MEESO: Investigating the social, economic and ecological viability of mesopelagic fisheries

Project: PhD

Project Details


This PhD project explores the implications of knowledge production practices on the anticipatory governance of mesopelagic fisheries. The mesopelagic zone refers to ocean waters 200m-1000m deep. An EU research project known as MEESO, of which this PhD is a part, aims to assess the viability and sustainability of a potential fishery as a first step towards sustainable governance. However, the high degree of uncertainty about the mesopelagic zone amplifies many challenges of fisheries governance: the mobility of fish stocks, the expense of stock estimations, and the complexity of ecosystem dynamics. In response to this uncertainty, scientists in the MEESO project are producing and communicating knowledge about the ecosystem’s physical and biological properties in anticipation of (rather than in reaction to) fishing activity. Simultaneously, actors in the seafood industry are producing knowledge of their own to assist in their commercial decision-making about whether or not to enter the mesopelagic zone. The aim of this PhD is therefore to understand how stakeholders (scientists and the seafood industry) produce knowledge and meaning about the mesopelagic zone with (or despite) various types of uncertainty and how this might affect the governance of the resource. Theoretically, it treats the production of knowledge as a social practice situated in an anticipatory governance process. The insights of this PhD project will be useful for the mesopelagic zone by studying how uncertainty is dealt with in MEESO. The results will also contribute to understanding anticipatory governance under extreme uncertainty as a phenomenon, with applicability in other contexts.
Effective start/end date1/11/19 → …


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