A survey of Scottish fishermen ahead of Brexit: political, social and constitutional attitudes

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Abstract

There is a substantial amount of literature that focuses on the governance of offshore fisheries in Europe and abroad, the history of fishing industries in different countries, and anthropological studies of fishing communities around the world. There is also a large amount of literature that explores the attitudes of fishermen towards fisheries governance and management. However, there is very little research that has explored the political attitudes of fishermen through the use of quantitative survey data. Using a survey carried out just ahead of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, this paper analyses data from a sample of Scottish skippers who work on vessels over 10 m in length. The paper focuses on how fishermen in Scotland vote at both UK and Scottish elections, how they voted in the Scottish independence and EU referendums, their political and social attitudes and their demographic breakdown. On the EU referendum, the paper finds that fishermen, as well intending to overwhelmingly voting to leave the EU, did so for instrumental reasons in the belief that this course of action would benefit them and their industry.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1-14
JournalMaritime Studies
Early online date16 May 2018
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2018

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referendum
EU
political attitude
fishery
governance
social attitude
industry
voting
voter
election
history
management
community
literature

Cite this

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abstract = "There is a substantial amount of literature that focuses on the governance of offshore fisheries in Europe and abroad, the history of fishing industries in different countries, and anthropological studies of fishing communities around the world. There is also a large amount of literature that explores the attitudes of fishermen towards fisheries governance and management. However, there is very little research that has explored the political attitudes of fishermen through the use of quantitative survey data. Using a survey carried out just ahead of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, this paper analyses data from a sample of Scottish skippers who work on vessels over 10 m in length. The paper focuses on how fishermen in Scotland vote at both UK and Scottish elections, how they voted in the Scottish independence and EU referendums, their political and social attitudes and their demographic breakdown. On the EU referendum, the paper finds that fishermen, as well intending to overwhelmingly voting to leave the EU, did so for instrumental reasons in the belief that this course of action would benefit them and their industry.",
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AB - There is a substantial amount of literature that focuses on the governance of offshore fisheries in Europe and abroad, the history of fishing industries in different countries, and anthropological studies of fishing communities around the world. There is also a large amount of literature that explores the attitudes of fishermen towards fisheries governance and management. However, there is very little research that has explored the political attitudes of fishermen through the use of quantitative survey data. Using a survey carried out just ahead of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, this paper analyses data from a sample of Scottish skippers who work on vessels over 10 m in length. The paper focuses on how fishermen in Scotland vote at both UK and Scottish elections, how they voted in the Scottish independence and EU referendums, their political and social attitudes and their demographic breakdown. On the EU referendum, the paper finds that fishermen, as well intending to overwhelmingly voting to leave the EU, did so for instrumental reasons in the belief that this course of action would benefit them and their industry.

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