Blue Growth and its discontents in the Faroe Islands: an island perspective on Blue (De)Growth, sustainability, and environmental justice

Blue Growth is promoted as an important strategy for future food security, and sustainable harvesting of marine resources. This paper aims to identify dominating ideologies and strategies of Blue Growth in the Faroe Islands, mainly regarding salmon farming and industrial capture fisheries, and to investigate how these ideologies materialize in the social metabolism of Faroese society. The analysis approaches the Faroese Blue Economy from a holistic perspective using analytical concepts and frameworks of social (island) metabolism, environmental justice and degrowth to assess how current Blue Growth strategies pertain to long-term sustainability and human well-being. It offers a critical analysis of aquaculture in the Faroe Islands and shows that although the rhetoric around Blue Growth is framed within mainstreamed sustainability discourse, the ideologies and visions underpinning current Blue Growth strategies result in a continuation of conventional growth through the exploitation of new commodity frontiers. Finally, the negative consequences of Blue Growth are assessed and discussed through a mapping of recent and ongoing social and ecological distribution conflicts in the Faroes.

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