Mismatches in spatial scale of supply and demand and their consequences for local welfare in Scottish aquaculture

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O'Higgins, Tim
Alexander, Karen
Graziano, Marcello
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Canadian Science Publishing
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Mismatches in spatial scales, or spatial disconnections between causes and effects of ecosystem degradation, can reduce resilience in social–ecological systems. These mismatches can be particularly disruptive in coastal and marine areas, where multiple social and ecological systems are multi-layered. Scotland’s Western Isles have a history of local resource exploitation to meet extra-regional, larger-scale demands, which has resulted in a long process of socio-demographic decline. Salmon aquaculture is a major and expanding industry in the area, often linked to “Blue Growth”. The expansion of this industry operates within and contributes to create several scale mismatches. Combining a systems approach across nested scales with a classification of scale mismatches, this work analyses the characteristics of the Western Isles salmon aquaculture industry, and it explores effects on social–ecological resilience. An extent scale mismatch between the global stocks of fishmeal species and the local capacity to respond to fluctuations is identified. The implications for this mismatch for the Western Isles are discussed. Some potential policy arrangements for incorporating matched spatial scales are considered.
Scale , Spatial Mismatches , DPSWR , Scotland , Aquaculture
O’Higgins, T., Alexander, K. and Graziano, M. (2019) 'Mismatches in spatial scale of supply and demand and their consequences for local welfare in Scottish aquaculture', Anthropocene Coasts, 2(1), pp. 261-278. (17pp.) DOI: 10.1139/anc-2018-0025