Far More than Market-Based: Rethinking the Impact of the Dutch Viswijzer (Good Fish Guide) on Fisheries' Governance

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The sustainable seafood movement has given greater credence to non-governmental organisation (NGO) involvement in fisheries' governance through a series of market-based tools and strategies, including consumer awareness campaigns and seafood certification schemes. Despite their proliferation in recent years, the market-based translation of consumer demand directly steering fishermen towards more sustainable practices, we argue, limits our understanding of the wider patterns of interaction that these tools can engender. Using the case of the Dutch Good Fish Guide or Viswijzer, we contend that market-based tools can be effective in creating both horizontal and vertical spaces of interaction between key actors in the Dutch fishery sector. We conclude that while market-based impacts may be negligible, the Viswijzer presents a powerful communicative instrument that has succeeded in fostering more face-to-face interaction and deliberation between otherwise disparate actors. Constructive collaboration between NGOs and industry can therefore create the requisite level of trust in the transition towards sustainable fisheries
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-303
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011



  • trust
  • seafood
  • industry
  • system

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