Patterns of Naturecultures: The Spatial Redistribution of Pacific Salmon
Friday, Nov. 9, 3-4 p.m.
Blue Box Seminar. Dr. Heather Swanson, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Aarhus University, Denmark, to present. Abstract: Frontier processes are known for the massive redistributions they cause. Though resource extraction and the making of wastelands, their ability to shunt wealth from peripheries to centers is well known. How, this chapter asks, do such accumulation practices redistribute not only capital, but also animal and plant species in ways that have ecological and even evolutionary consequences? This talk focuses specifically on the redistribution of Pacific salmon over the course of the past 200 years, from the perspective of Hokkaido, Japan, an island that became a Japanese settler colony in 1869. While eastern Pacific frontiers, such as those of the American and Canadian coasts, have experienced consistent salmon, Hokkaido’s salmon populations have dramatically increased since the 1970s. Yet the increases in salmon in Hokkaido have been geographically uneven, leaving some watersheds and fishing communities with a glut of fish and others with few. The talk asks 1) how the intersection of particular practices of industrialization and unexpected quirks of salmon biology produced such peculiarly patchy distributions of salmon; and 2) how the new locations and migrations of these fish have had major consequences for both fishing communities and ecological relations.
Presented by Department of Geography