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Assembling the sea: materiality, movement and regulatory practices in the Cardigan Bay scallop fishery

Bear, Christopher 2013. Assembling the sea: materiality, movement and regulatory practices in the Cardigan Bay scallop fishery. Cultural Geographies 20 (1) , pp. 21-41. 10.1177/1474474012463665

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Abstract

This paper investigates the controversy around scallop dredging in Cardigan Bay, Wales. The area’s scallop fishery was relatively small until the 1980s but has seen dramatic increases in catches in the past five years. Concerns have been raised about the effect of increasing fishing effort, especially for its potential impacts on the Bay’s population of bottlenose dolphins, which were the basis of its designation as a Special Area of Conservation. I show that the controversy is not merely about human management of an endangered fish stock, but also involves the actions of scallops, dolphins, the sea, seabed, fishing technologies and regulatory practices. I also show that the events in Cardigan Bay frequently are co-produced by events and actions further afield. These topics are examined through the lens of assemblage theory, with which geographers have yet to widely engage. This emphasizes heterogeneity and emergence, and encourages a focus on processes of (de)territorialization. In the paper, I contrast the territorializing practices of regulatory regimes with the smoothing movements of dolphins, the sea and the seabed, showing how the actions of these nonhumans complicate attributions of environmental harm. Through this, the paper addresses the lack of attention paid to the sea by cultural geographers, particularly through a focus on materiality and multi-dimensionality.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Uncontrolled Keywords: animal geographies; assemblage; deterritorialization; dredging fish; geographies of the sea; scallops; territorialization; Wales
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1474-4740
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:05
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/42310

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