Social and environmental transformation in Chile's aquaculture industry, 1950-2000


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Zephyr Frank
Stanford University
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Senior Fellow
  • William Wrigley Professor of Earth System Science
  • Senior Fellow, Stanford Woods Institute and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Senior Fellow and Founding Director, Center on Food Security and the Environment
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Meg Caldwell
Stanford University
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Richard White
Stanford University
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Former PhD student, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment & Resources

Chile's once-fledgling salmon aquaculture industry is now the second largest in the world. Since 1990, the industry has grown 24-fold and now annually exports more than half-a-million tons of fish worth billions of dollars. But that massive economic growth has had equally massive environmental and social effects.

Recognizing that it is difficult to ameliorate environmental problems without understanding their connections to associated social changes, we aim to research the complex feedback loops that connect environmental and social change in the salmon-farming industry of southern Chile. We propose to map and analyze the social transformations brought about by comparing the region before and after the advent of salmon farming using methodologies from the humanities and social sciences. Data will be gathered through quantitative and qualitative surveys, archival research, and collaborations with ongoing research in Chile.

Research Materials