Examining and comparing social dimensions in transnational aquaculture certification programs

Saha, Choyon Kumar (2019) Examining and comparing social dimensions in transnational aquaculture certification programs. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Certification is a market-based governance instrument for promoting the long-term sustainability of farming fish. While there are dozens of certification programs operating in the global seafood market, this thesis examines the emergence and evolution of certification programs that target aquaculture production in multiple jurisdictions, followed by an examination and comparison of the social principles and criteria in eleven comprehensive programs that are prominent globally. Drawing on an analysis of scholarly publications, gray literature, and certification standard documents, this research is designed with two specific goals: to enhance an understanding of the emergence and evolution of certification schemes in aquaculture sector and to enhance a comparative understanding of their social, economic and community-focused principles in a context of wider efforts to promote socially and ethically responsible aquaculture practices. As very little recent scholarship has focused on these two areas, this research sheds light on: when, how and why various schemes have emerged and evolved over time and space, and what factors and actors drive certification agencies to integrate social, economic and community-oriented principles in to their certification system. The thesis argues that there have been seven key dynamic forces driving a plethora of mainly non-state actors, organizations, associations, foundations, corporations, international networks and alliances to design and develop aquaculture certification programs. The interaction of these forces, and the underlying interests that have shaped key actors in supporting aquaculture certification, have played pivotal role in the emergence and evolution of four organic and seven nonorganic certification schemes during two key periods: 1970-1999 and 2000-2018. The thesis further argues that certification agencies incorporate an array of complementary and distinct social, economic and community-oriented principles into their standards and requirements. These principles target the industry’s unresolved problems and promote socially and ethically responsible aquaculture practices through upholding justice, fairness, freedom and equality. These principles of aquaculture certification schemes are also compared with the CFRN framework. The diversity of social, economic and community principles, criteria and indicators within and across certification programs will likely create ongoing pressures related to questions of harmonization and fragmentation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14014
Item ID: 14014
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 123-156).
Keywords: Aquaculture, Certification, Community, Evolution, Principle
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Date: August 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Aquaculture industry--Certification--Social aspects

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