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Environment, Space, Place

Volume 7, Issue 2, Fall 2015

Karl Benediktsson, Edda R.H. Waage
Pages 41-64

Taskscapes at Sea
Trawler Fishing and the Experience of Fluid Nature

Recent interest by scholars in the ocean and its complex geographies has not been directed much towards the everyday life of those on board fishing vessels and how they sense the nature around them. A large trawler for oceanic fishing is a highly efficient industrial production machine, carrying an array of equipment that mediates the connection between crew and nature. This article presents results from an experimental research project, where one of the authors joined a fishing trip on an Icelandic factory trawler. The resulting rich set of ethnographic material reveals much about the particularities of being at sea. It is argued that the ship can be understood as a series of distinct taskscapes, each of which affords certain relations between human and non-human nature.

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