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Chilean, Norwegian and global salmon production (sources: Salmon Chile, Norwegian Seafood Export Council) 

Chilean, Norwegian and global salmon production (sources: Salmon Chile, Norwegian Seafood Export Council) 

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The authors use the 2007 ISA virus outbreak in Chilean salmon aquaculture, coupled with insights from post-structural political ecology, as an opportunity to examine the institutional architecture and discursive hegemony of particular production strategies that silenced local experiences with the industry in favour of continuing exploitation. The a...

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... affected that year, and even more farms in 2008. Confirmed and suspected outbreak sites are scattered along the entire eastern coastline of the island. In April 2009 there were 20 confirmed and 44 suspected outbreaks at farms throughout Chile, as the disease had spread to other regions. The ISA virus affects pre-dominantly farmed Atlantic salmon during the pre-market grow-out phase in a marine environment. It is not harmful to humans, but highly lethal to Atlantic salmon. Transmission of the virus is associated with harvesting methods and shared personnel, such as divers, between sites (Mardones et al. 2009). Vike et al. (2009), studying the genome of the Chilean virus, suggest that that the contemporary strain of ISA has been transmitted from Norway through the imported embryos of a Norwegian company. The ISA virus was first isolated in Norway in 1984, and most countries developing salmon aquaculture industries have suffered outbreaks (Canada in 1996, Scotland in 1998, Faroe Island in 2000, and the United States in 2001) (Mardones et al. 2009). This has often resulted in industry restructuring. In this sense it was a crisis foretold, yet the sector was not properly prepared. Mardones et al. (2009) argue that the subsequent spread of the virus was intensified because farms waited too long to slaughter potentially contaminated fish. Reports from Chile ’ s National Service of Fisheries (Sernapesca) indicate that the 2009 harvest of Atlantic salmon decreased by 44% to September, compared to the same period in 2008. Despite that the crisis was expected to reach bottom in 2010, the industry is cautious about projecting a significant rebound in the short term. 3 The crises must be seen in the context of the position of the sector in the Chilean economy. Salmon aquaculture in Chile was promoted from the late 1970s in order to diversify the Chilean economy away from its traditional dependence on copper exports (Barton 2006). The liberalism of the Chilean economy can be traced back to the shock treatment implemented by the Pinochet regime in 1975 under the influence of the Chicago school of economic policy. The model included many facets that apparently run contrary to classic structural adjustment, such as strategic control of copper, political pressures on state agencies and subsidies to the poor sections of society (Mart ́ nez & Diaz 1996). The more classical elements included strict monetary policy, the opening up of the market place to international trade, liberalization of capital markets, privatization of state assets, and the orientation of the economy towards increased exports (Meller 1996; Meller & S ́ ez 1997; Barton 1999). As such, it was the first experiment with neoliberal state formation and one that inspired the wave of neoliberal reform in Latin America and elsewhere from the 1980s (Harvey 2005). A severe economic downturn in the early 1980s led to a banking crisis, social unrest and economic recession, and there was an imperative for aquaculture and other non-traditional exports to help the export economy to emerge from its trough (Meller & S ́ ez 1997). The export- oriented salmon industry in the formerly depressed Regio ́ n de Los Lagos of Chile has profited from the free-trade treaties and the lack of constraints on foreign direct investment (FDI) in Chile (Bj ø rndal 2001). The boom in salmon aquaculture from the late 1980s has thus been accompanied by FDI and a steady consolidation of the sector as the number of active firms has declined. National capital has taken part in this consolidation process, but it is foreign capital that has been consistently provided to the largest firms operating in the sector. This has been associated with large international firms, such as Marine Harvest, Mainstream and BioMar, buying into the production chain, from fish-meal production to fish production (Phyne & Mansilla 2003), and the achievement of the central aims of the global economic imperative. FDI rose swiftly in the 1990s, after the end of the authoritarian period in Chile and the ‘ lost decade of the 1980s ’ in the region. By 2004, six foreign firms operating in Chile accounted for 35% of total exports (by volume); the size of these firms relative to their Chilean counterparts can be seen in the fact that the remaining 65% of exports were accounted for by 26 firms (Revista Aqua 2007). A significant share of Chilean fisheries and aquaculture FDI took place in the Regio ́ n de Los Lagos (Region X), where 39.8% of all fisheries and aquaculture FDI were concentrated between 1974 and 2005 (FIC 2006). This is also reflected in the recent population growth in the regional capital Puerto Montt, which was more than 35% during the last censual decade (INE 2003). In terms of global salmonid (salmon and trout) production, Chile has been steadily increasing its share and was second only to Norway until 2008. In 2009, after the crisis had reached its full effect, Chilean production dropped significantly (Fig. 2). A review of the economic figures supports, to some extent, the ‘ fairy tale ’ narrative of the sector ’ s growth in the region. Indeed, much of the academic literature has concurred with this narrative. Discussion on regional restructuring in the Regio ́ n de los Lagos has centred on the economic development related to the salmon cluster. This literature stresses that production, export and employment levels have risen substantially over time, and that spillover effects, such as successively more home-grown technology and competence, as well as the formation of supply services for the salmon industry, have been generated (Bj ø rndal 2001; Vergara 2003; Montero 2004). There are more critical accounts as well, and while these agree that Chilean neoliberal policies have performed strongly in terms of macroeconomic factors, they point out that little change has been registered in redistribution and social resource allocation (Barrett et al. 2002; Barton 2002; Olavarr ́ a 2003). According to Barrett et al. (2002; 1952), ‘ there is substantial evidence that surplus labour, low wage levels, and poorly enforced or nonexistent health and safety standards are conditioning factors in the growth of the salmon industry. ’ Gonz ́ lez (2008) holds that the aquaculture industry in Chile faces weak trade union systems and inadequate participatory mechanisms. Furthermore, more than a decade before the outbreak of the current crisis, Barton (1997) warned against the lack of effective environmental regulation in the sector and held that without significant regulatory action, the state may have to ‘ bear the long-term costs of grave socio-economic repercussions and contaminated ecosystems in [Regio ́ n de Los Lagos] ’ (1997, 324) and face crises similar to those already suffered in other producer countries. Institutional practices and industry monitoring have lagged industrial development, and a narrative of a moder- nizing economic boom has dominated public perspectives on the aquaculture sector. The repressive measures of the Pinochet era and its remnants in the post-authoritarian phase have restricted possibilities for civil society to articulate more critical perspectives. The Churches ’ National Commission on Justice and Peace noted in the late 1990s that ‘ two Chiles are being constructed, one more prosperous and developed and another very poor and marginal ’ (cited in Barton 1999). It is the former ‘ Chile ’ that dominates public opinion formation, and the latter is for the most part not well enough organized to constitute a significant social pressure group. Garreto ́ n argues that the economic changes under the neoliberal model, such as the contraction of the formal sector and rising unemployment, and the repressive measures led to a decomposition of civil society. These structural and institutional transformations ‘ weakened and atomized the organizational ‘‘ space ’’ of economic and social groups ’ and undermined the class basis for civil society opposition (Garreto ́ n 2001, 273). While two contrasting perspectives and sets of experiences relating to aquaculture exist, a discursive and institutional hegemony for expanded production has undermined the space of engagement for the articulation of oppositional politics. In examining industry publications and high-level public statements on the industry, one finds what can be seen as the dominant narrative on the aquaculture industry in Chile. This narrative has primarily been expressed through representations focusing primarily on the material impacts and quantitative indicators. Accounts of production and export accounts, employment numbers and inflows of FDI are used to construct an image of a prospering industry. The promises for further expansion of the sector have been seen as self-evident because of the favourable location and environmental conditions, and the voluntary spread of international standards of social and environmental sustainability. A leading industry journal illustrates the typical self- description: The above quotation points to the measurable and likely real economic improvements brought by the industry. A growing apparatus of research facilities and a large supply sector for salmon farming activities have contributed to the material improvements that the industry points to as indicators of progress. The industry tends to be associated with improved opportunities for education, jobs and stable wages. Measur- able changes are easily communicated and convincing, particularly for a region with few alternative economic opportunities. Public institutions can also use these indicators to stress policy success. The self-evident nature of visible infrastructure improvements such as roads and transportation facilities tend to trump ‘ alarmist ’ critiques of ecological unsustainability in the public sphere. There has been a discursive shift from the early phases of the industry, which were characterized by ‘ socio-ecological silence ’ , ...

Citations

... Concretamente, su introducción requirió de una activa intervención del Estado para generar las condiciones institucionales y materiales que permitiesen su comercialización: creación de concesiones acuícolas (entregadas gratuitamente y a perpetuidad), creación de subsidios e incentivos para la creación de empresas salmoneras, configuración de una estructura regional que diese cabida a la nueva actividad económica, así como la construcción de la infraestructura material que lo hiciese posible (puertos, caminos, etc.). Este proceso ha sido estudiado en sus múltiples dimensiones por Barton (1997, Barton et al., 2007, Román et al. (2016), Bustos (2013, Floysand et al. (2010), entre otros. Sin embargo, en este artículo más que profundizar en los impactos estructurales de la "salmonización" de la economía regional, nos interesa identificar la relación que se generó entre la llegada y expansión del salmón y la(s) identidad(es) regional(es). ...
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El caso de la instalación de la industria salmonera en la región de Los Lagos nos permite revisar la relación entre comoditización territorial e identidad. En este trabajo identificamos los procesos a través de los que la materialidad del salmón pudo alterar o gatillar transformaciones en la identidad local. A partir de una revisión y discusión de la literatura sobre neoliberalismo como formas de producción de ciudadanía y subjetividad, con especial énfasis en aquella que ha explorado el caso latinoamericano, pero también la literatura de la ecología política sobre comoditización de la naturaleza respondemos: ¿Qué respuestas se han generado entre los actores locales a los efectos que la llegada y producción del commodity salmón ha tenido sobre sus identidades? Para argumentar desde la ecología política y enfoques afines, la tesis que la comoditización de la naturaleza y el territorio no solo implica el control o coproducción del medio ambiente, sino que también está entretejida con los procesos de formación de identidad y ciudadanía. En otros términos, a través de la gestión y control de la naturaleza y el territorio se articulan determinadas formas de identidades que, a su vez, influyen en dicha gestión.
... Las dificultades para la sustentabilidad de la actividad acuícola en la zona han sido ampliamente documentadas por diversas investigaciones sobre conflictos relacionados con las emergencias sanitarias producidas por este sector productivo Valdes-Donoso et al. 2013). En estos conflictos pasados se han evidenciado los escasos recursos de los actores locales para poder incidir en las políticas de desarrollo y fiscalización de este sector (Fløysand, Haarstad y Barton 2010). Se ha observado también que el desarrollo de la industria de la acuicultura ha tenido un impacto en la reformulación de la identidad social del archipiélago, así como en el desarrollo de resistencias a la mercantilización de la cultura de la zona (Barton y Román 2016). ...
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Fecha de recepción: 11 de abril de 2018 Fecha de aceptación y versión final: 7 de agosto de 2018 RESUMEN: Este artículo analiza el encuadre noticioso dado a la crisis ambiental y social vincula-da a la marea roja ocurrida en Chiloé, durante año 2016, a partir de la teoría del framing, y su tensión con la forma en que el movimiento produce su propio encuadre. Se compara la forma en que los medios de elite trataron esta crisis socioambiental con la forma en que el movimiento social de pesca-dores y ciudadanos encuadró dicha crisis. Los resultados indican que el movimiento se centra en un encuadre de conflicto socioambiental, enfatizando el origen de la crisis en el modelo productivo de la zona. Por su parte, los medios de elite construyen dos encuadres. El primero, centrado en sostener que la crisis tiene su origen en un fenómeno natural cíclico, mientras el segundo resalta los aspectos conflictivos de la protesta social y la crisis como un problema de seguridad pública.
... Farming Systems (FS) (n = 21; 21%) Little, 2006, 2011;Basiao et al., 2005;Bogne Sadeu et al., 2013;Brummett et al., 1996;Brummett and Jamu, 2011;Dey et al., 2005;Dey et al., 2010;Fast and Menasveta, 2000;Haque et al., 2015;Haque et al., 2016;Islam et al., 2003;Joffre and Sheriff, 2011;Karim et al., 2011;Martinez et al., 2004;Murshed-e-Jahan and Pemsl, 2011;Myers and Durborow, 2011;Nandeesha, 2007;Pant et al., 2014;Peacock et al., 2013 Aquaculture (14%) Journal of Applied Aquaculture (10%) System approaches (n = 33; 33%) Innovation Systems (IS) (n = 13; 13%) Aarset, 1999;Ahmed and Toufique, 2015;Asche et al., 1999;Asche et al., 2012;Aslesen, 2007;Belton et al., 2009;Doloreux et al., 2009;Fløysand et al., 2010;Galappaththi and Berkes, 2014;Giap et al., 2010;Hargreaves, 2002;Theodorou et al., 2015 Aquaculture Economics and Management (15%) Systems Innovation (SI) (n = 10; 10%) Barton and Fløysand, 2010;Hall, 2004;Lebel et al., 2002;Lebel et al., 2009;Lebel et al., 2010;Saguin, 2015;Theodorakopoulos et al., 2012;Vandergeest et al., 1999 Journal of Agrarian Change (20%) ...
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Aquaculture has experienced spectacular growth in the past decades, during which continuous innovation has played a significant role, but it faces increasing criticism regarding its ecological and social sustainability practices and the resulting challenges for future innovation processes. However, in the aquaculture literature, there is limited systematic knowledge of how innovation has been approached in terms of how the focus and the scope of aquaculture innovation processes are understood and managed. The objective of this paper is therefore to analyse the different approaches to innovation used in aquaculture development. We conducted a systematic review of the aquaculture literature, using an analytical lens derived from three main bodies of literature on approaches to conceptualize and manage innovation: Technology-driven, Systemic, and Business and Managerial approaches to innovation. One hundred publications were selected from the aquaculture literature covering the topic of aquaculture innovation. Analysis identified the Transfer of Technology approach as still the predominant approach to aquaculture innovation; and, even with the integration of elements of Systemic approaches, most studies remain focused on the farm level and are technology driven. Multi-dimensional studies, integrating technical, biophysi-cal, political, and institutional dimensions of innovation in aquaculture were found, but studies analysing interactions between levels remain scarce, have a strong emphasis on the institutional dimension, and lack focus on the management of the innovation process. Studies with cross-fertilizations between different approaches to aquaculture innovation are limited but address specific research questions regarding the extent to which specific target groups are included in interventions and the need to incorporate diverse dimensions in analysing innovation processes. Our analysis suggests that aquaculture research and technology design that feeds into aquaculture innovation could benefit from innovation management approaches that integrate constant feedback from users, especially when specific groups are being targeted for better inclusiveness, and thus could better foster multi-directional interactions between multiple actors connected to aquaculture systems. This would help to elevate the analysis from just the farm and improve the integration of institutional, political, economic, and socio-cultural dimensions for better management of the innovation process. The study of aquaculture innovation needs to take into consideration the important role of private sector actors and make better use of systemic approaches to further elucidate the multi-dimensional and multi-level interplays in complex aquaculture systems. Ultimately, in-terdisciplinary research on aquaculture innovation could deliver significant insights supporting the development of a resilient and sustainable aquaculture sector. Statement of relevance: Using an analytical lens derived from the literature on innovation approaches, this study systematically analyses approaches to innovation used in aquaculture development. We identify the main trends and existing gaps in aquaculture innovation research and then discuss the potential complementarities between different approaches to innovation in order to better understand and support innovation in the aquaculture sector.
... From 2007, following almost thirty years of uninterrupted growth, during which Chiloé experienced extraordinarily high (in national terms) employability and productivity, a sanitary crisis deeply affected the foundations of the activity (SalmonChile, 2008). Abruptly, the security of a monthly wage and the confidence in future income were undermined (Carreño, 2010), and a new period of reflection was generated based on the costs of modernization for the environment, also in terms of cultural change and local identity (Fløysand et al., 2010a). This questioning of the development model was profound: Is modernity able to provide the necessary tools for moving towards more sustainable development? ...
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Chiloé is an archipelago that has, since the 1980s, become one of the motors of the Chilean economy. Salmon aquaculture swiftly transformed the tradition of isolation and poverty that had defined the local identity and livelihoods. This is now changing due to the rapid experience of modernity. This modernity is driven by transnational capital and largescale state intervention in the promotion of salmon aquaculture and its current central role in defining development in the islands. While this sector has generated private and public employment and infrastructure, there has also been an important shift in the expectations and aspirations of the local population, towards increased hybridization and also a mercantilization of island culture. The success of salmon production reveals that the conditions of isolation can be transformed, and even benefits reaped from integration into the modern world –globalised, capitalist and rational, rather than traditional– however it also entails risks for the sustainability of fragile socio-ecological systems, including the existence of traditional and alternative livelihoods.
... From 2007, following almost thirty years of uninterrupted growth, during which Chiloé experienced extraordinarily high (in national terms) employability and productivity, a sanitary crisis deeply affected the foundations of the activity (SalmonChile, 2008). Abruptly, the security of a monthly wage and the confidence in future income were undermined (Carreño, 2010), and a new period of reflection was generated based on the costs of modernization for the environment, also in terms of cultural change and local identity (Fløysand et al., 2010a). This questioning of the development model was profound: Is modernity able to provide the necessary tools for moving towards more sustainable development? ...
Article
Full-text available
Chiloé is an archipelago that has, since the 1980s, become one of the motors of the Chilean economy. Salmon aquaculture swiftly transformed the tradition of isolation and poverty that had defined the local identity and livelihoods. This is now changing due to the rapid experience of modernity. This modernity is driven by transnational capital and largescale state intervention in the promotion of salmon aquaculture and its current central role in defining development in the islands. While this sector has generated private and public employment and infrastructure, there has also been an important shift in the expectations and aspirations of the local population, towards increased hybridization and also a mercantilization of island culture. The success of salmon production reveals that the conditions of isolation can be transformed, and even benefits reaped from integration into the modern world –globalised, capitalist and rational, rather than traditional– however it also entails risks for the sustainability of fragile socio-ecological systems, including the existence of traditional and alternative livelihoods.
... Numerous studies have demonstrated that aquaculture activities in Chile result in a variety of environmental (Barton 1997;Buschmann et al. 1996Buschmann et al. , 2006Soto et al. 2001) and socioeconomic (Barrett et al., 2002;Fløysand et al. 2010;Pitchon 2011) trade-offs. Some of these studies highlight the results of the implicit trade-off that was made in Chile between aquaculture profitability and health of the coastal marine environment, which led to the near collapse of that region's salmon farming industry and widespread degradation of the coastal environment (Nash et al. 2005;Ocean Conservancy 2011). ...
Article
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In recent decades, aquaculture has emerged as a viable method to help supply the growing global demand for seafood; however, expansion of the industry comes with potential negative impacts. Regulatory decisions governing aspects like aquaculture farming practices and farm siting inherently lead to trade-offs between profitability and the health of the surrounding environment through impacts including pollution, disease, and disturbance from escaped fish. Efficiently and sustainably scaling up aquaculture will require the development of methods for explicitly examining the trade-offs among these impacts and socioeconomic objectives. We developed a model to assess these trade-offs and illustrate the approach with a case study of salmon aquaculture in southern Chile. In the case study we found evidence that all 21 farms with approved permits may be underperforming on both profitability and the protection of ecosystem health. Our model suggests that explicit evaluation of trade-offs can illuminate the potential for improvements on multiple outcomes simultaneously.
... Marine aquaculture has a number of features that make it a very relevant sector to examine through a political ecology lens. The environmental consequences of aquaculture can be significant, and as large-scale aquaculture operations can have immediate effects on local livelihoods and local access to marine resources, the sector is intricately connected to issues of social justice and conflicts over relevant decisions and local stakeholder participation [10]. ...
Article
Marine aquaculture accounts for approximately one third of human consumption of fish, and its further expansion is supported by international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union. However, this expansion also requires an increase of the farming area which means the leasing and therefore the exclusion of others from an area of public domain. This paper is a study into the governance of marine aquaculture in the island of Cyprus by (i) unfolding the regulatory framework for marine aquaculture, (ii) analysing the environmental protections tools related to aquaculture, the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Environmental Monitoring Reports, and (iii) by conducting interviews with relevant stakeholders. Even though the regulatory framework seemed to be in compliance with EU and national regulations, this was often questioned by stakeholders. Serious conflicts between stakeholders, which occurred in different periods, were identified. Shortcomings related mainly to the one-dimensional focus of evaluating the EIAs, without taking into account the opinions of communities in the proximity of the proposed aquaculture farms, fisher groups and environmental NGOs. Coastal communities are often already affected by a number of developments such as tourism and the expansion of the oil and gas sector. To ensure balanced decision making, EIAs should become integrated assessments that also explore the potential social impacts of a development and address the desires and concerns of these communities. In the current economic climate, net economic gain and the contribution of a development to a country׳s GDP should not monopolise the discussions.
... La salmonicultura se encuentra intensamente relacionada a procesos globales (de inversiones, tecnologías y ventas), pero se vincula débilmente con el entorno local del cual extrae recursos y explota capital humano, relegando responsabilidad para el desarrollo urbano local a las autoridades públicas (Barton, 1997;Fløysand et al., 2010a;Fløysand et al., 2010b). Aplicando el concepto de gloca-lización de Swyngedouw (2004), se sostiene que los procesos de acumulación de capital global -caracterizado por 'espacios de redes' según Swyngedouw-en este caso acuícola, tienen una velocidad de movilización e impacto que supera los procesos más lentos de regulación -'espacios de regulación'-en este caso la planifi cación urbana de poblados de tamaño medio y pequeño. ...
Article
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Chiloé archipelago has experienced profound socio-spatial changes since the early 1980s. The localization and progressive consolidation of the salmon industry changed the velocity and composition of the urbanization process in the province, generating new forms of spatial occupation. This can be seen in a new urban typology characterized by nine forms of occupation. This typology emerges from an analysis of the morphological evolution of five cities using GIS. The article concludes that the insertion of small and medium size cities in circuits, or networks of global capital takes place at a high velocity, leaving urban planning, a public function, behind. Consequently, urban planning ends up as an instrument of recognition of organic urban growth and not of regulation and growth orientation. This situation of differentiated velocities generates disequilibria that negatively affect the possibilities of creating more sustainable urban development processes.
... La salmonicultura se encuentra intensamente relacionada a procesos globales (de inversiones, tecnologías y ventas), pero se vincula débilmente con el entorno local del cual extrae recursos y explota capital humano, relegando responsabilidad para el desarrollo urbano local a las autoridades públicas (Barton, 1997;Fløysand et al., 2010a;Fløysand et al., 2010b). Aplicando el concepto de gloca-lización de Swyngedouw (2004), se sostiene que los procesos de acumulación de capital global -caracterizado por 'espacios de redes' según Swyngedouw-en este caso acuícola, tienen una velocidad de movilización e impacto que supera los procesos más lentos de regulación -'espacios de regulación'-en este caso la planifi cación urbana de poblados de tamaño medio y pequeño. ...
Article
Full-text available
Chiloé archipelago has experienced profound socio-spatial changes since the early 1980s. The localization and progressive consolidation of the salmon industry changed the velocity and composition of the urbanization process in the province, generating new forms of spatial occupation. This can be seen in a new urban typology characterized by nine forms of occupation. This typology emerges from an analysis of the morphological evolution of five cities using GIS. The article concludes that the insertion of small and medium size cities in circuits, or networks of global capital takes place at a high velocity, leaving urban planning, a public function, behind. Consequently, urban planning ends up as an instrument of recognition of organic urban growth and not of regulation and growth orientation. This situation of differentiated velocities generates disequilibria that negatively affect the possibilities of creating more sustainable urban development processes.
... Critics have pointed out that human and environmental costs have been high, and little change has been registered in redistribution and social resource allocation (Barrett, Caniggia, & Read, 2002;Barton, 2002;Fløysand, Haarstad, & Barton, 2010;Olavarría, 2003). Shurman argues that during the initial phase of the boom in the fisheries sector (1975e1987), draconian labor market policies, a weak economy and a repressive state combined to create a situation where workers were extremely vulnerable of being taken advantage of by factory owners: they earned low wages, were hired and fired at will, and "toiled under conditions reminiscent of the industrial revolution" (Shurman, 2004: 300). ...
Article
In this article we argue for the continuing relevance of the national scale in understanding the geographies that shape and constrain labor agency. Recent contributions to labor geography have held that some of the central concepts used to understand the transformative capacities of labor, such as agency and scale, are under-theorized. On the basis of our study of the emergent labor movement in the Chilean aquaculture industry, we suggest that this field suffers from what we term “glocalocentrism”, which overshadows the fundamental importance of structures and processes that are primarily scaled nationally. With the labor repression of the Pinochet regime imprinted in current national institutions and organizational traditions, the aquaculture sector was able to develop in southern Chile from the early 1980s onwards, without a significant union movement to press workers’ claims, and it benefited from exploitative practices and low wages. The first company level unions did not appear until the late 1980s, and a national confederation of aquaculture unions was formed as late as 2006. After the outbreak of the ISA virus in 2007, thousands of workers were left unemployed, and the young union movement struggled for state intervention and programs, with some success. International networks brought attention to the issue, but structures and processes at the national level conditioned the possibilities for the emergent labor movement to press its claims successfully.