February 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm

Geography Colloquium | Killing One Trout to Save Another: The Hegemonic Political Ecology of Aquatic Ecological Networks, Feb. 12

The Geography Department Colloquium Series presents Dr. Harold Perkins on “Killing One Trout to Save Another: The Hegemonic Political Ecology of Aquatic Ecological Networks” on Friday, Feb. 12, from 3:05 to 4 p.m. in Clippinger 119.

Dr. Harold Perkins

Dr. Harold Perkins

Perkins is Associate Professor in the Geography Department at Ohio University. He earned his doctorate in the Geography Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006. He publishes on the political ecology and economy of environments, including topics of neoliberalization, the state, governance, environmental justice, and the agency of nonhuman organisms.

Abstract: Fisheries biologists, parks managers, and nonprofits in the American West all strive to protect ‘native’, cold-water trout species against ‘invasive’ trout species. They poison non-natives, install fish barriers in streams to protect natives, and wage campaigns to generate support among the general public for their efforts. These practices run counter to former management practices that supplanted native stocks with fish from outside the region. Fisheries scientists and managers now attempt to re-establish native fish species in order to reconstruct a baseline aquatic ecology that harkens back to pre-European settlement. This practice is a hegemonic form of ecological management that imposes the nativeness of fish on Western ecosystems as a part of human guilt concerning climate change and other ecological disruptions as well as anxiety over diminishing economic profitability associated with trout fisheries. The deployment of nativeness fails to acknowledge, however, that human intervention into aquatic ecosystems subverts the notion of pristine aquatic ecologies in the first place. Rather, cold-water fisheries are complex networked associations of fish, people, and climate (among other actors) that resist the actions of some humans to create native fisheries. As a result, hegemonic management efforts focused on nativeness result in dynamic aquatic ecologies that paradoxically require increasing amounts of human intervention to control. Socio-natural trout fisheries thus produce unstable and precarious configurations that provide the counter-hegemonic assemblages that will eventually win out over humans’ current hegemonic emphasis on native and invasive.


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