Valuable Ecologies: A Geography of Angling
Bull, Jacob Andrew
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
to allow time for publications
Animals have occupied a prominent position in geographical research for some time (Philo and Wilbert 2000, Wolch and Emel, 1998) and the importance of animals in personal narratives of identity, place and space is widely accepted (see for example Matless et al., 2005). However, such research is predominantly focussed on understandings of mammals. This thesis contests this dominance by critically investigating the significance of fish in shaping understandings of animals. The work also connects with the burgeoning geographical interest with water (see for example, Gandy, 2002; Swyngedouw, 2004; Gandy, 2004, Kaika, 2005; and Braun 2005) but through an approach which steps away from understandings of water as just a resource to recognise that it is a resource that connects different issues, scales and approaches and has a materiality that shapes, and influences understandings of people and places. It also contributes to debates surrounding nature/society as it examines the interactions between humans and non-mammalian animals to interrogate issues relating to escape, wildness, nostalgia and connects large scale ‘landscape’ approaches to close-up encounters with the more-than-human world. These connections flow from the connectivity generated through water as it connects ‘diffuse’ issues into particular organisms. This connectivity has been exploited as fish are used as indicator species for public policy. Alongside this use as indicator species, fisheries management is usually science driven. Therefore running through the thesis is a critique of the role of the natural sciences and economics in shaping understandings fish as the political ecology of which fish, in which locations, are made to count. All this was achieved through a methodology that encouraged anglers to address the complexities, inconsistencies and tensions within their angling experience.
European Social Fund and linked to the RELU project titled 'Sustainable and Holistic Food Chains'
PhD in Geography and Politics