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Perceiving environmental science, risk and industry regulation in the mediatised vicious cycles of the Tasmanian salmon aquaculture industry

Cullen-Knox, C, Fleming, A ORCID: 0000-0001-9895-1928, Lester, L ORCID: 0000-0003-1046-2412 and Ogier, E ORCID: 0000-0001-6157-5279 2021 , 'Perceiving environmental science, risk and industry regulation in the mediatised vicious cycles of the Tasmanian salmon aquaculture industry' , Social Epistemology , pp. 1-33 .

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Abstract

This paper examines public conflict over the rapid growth of the Tasmanian salmon aquaculture industry and associated environmental and social impacts. By conducting a media analysis, triangulated with key stakeholder interviews, we find news media discourse was predominantly framed by environmental risk, expansion of the industry and the in/effectiveness of Government regulation. Environmental science and community interests were conflated within these themes, leading to a perceived lack of transparency and loss of trust in both environmental science information and regulation of environmental impacts. Government, salmon companies and science institutions were the most frequently mentioned stakeholder groups within news media, suggesting they had power to facilitate virtuous cycles – that is, shared goals and language. However, these stakeholder groups were portrayed to be outwardly opaque in their communications of, and lacking engagement in, decision-making processes. By revealing how science, societal values and decision-making were negotiated in news media through this conflict, we hope to contribute to understanding of how vicious and virtuous cycles are facilitated by various stakeholders and within media.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cullen-Knox, C and Fleming, A and Lester, L and Ogier, E
Keywords: fish farming, aquaculture, science, media communication
Journal or Publication Title: Social Epistemology
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0269-1728
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