Seafood Supply Chains: Governance, Power and Regulation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Seafood Supply Chains

Governance, Power and Regulation, 1st Edition

By Miriam Greenwood


310 pages | 24 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-02-05
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This book provides a historical and analytical account of changes in the seafood supply chain in Britain from the mid-twentieth century to the present, looking at the impact of various types of governance.

The governance of marine fisheries has been a contested issue for decades with increasing anxieties about overfishing. In tandem, the rise of aquaculture, fish and shellfish farming, has driven another set of environmental concerns. In the food system, there have been scandals about safety failures and about fraud. At the same time, governments issue advice urging people to eat fish for its health benefits. In the context of these problems and contradictions, how have governments, the food industry and ordinary consumers responded? The author shows how different types of governance and regulation have been used to seek seafood sustainability and food safety and to communicate nutritional messages to the public and with what effects. The book also presents a new model for understanding food chains which combines governance and power approaches with an emphasis on understanding the interests served and the resulting balance of public and private benefits. This shows that the role of state regulation should have greater emphasis in governance and agri-food analysis and that theories about supply chain functioning, including the part played by major retailers and civil society, should be modified by a more nuanced understanding of the role of standards and certification systems.

Although much of the focus is on the UK and Europe, this book provides key lessons internationally for the governance of seafood and other agri-food supply chains. The book will be of interest to students of food policy and those working in the seafood industry or studying for connected qualifications, and more widely to readers with an interest in seafood issues and problems.


" ‘We are where we are’ is a sound rule in policy analysis. Whatever direction decision-makers wish to pursue, they – and the public interest as well as the seas – will always benefit from a good understanding of realities. This book sets out fascinating insights into one country’s seafood governance. I salute and welcome it for that." - Tim Lang taken from the Foreword

Table of Contents

1. Governance and its seafood objectives

Introduction: Why Governance Matters for Seafood

The Role of the State and Food

Supply Chain Governance Theories

Agents of Governance for the Seafood Chain

Book Outline

2. Governance and change in food chains


The UK Seafood Chain Transformation

Governance in Food Chains

Governance in Seafood Chains

Governing Food Consumption

Governance of the Seafood Chain in Britain - A Model

3. Achieving sustainable supply

Changes in Supply from Fishing

Fishery Regulation and the Issue of Sustainability

UK Governance of Fishing

A New Governance Tool for Fishing: Certification

Governance of Aquaculture Production

Future Supply

Conclusions: Governance and Seafood Supply

4. Achieving seafood safety and quality


Defining Quality and Safety in Seafood

Quality and Food Safety at Sea

Food Safety and Quality in Farmed Seafood

Seafood Distribution and Processing

Food Safety and Quality in Processing and Distribution

Power in Seafood Supply Chain Relationships

Conclusions: The Balance of Public and Private Governance

5. Governing Consumption


Seafood Consumption Trends

The Discourse of Seafood and Health

Influences on Consumer Attitudes to Seafood

Conclusions: Governance of Seafood Consumption

6. Governance influences on retail anf foodservice

Retail and the Governance of Consumer Supply

Foodservice and the Governance of Consumer Supply

Conclusions: Governance of Seafood Consumption, Retailing and Foodservice

7. Conclusions

Impacts of Governance Changes

Brexit and the Seafood Supply Chain

Governance Theories and the Seafood Supply Chain

About the Author

Miriam Greenwood has held a number of research and senior management posts in the National Health Service (UK). She has an MSc in the Sociology of Health and Sickness from South Bank University, UK, and a PhD in Food Policy from City, University of London, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Food, Society and the Environment

This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to food, society and the environment. It includes textbooks, research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Agribusiness