The dynamism of Salmon Farming Production Systems

Project owner

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences,

Project categories

Ph.D. Project

Project period

December 2019 - December 2023

Project summary

This PhD. project provides an analysis of the globalization and diversification of
the salmon farming industry. This industry is increasingly becoming globalized,
and at the same time it is diversifying into several different production systems to meet the growing consumer demand as well as to adapt to a new political climate driven by environmental concern (Ahmed & Thompson, 2019). Historically this relatively new industry has advanced from its primitive technological origins to being able to absorb new technological advancements by maturation and sophistication (Fløysand & Jakobsen, 2016).

The theoretical ambitions of this Ph.D. project are to understand the development of salmon farming production systems through a novel theoretical framework combining the literature on evolutionary economic geography (EEG), technological innovation systems (TIS) and global innovation systems (GIS). The chosen frameworks complement each other as EEG bring an evolutionary and territorial dimension, explaining historical influences and the role of regional capabilities and policy (Isaksen and Jakobsen 2017), while TIS has a technological focus and also emphasis the role of market formation (e.g. (Coenen, Benneworth, & Truffer, 2012). Moreover, with the introduction of the GIS framework of (Binz & Truffer, 2017) we seek to form a comprehensive framework where territorial embeddedness and technologies are understood through a multi-scalar approach emphasizing the local-global nexus. The proposed framework will be discussed and nuanced through an analysis of salmon farming production systems. These systems are linked to the traditional salmon producing regions but they also to some extent that span the globe.

The practical ambitions of this thesis are to compare differences and similarities
between the three main salmon farming production systems; i) farming systems
in sea (including open net pens, semi-closed systems and offshore system), ii)
farming systems on land and iii) fishless systems. The proposed EEG, TIS and
GIS inspired framework provides the means to study these production systems as a network of institutions and actors involved in knowledge creation, technological development, market creation and growth processes. In my investigation I will emphasize the main territorial production areas for these systems, but I will also investigate how these systems increasingly spans globally.