Fishing for the Anthropocene: Time-Space in Ocean GovernanceThis talk builds on enduring anthropological insights to show, ethnographically, that marine policymakers have not occupied a time-space already made for them. On the contrary, marine policymakers have contributed determinatively to the making of the time-space they occupy: the sixth mass extinction. By adopting such tools as probabilistic models and statistical formulas targeting “maximum sustainable yields,” fisheries experts have appropriated financialized forms of risk management as they attempt to measure, quantify, master, and control time-space in the exercise of power. The normative assumptions informing the practice of ocean governance have established the conditions for maritime nations to legally slaughter fishes worldwide since World War II, thereby accelerating the planetary development termed by some the Anthropocene.
Jennifer E. Telesca is Associate Professor of Environmental Justice in the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and, in Spring 2022, Visiting Professor in the Social Anthropology Department at the University of Bergen. She is the author of the book, Red Gold: The Managed Extinction of the Giant Bluefin Tuna (University of Minnesota Press, 2020).