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Deep identity, shallow time : sustaining a future in Victorian fishing communities
journal contributionposted on 2003-04-01, 00:00 authored by M Minnegul, Tanya KingTanya King, R Just, P Dwyer
Like commercial fishers everywhere, it seems, those living in coastal communities of Victoria perceive themselves to be under threat from recreational fishers, environmentalists, imposed management regimes, and modernisation and globalisation of the industry. In responding to these threats they appeal to conventional props of tradition--to continuity in genealogical time, affiliation with place and specialised knowledge and practice. This seems paradoxical, given that most established fishers in Victoria are first or second generation members of an industry that, through its 150-year history, has been characterised by innovation and mobility. That paradox, we argue, is more apparent than real. Fisher identity is grounded primarily in engagement with an environment that is not familiar to outsiders. The paradox arises because fishers, like others who seek to sustain a future in the face of threat from outsiders, reshape strongly felt identity as tradition.