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Making space for plural ontologies in fisheries governance: Ireland's disobedient offshore islands

Brennan, Ruth


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{
  "publisher": "Zenodo", 
  "DOI": "10.5281/zenodo.6414126", 
  "author": [
    {
      "family": "Brennan, Ruth"
    }
  ], 
  "issued": {
    "date-parts": [
      [
        2022, 
        1, 
        29
      ]
    ]
  }, 
  "abstract": "<p>This paper contributes to the growing body of literature that engages with ontological scholarship&nbsp;on&nbsp;fisheries management and governance, and more generally, to debates on environmental governance.&nbsp;It argues that fisheries governance&nbsp;is&nbsp;an ontological challenge that raises questions of culture, equity, legitimacy and inclusion/exclusion, requiring&nbsp;more context-sensitive and politically aware fisheries governance approaches.&nbsp;By engaging with the concept of political ontology, and&nbsp;drawing&nbsp;from empirical research carried out in&nbsp;Ireland&rsquo;s offshore islands,&nbsp;five ontological assumptions&nbsp;are identified that underpin&nbsp;Irish fisheries governance and management policies and practices, and&nbsp;categorised as social-historical, ecological, geographical, technocratic and markets-driven.&nbsp;Articulating and examining these assumptions provides insights into why policy objectives aimed at&nbsp;supporting&nbsp;small-scale fisheries and their communities may, in practice, not be effective when they are operationalised within a governance paradigm designed around the realities of large-scale, full-time, highly mobile&nbsp;and more economically productive operators.&nbsp;Despite the efforts of ontologically disobedient islanders, the enactment of these ontological assumptions into the dominant world of fisheries governance&nbsp;inhibits&nbsp;the&nbsp;emergence of possible worlds&nbsp;that&nbsp;would&nbsp;enact&nbsp;Irish&nbsp;island inshore fisheries through island logics.&nbsp;The paper concludes that&nbsp;the&nbsp;squeeze on&nbsp;Ireland&rsquo;s&nbsp;island inshore fishers is not simply spatial, it is ontological.&nbsp;The dominant fisheries ontology that has been created by the interplay of ontological assumptions&nbsp;undermines&nbsp;the State&rsquo;s critical policy to maintain and manage&nbsp;Irish fisheries as a public resource&nbsp;so that&nbsp;opportunities are not concentrated into the hands of large and powerful fishing interests.</p>", 
  "title": "Making space for plural ontologies in fisheries governance: Ireland's disobedient offshore islands", 
  "type": "article-journal", 
  "id": "6414126"
}
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