Norwegian aquaculture has undergone significant growth and development in less than 50 years. This success, however, has come at a cost, such as pollution, sea lice, and escapes , as well as industry costs related to the combat of these problems. For instance, the cost of combating sea lice increased from about NOK1/kg (€0,085/kg) in 2011 to NOK4.25/kg (€0.36/kg) in 2016. For the industry as a whole, this amounted to a n increase from NOK 4 billion (€338 million) in 2011 and NOK 5 billion (€422 million) in 2016
. To tackle these issues, the government facilitated industry innovation through a temporary licensing regime in 2015, known as the development license regime (or development projects) . This has led to a range of new production systems based on a mixture of heterogenous and complex technologies. This paper shows:
Materials and methods
The paper is an empirical paper, based on an inductive multimethod approach. We examine six new and significantly different production systems. T hrough almost fifty semi-structured interviews with various actors involved in the processes of developing these systems, we gain a deep understanding of how new technologies change the system-to-be-governed and how this, in turn, affects the governing system. Through Thematic Content Analysis (TCA), we identify common themes, while also presenting the voices across all participants (Anderson 2007).
This study is financed by the Norwegian Research Council (grant no. 301486)
The paper will show empirically h ow new technology increases the “wickedness” of aquaculture governance by increasing the complexity, diversity, uncertainty, and controversies in the aquaculture governance system
(Marchant 2011, Marchant, Allenby et al. 2011, Marchant 2020)
. Due to the increased wickedness, there are no optimal solutions to how to manage these emerging technologies. Moreover, as the development projects always are “work in progress” , objectives are not permanent, but dynamic and subject to adjustments based on experience and learning. Consequently, the messiness cre ated by these new technologies slows down regulatory processes , but also challenges the bureaucra tic proces ses related to the development projects
. To handle the rising complexity, diversity, uncertainty, and controversies; the governing system “muddles through”, creating working, but imperfect solutions.
Based on a case study of six technological aquaculture innovations, t his article shows how government-initiated technological innovations challenge the aquaculture governance system, and how the governing system must adapt to these changing conditions.
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