Mastering the environment: frontier behaviour at an ocean Klondike during Greenland halibut fishery
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionActa Borealia. 2020, 37 (1-2), 78-93. 10.1080/08003831.2020.1751967
The expression “mastering the environment” may inspire conflicting associations depending on whether we focus on the temporality of targeted fishers, marine biologists, or policymakers. This study presents an emic perspective on how natural and social environments are understood and managed during the short fishing season for Greenland halibut. In the context of this paper, mastering has to do with communication, social relations, and efforts to live up to moral standards of behaviour and to adapt to sea bottom topography, fish-finding technology, weather conditions, and vessel safety. A particular focus is the knowledge generated through informal teaching and intergenerational support and respect. Nevertheless, this bank fishery displays characteristics of frontier behaviour, as state-induced quotas and particular events and practices onboard elicit unintended results.