Understanding the fishing ‘community’: The role of communities of the mind

Natalie Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores what is meant by the term fishing ‘community’ by evidencing shared ‘communities of the mind’ from people living and working in coastal areas linked to fishing. Using empirical data collected through in‐depth interviews and participant observation in three Scottish case‐study locations, this article identifies three key features that support the underpinning resilience of fishing communities: a connection to, and empathy with, those involved in fishing; the valuing of freedom and autonomy associated with a positive fishing identity; and a closing of ranks against the three external spectres of ‘policy’, ‘science’ and ‘the public’. The controversies that arise at the interface between current fisheries management systems and the heterogeneous nature of the fishing ‘community’ suggest that policymakers may need to pay more attention to communities of the mind, taking into account the strength of attachment to fishing as a positive identity and the substantial commitment to the sector that people show.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-324
Number of pages16
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


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