Kate Barclay researches the international political economy of food, focusing particularly on tuna fisheries in the Asia Pacific Region. The main themes of her work include:
- The socially embedded aspects of global tuna commodity chains affecting the governance of these industries, including for sustainability
- Economic development opportunities from tuna resources for Pacific Island countries
- Consequences of modernisation through fisheries, including effects on ethnic identities and nature-society interactions
- Histories of tuna fisheries development, particularly in Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Pacific Island countries
- The international relations of fisheries management
Kate has acted as researcher for several reports for governments and international organisations, including: 1) a study of global canned tuna trade flows used by WWF in developing their international campaigns (2008), 2) an overview of economic opportunities in fisheries and aquaculture for the Solomon Islands Government trade policy (commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme, 2008); and 3) a review of the development gains from a multilateral fisheries treaty (the Federated States of Micronesia Agreement, commissioned by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, 2007).
Her major publications have included a book on modernization and ethnic identity issues surrounding A Japanese Joint Venture in the Pacific (Routledge 2008), a survey of economic development from tuna industries in six Pacific Island countries in Capturing Wealth From Tuna (ANU Press, 2007), and a feature-length documentary of southern bluefin tuna industries in Australia and Japan Rich Fish (self-published, 2004). Her recent work looks at tuna supply chains, for canned and smoked tuna, and for sashimi markets, considering the role of culturally and historically shaped practices as they affect international attempts to regulate fishing.
Kate teaches in the International Studies Program at the University of Technology Sydney.