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Salmon, sensors, and translation: The agency of Big Data in environmental governance

Ascui, F, Haward, M ORCID: 0000-0003-4775-0864 and Lovell, H ORCID: 0000-0003-1164-0356 2018 , 'Salmon, sensors, and translation: The agency of Big Data in environmental governance' , Environment and Planning D: Society and Space , pp. 1-21 , doi:

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This paper explores the emerging role of Big Data in environmental governance. We focus on thecase of salmon aquaculture management from 2011 to 2017 in Macquarie Harbour, Australia, andcompare this with the foundational case that inspired the development of the concept of ‘translation’in actor-network theory, that of scallop domestication in St Brieuc Bay, France, in the1970s. A key difference is the salience of environmental data in the contemporary case. Recentdramatic events in the environmental governance of Macquarie Harbour have been driven byincreasing spatial and temporal resolution of environmental monitoring, including real-time datacollection from sensors mounted on the fish themselves. The resulting environmental data nowtakes centre stage in increasingly heated debates over how the harbour should be managed:overturning long-held assumptions about environmental interactions, inducing changes in regulatorypractices and institutions, fracturing historical alliances and shaping the on-going legitimacyof the industry. Environmental Big Data is now a key actor within the networks that constituteand enact environmental governance. Given its new and unpredictable agency, control overaccess to data is likely to become critical in future power struggles over environmental resourcesand their governance

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Ascui, F and Haward, M and Lovell, H
Keywords: Big Data, environmental governance, actor-network theory, translation, salmon, aquaculture
Journal or Publication Title: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
Publisher: Pion Ltd
ISSN: 0263-7758
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright The Author(s) 2018. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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