Is Fish Health Food or Poison? Farmed Fish and the Material Production of Un/Healthy Nature*



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 43, Issue 3, 907, Article first published online: 9 May 2011


Abstract:  This paper contributes to scholarship on health and environment by focusing on connections between human health and political economy of seafood. The contemporary rise of aquaculture is an effort on the part of the seafood industry to escape the contradictions of capital that create crisis in capture fisheries. Yet intensive aquaculture may also create human health problems that contribute to new crises. Aquaculture practices not only increase production of healthful fish, but also lead to fish burdened with chemical pollutants about which there are a variety of health concerns. These health concerns pose problems for producers who may not be able to sell contaminated seafood. By examining the intertwined biochemical and social processes that produce multiple natures (fish bodies, human bodies and the aquatic environment), the paper shows that concerns about health are not only an outcome of political economic processes, but are also an explanatory factor in these processes.