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Environment, Space, Place

Volume 7, Issue 2, Fall 2015

Jennifer Grace Smith, Catherine Patricia Chambers
Pages 15-40

Where Are All The Fish?
Local Fish Networks in the Westfjords of Iceland

We used a paper-based survey to explore dynamics of Local Food Networks (LFNs) for fish in the Icelandic Westfjords. Preference for local fish remains high, and fish consumption is largely embedded within a gift network, rather than typical commercial channels off ering costly, frozen, and non-local products. Individuals lacking personal connections to the fishing industry obtain fish from these commercial networks. LFNs for fish in rural Icelandic communities are therefore expressions of power dimensions that are symptomatic of the larger inequalities built into the fisheries management system, designed for globalized food networks. The disconnect between large-scale production mechanisms and local consumption patterns highlights the lack of responsiveness of the fishing industry to local Icelandic consumers and demonstrates the impacts national political structures can have on LFNs.

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