Kate Barclay

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.

Capturing Wealth from Tuna »

Case Studies from the Pacific

Authored by: Kate Barclay, Ian Cartwright
Publication date: January 2008
The Western and Central Pacific Ocean is home to the largest tuna fishery in the world ā€“ around half of the worldā€™s tuna supply ā€“ and is a vital economic resource for Pacific island countries. The potential of the Pacific tuna fishery to contribute to economic development in the Pacific island countries is enormous, but will require a cooperative regional strategy to maximise access fees from distant water fishing nations, as well as targeted domestic policy and legislation to encourage local fishing industries. Together with the importance of acting strategically with regard to such a variable resource, the lesson of fisheries management globally is that it is most effective when it takes into consideration social, cultural and political contexts. Based on an extensive study of six Pacific island states, Capturing Wealth from Tuna maps out the aspirations and limitations of six Pacific island countries and proposes strategies for capturing more wealth from this resource in a sustainable and socially equitable manner.