Fishers' knowledge and scientific indeterminacy : contested oil impacts in Mexico's sacrifice zone

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/303782

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Quist , L-M 2019 , ' Fishers' knowledge and scientific indeterminacy : contested oil impacts in Mexico's sacrifice zone ' , Maritime Studies , vol. 18 , no. 1 , 123 , pp. 65–76 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s40152-018-0123-7

Title: Fishers' knowledge and scientific indeterminacy : contested oil impacts in Mexico's sacrifice zone
Author: Quist, Liina-Maija
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Social Policy
Date: 2019-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Maritime Studies
ISSN: 2212-9790
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/303782
Abstract: In Tabasco, in the Mexican Gulf of Mexico, many small-scale fishers follow their catch to prohibited offshore areas set aside for the oil industry's extractive activities. They claim that increased seismic studies and oil extraction displace and kill fish, contributing to a reduction in hauls, which acts as an incentive to the fishers to continue accessing traditional fishing grounds in the recently prohibited areas. The author draws on theoretical ideas from de la Cadena and Ingold to examine the fishers' offshore movement and related knowledge claims as `excess', or beyond conventional political discourses, interrogating the multiple and contested meanings that fishers attach to their sea environment, fish and fishing in the context of increased oil extraction operations. The article shows that these meanings are difficult to articulate within a political frame that constitutes the offshore extraction area as a `sacrifice zone'. However, the respective knowledges of fishers and the oil industry about the industry's impacts on marine life rely on patchy evidence, lack systematicity, and are motivated by political interests. The author argues that scientific indeterminacy about the causes of depleting fish populations and the weakness of environmental legislation exclude fishers' knowledge from politics while recognising the oil industry's knowledge as valid.
Subject: 5142 Social policy
fisher
knowledge
Mexico
mobility
oil industry
politics
sacrifice zone
seismology
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