Enough Fish in the Sea?

Fish Farming Debate and Affective Practices


  • Karin Sandell


affect, affective tools, cultural sustainability, newspaper debate, emotions, fish farming, sustainability, sustainable foodways


Fish farming is a hot topic in the local press of the Jakobstad region on the west coast of Finland. In 2017, a local fisher established an open sea fish farming company to produce locally farmed fish with the aim of meeting the increasing demand for domestically produced fish. Open sea fish farming is debated due to its environmental impact. The establishment of the fish farm has been challenged and defended in several readers’ letters from local politicians and officials, local activists, researchers, and the company’s founder himself. The debate letters are filled with data on the environmental impact from nutrient emissions, and other measurable factors. However, the debate is not just about feed pellets, fish faeces, and the organic enrichment of bottom sediments—it is about the emotional relationship to the sea in a region forged by the Gulf of Bothnia. With affect theory as a starting point, I aim to analyse how notions of sustainability and sustainable foodways are expressed in a local newspaper debate about fish farming. How do the two sides of the debate present their views of sustainability?




How to Cite

Sandell, K. (2023). Enough Fish in the Sea? Fish Farming Debate and Affective Practices. Ethnologia Fennica, 49(2), 101–126. https://doi.org/10.23991/ef.v49i2.112847