Office: SN 2005
Telephone: (709) 864-8998
Fax: (709) 864- 3119
Dr. Charles Mather
The "Moral Beauty Contest": How Quality Affects the Global Value Chain for Northern Shrimp
The purpose of this study is to explore how the conception of quality in the shrimp market influences production along the Global Value Chain for Northern Shrimp (Pandalus borealis). The study will be guided by the following questions:
- What does the Global Value Chain for inshore cooked and peeled Northern Shrimp look like?
- What is quality in the Global Value Chain, and how has it changed over time?
- How are quality standards enforced along the Chain, and what effect does it have on industry participants?
There is a serious, and acknowledged gap in the literature regarding the movement of seafood from wild capture fisheries, from harvesting through to consumption, across the global seafood market. The contribution I hope to make with this research will be to extend the already detailed discussion of industrialization and globalization in food production into seafood products, focusing specifically on cooked and peeled North Atlantic Shrimp to begin to address this gap in our understanding of fisheries markets.
Mobilizing Research Knowledge in the Digital Age
I first became interested in radio as a means of knowledge production in 2012, when I was invited to participate in Island Vision Radio, a community radio initiative trying to re-link the communities of Fogo Island in the wake of substantial social and economic changes on the Island. It was amazing to see how communities came together to tell their stories, not only to themselves, but also to each other and the world, just as they had done in the late 1960s when the Island also faced serious social and economic upheaval. The echoes of Challenge for Change, and the Fogo Process films were all around us as inspiration, and also in the physical reminders, such as the Fogo Island Cooperative Society, who sponsored the event, and the Fogo Island Central Academy, who hosted our broadcasting equipment, both organizations that can trace their existence back to the fist experiences on the island with participatory media.
In the time since then, I have been involved with other community and small-scale radio projects on and around Fogo Island, as well as taking part in a radio documentary production course with the award winning producer Chris Brookes of Battery Radio, through Memorial University’s Research Centre for Music Media and Place (MMaP).
I feel passionately about the role of radio in research, not only as a means of mobilizing knowledge, but as a way of meaningfully engaging research participants in the process. Traditional research mobilizing has come in the form of written words, theses and journal articles, and these will form the bulk of the research product, but to this I’d like to add more. The spoken word, and aural landscape can be incredibly evocative, and can represent people and places in a way completely different than can be accomplished with a written description. And with the availability of digital handheld audio recording equipment and cheap editing software, coupled with the ease of uploading and sharing audio on the Internet, this format also holds to potential to be incredibly inclusive to researchers looking to integrate new media into their research outputs.
The fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador has had a long history with radio, including the institution of “The Fisheries Broadcast”, which has been broadcasting on CBC radio since 1951. I want to engage with that history by using the radio documentary format to tell some of the stories that have come out of my research into the shrimp industry. I have been collecting sounds and interviews all throughout the research process, in Canada, Denmark and the United Kingdom, in the hopes of being able to produce a series of short documentary pieces that can showcase different perspectives, and highlight the connections that span an industry, and an ocean.
"Atlantic Sound" is the first documentary completed in this series, and fittingly begins with the experiences of the captain and crew of an inshore shrimp vessel working in NAFO area 3K, off the north east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Listen to the first audio documentary, "Atlantic Sound."
- Geography of Food
- Global Value Chain Analysis