Making space for fish: The regional, network and fluid spaces of fisheries certification

C. Bear, Sally Eden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)
322 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we examine the multiple spatialities of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certifications. The MSC uses its ecolabelling scheme to promote sustainable fisheries management; its logo may be used on the products of certified fisheries. The certification process involves the definition of a ‘fishery’. This involves the designation of boundaries around a particular location. While these boundaries suggest exclusivity for each fishery, these regional spaces are also entwined in the MSC’s network, whereby they are viewed relationally. The utility of areal boundaries is also rendered problematic by the materiality of the seas: coastlines change, fish swim, water moves and ships travel. To operate its scheme successfully, the MSC has to recognise this spatial fluidity, acknowledging the rupture of boundaries and the movement of actors. We argue that attention to a multiplicity of spatialities helps direct attention to the role of non-humans in the acting out of hybrid geographies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-504
Number of pages18
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2008


  • Marine Stewardship Council
  • fisheries certification
  • boundaries
  • actor-network theory
  • fluid spaces
  • hybrid geographies


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