Debating nature : science and decision-making in pacific salmon hatcheries

Timothy John Hawkins
The presence of hatcheries in the management of Pacific salmon in North America, in the fact they constitute a literal interface between humans and nature, is unique in the species that humans actively manage for food or other benefit. This, in tandem with the scientific criticism they face through salmon management literature, situate hatcheries as an opportune subject for the study of decision-making about science in natural resource management or conservation settings. This thesis explores
more » ... e broader question of how decisions are made regarding new science in Pacific Salmon hatcheries through the study of two separate contexts at two different scales. The first research chapter addresses the question: how have hatcheries and the scientific research that is focused on them been discussed in the public sphere? This is achieved through a newspaper content analysis with a focus on the examination of framing mechanisms in the words of the journalists and those they feature. This chapter reveals that hatcheries are portrayed and debated based on the benefits they provide, but also on the scientific and economic concerns that people have about them. These risks and benefits were directly pitted against each other in a media debate regarding a question involving interpretation of the United States Endangered Species Act, which involved brought much of the scientific research about hatcheries into the public sphere. The second research chapter focuses in at a much finer scale, on the hatchery management system on Canada's west coast. In this chapter, perspectives on selective breeding as a tool in broodstock management are explored through interviews with individuals working for hatcheries and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans - Canada's salmon management authority. This chapter reveals that, though individuals hold various views about the merit and acceptability of selective breeding, there is a unanimous desire within the sample of hatchery management staff to pursue decisions that advance the naturalness [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0378363 fatcat:wkjw5nck5zauleu5dc5vytmsfe