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Competing use of marine space in a modernizing fishery: salmon farming meets lobster fishing on the Bay of Fundy

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Coastal fishing communities are frequently portrayed as bastions of tradition at odds with the modernizing forces of technological change and industrial capitalism. This article examines this debate in the context of intensive aquaculture introduced into regions formerly dependent on the wild fishery, specifically with respect to the explosive growth of salmon farming in New Brunswick. New farm sites are large, often located within or close to traditional lobster fishing areas, which has motivated considerable opposition from local fishermen. This article presents findings from research on interactions between salmon farming and lobster fishing around Deer Island and Grand Manan, New Brunswick. Fishermen and salmon farmers are concerned about possible long-term effects of farm operations on marine environmental quality and lobster health, and many are concerned about the concentration of ownership and lack of local control over the aquaculture industry. The potential for physical displacement from traditional fishing grounds is real, but the actual impacts have been tempered by a combination of factors, including unusually large lobster catches in recent years; technological advances that have encouraged a shift in lobster fishing effort further offshore, away from salmon farm sites; and social accommodations between salmon site managers and those who fish
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, Mount Allison University, Sackville, N.B. Canada E4L 1A7 ( ), Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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