Department or Program



On the Shetland Islands in Scotland, members of fishing communities describe the act of fishing as “a way of life.” With growing world populations putting ever more pressure on the oceans as a source of protein, there are increasing clashes between communities who extract marine resources, and governments who limit that extraction. Shetland fishermen feel that when fishery policy makers do not consider the effects of policy on fishing communities, it threatens fishing as “a way of life.” By considering the forms of identity that Shetland fishermen create through metaphor, I analyze the ways in which Shetland fishermen use the bodies of fish and boats as forms to express fishing as their way of life. I argue that, through language, fishermen connect the fate of these non-human bodies to their own social lives. In this thesis, I therefore reconceive the relationship between Shetland fishermen and the EU in terms of biopolitics, because from the fishermen’s perspective, fisherman-EU interactions occur on the level of life and death, selfhood and bodies.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Danforth, Loring

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 word document

Open Access

Available to all.