Deep Ecology and Language: The Curtailed Journey of the Atlantic Salmon

In: Society & Animals
Author: Arran Stibbe
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Abstract

This article explores the representation of fish in ecological discourse through analysis of the recently published Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA, 2005) synthesis report. The analysis utilizes an ecological framework based on "deep ecology" (Naess, 1990), examining how the discourse of the MA asserts or denies the intrinsic worth of fish. The discursive construction of fish is particularly relevant given the massive expansion of the aquaculture industry, which is having a negative impact on ecosystems and the fish themselves, particularly the Atlantic salmon. There are alternatives to traditional ecological discourses, such as the lyrical discourse drawn on by Rachel Carson (1962) in her description of salmon. The article concludes with a discussion of the potential of such discourses to represent reality in ways that are more comparable with the welfare of the fish and the protection of ecosystems.

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