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Global Environmental Politics (2018) 18 (2): 72–92.
Published: 01 May 2018
AbstractView article PDF
This article situates seafood in the larger intersection between global environmental governance and the food system. Drawing inspiration from the food regimes approach, we trace the historical unfolding of the seafood system and its management between the 1930s and the 2010s. In doing so, we bridge global environmental politics research that has studied either the politics of fisheries management or seafood sustainability governance, and we bring seafood and the fisheries crisis into food regimes scholarship. Our findings reveal that the seafood system has remained firmly dependent on the historical institutions of national seafood production systems and, particularly, on the state-based regulatory regimes that they promulgated in support of national economic and geopolitical interests. As such, seafood systems contribute to a broader, historicized understanding of the hybrid global environmental governance of food systems in which nonstate actors depend heavily upon, and in fact call for the strengthening of, state-based institutions. Our findings reveal that the contemporary private ordering of seafood governance solidifies the centrality of state-based institutions in the struggle for “sustainable” seafood and enables the continued expansionary, volume-driven extractivist logics that produced the fisheries crisis in the first place.
Global Environmental Politics (2012) 12 (4): 147–152.
Published: 01 November 2012
Shifting Tides in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean Tuna Fishery: The Political Economy of Regulation and Industry Responses
Global Environmental Politics (2010) 10 (1): 89–114.
Published: 01 February 2010
AbstractView article PDF
The Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) tuna fishery is the largest and most valuable in the world. Although the International Law of the Sea granted Pacific island countries the right to exploit and manage this valuable fishery, they have been unable to prevent resource decline or to capture economic development potential from their intersections with the global tuna industry. Variants of neoliberalism identify Pacific island countries' weak institutions to explain these failings. We argue that this explanation is insufficient. As an alternative, we offer a political economy analysis of the co-evolution of fisheries regulation and the strategies of the Japanese and Taiwanese fleets (and their governments) in the region. This framing illustrates the relational, multi-scalar processes within and among states and firms that shape patterns in the sector. Our findings indicate that the combination of competitive capital accumulation strategies and inter-state power relations must be addressed to explain challenges in the WCPO tuna sector.