“Fish as food”: Exploring a food sovereignty approach to small-scale fisheries

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 8:56pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2017
Date published: 11/2017
Authors: Charles Levkoe, Kristen Lowitt, Connie Nelson
Journal title: Marine Policy
Volume: 85
Pages: 65 - 70
ISSN: 0308597X

This article explores how conceptualizing fish as food, rather than primarily as a resource or commodity supports a shift towards more systems-based approaches to engaging with fisheries (i.e. considering the relationships between ecosystems, people, management and policy). A “fish as food” lens is operationalized by drawing on the theory and practice of food sovereignty. While fishing people and communities have always been a core part of the food sovereignty movement, there have been limited efforts in the academic literature to explore these connections directly. Drawing on examples primarily from a Canadian context, it is argued that a deeper engagement between fisheries and food sovereignty is long overdue, particularly as a growing body of research on small-scale fisheries seeks to address social-ecological relationships and issues of power that are also at the core of a food sovereignty approach. This article identifies the opportunities and limitations of engaging with food sovereignty in the context of small-scale fisheries and suggests a series of key questions for future fish as food research and policy.

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