Constructing environmental issues: the Tasmanian salmon industry

Kiera Charles

Salmon farming is a controversial industry in Tasmania due to its potential for environmental harm. This presentation reports the findings of a study that analysed the controversy and the implications this has for the industry. Informed by a green criminological perspective, the study first used an analysis of news articles to identify stakeholders involved in the debate and important themes about the controversy of salmon farming. The second stage of the study involved four semi-structured qualitative interviews with stakeholders. Interview data were analysed using both deductive and inductive coding. The interviews identified five key stakeholder groups as contributing to the debate: aquaculture companies, the government, communities, wild fishers and environmental groups. Three broad themes emerged from the data as influencing the debate: governance, community, and environmental degradation. The findings suggest different stakeholder groups regard different aspects of the industry as the key concerns. Conflicting views between stakeholder groups leads to the debate and controversy surrounding the industry, resulting in its construction as an environmental issue. Further research is needed both to establish the specific nature of harms as perceived by different groups and to understand the extent of each type of harm that is attributed to the salmon farming industry.


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