Media Representations and Shellfish Farmer Perceptions of Ocean Acidification in the British Columbia Shellfish Aquaculture Sector




Drope, Natalie

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University of Guelph


Shellfish aquaculture is an important cultural and economic activity in British Columbia facing threats from increased ocean acidification (OA). Media representations can influence the ways in which the public and politicians understand OA and shape the scope of adaptive policy and supports to address the issue. Conversely, shellfish farmers have first-hand knowledge and experience with ocean change and policy to address OA should reflect this. This research explores media representations and shellfish farmer perceptions of OA in the BC shellfish aquaculture sector. I conducted a thematic analysis of 29 media articles and a survey of 37 shellfish farmers. Results from the thematic analysis indicate that media representations present a narrow perspective of the issue. Results from the survey indicate that shellfish farmers do see OA as a threat, but it is one of many. Findings suggest that media representations introduced challenges and opportunities for shellfish farmers and the shellfish aquaculture industry.



British Columbia, Ocean Acidification, Shellfish aquaculture, Media studies, Stakeholder perceptions