Social resilience, place and identity in the small-scale North Norfolk “Cromer Crab” fishery, UK

White, Carole (2015) Social resilience, place and identity in the small-scale North Norfolk “Cromer Crab” fishery, UK. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Fishing once defined many coastal community identities around the British Isles. Over recent decades, these communities have faced the decline of their fishing industry in addition to demographic, environmental, economic change and a changing policy context in coastal areas focused on marine conservation and economic growth. Using a qualitative case study of a smallscale crab fishery, in North Norfolk, famous for its iconic ‘Cromer Crab’, I investigate place identity and attachment and their implications for social resilience. Like many coastal fishing towns, Cromer has become less reliant on fishing and the future of the fishery, central to the town’s identity, appears to be in question. Although the fishing community has been reduced, the remaining Cromer crab fishermen could be considered resilient. I identify the different livelihood strategies fishermen have adopted in order to continue fishing and explore the trade-offs each strategy involves.
However, given the significant entry barriers new fishermen face, the future of this fishery appears bleak regardless of the strategy selected. The conceptual approach used allows the relational dynamics of coastal communities experiencing change to be drawn out, enabling a deeper analysis of social resilience. It challenges some of the implicit ideas in the social-ecological resilience and place attachment literature on collective action. It questions the extent to which fishing communities can collectively respond to change and influence fisheries governance. While the social and cultural importance of small-scale fisheries are recognised in national and European policy, the limited participation of fishing communities in their governance continues to hinder their sustainable development and social resilience. The insights from this case study are particularly relevant given recent changes to the management and use of marine space in the UK and highlights the need to broaden debates on social resilience and sustainable development by considering the governance context and relational dynamics of coastal communities experiencing change.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Megan Ruddock
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2016 10:25
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2016 10:25


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