

  10. Conclusion: Community, Market, and State: Dilemmas in Fisheries Policies
    (pp. 335-344)

    In this final chapter we summarize the main argument in terms of relationships between community, market, and state. We then sketch two sets of outcomes that are probable in both our regions, considering the ongoing changes in the relationships among communities, markets, and states within a system that is becoming increasingly global. We discuss the politics of trade-offs: the complexity and multiplicity of goals in fisheries policies that governments are pursuing in both Norway and Atlantic Canada and the intricate policy-making structures that allow various stakeholders to participate in the decision-making process. We conclude with a review of the goals...

  11. References
    (pp. 345-363)