Working knowledge in Swedish coastal fishery - Making cultural capital visible for sustainable use of coastal sea- and landscapes

Project leader

Funding source

Formas - The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2014
End date: 31/12/2016
Funding: 3207000 SEK


Soon Swedish coastal fishing will be a memory from the past. Since 1914 the total number of fishers in Sweden diminished with a dramatic 93%. This demise is not just a quantitative change in numbers of fishers, since it is especially coastal fishers that are disappearing. The loss of cultural capital that Swedish coastal fishers represent, i.e. ´their working knowledge´ and skills, implies a tremendous setback for sustainable management of coastal sea- and landscapes. The decline of marine biomass and biodiversity due to overfishing, together with the advent of peak oil, will require development trajectories that keep fisheries within local ecological boundaries. The cultural capital that coastal fishers embody and that is rooted in specific localities can serve as a foundation for new development trajectories. However, it is only when cultural capital becomes visible that it can be used for this purpose. The objective of this proposal is therefore to systematically study the working knowledge of Swedish coastal fishery, and to make it visible as cultural capital that can contribute to the sustainable management of coastal sea- and landscapes. The research will first identify through ethnographic and visual methods the types of local ecological knowledge and craftsmanship that Swedish coastal fishers embody. Next to that, it will investigate how fishers´ cultural capital can be successfully communicated within mainstream fisheries science and management.

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:58