Coco Cullen-Knox

University of Tasmania

Coco is a PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania and the Centre for Marine Socioecology. Her PhD investigates transnational environmental campaigns and communications in relation to the trade of seafood in the Australia-Asia region. Her study seeks to understand how environmental conflict is produced, communicated, responded to and resolved between pressure groups, governments, science and industry in the context of changing media and communications technologies.


Opportunities in aquaculture, Mon 15:20

Mediatized politics of salmon aquaculture


As wild fisheries are being over fished and global fish consumption grows, aquaculture is set to rapidly expand off coastlines around the world. Although seen as the future for seafood production, aquaculture carries environmental and social impacts. Following a Senate inquiry in 2015, Tasmania, the southern island state of Australia, is now in media headlights over its salmon farming practices, including suffering the zenith of ‘expose’ – ABC Four Corners program. An analysis of ‘mediatised environmental conflict’ (Hutchins and Lester, 2015)  around these ‘critical discourse moments’ (Carvalho, 2007) has exposed unexpected coalitions and networks of actors. We argue that environmental campaigning, on its own, has not produced these critical moments in the conflict.  Rather, environmental campaigning provides grounding for companies to strategically use the conflict discourse. Finally, this paper discusses possible implications and benefits of these interactions for the sustainable expansion of the industry.