Defining fishermen with undersea rhetoric

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Depictions of fishermen in marine filmmaking have varied widely depending on the rhetoric of the filmmaker. As filmmakers apply terrestrial logic to aquatic environments fishermen are subject to the film's cultural and personal perspectives. Because of this fishermen are portrayed as scientists, necessary to understanding aquatic sea life; stewards, necessary for protecting and maintaining the ocean; and predators, preying on the ocean's resources. Although films define and redefine anglers into different political spheres, fishermen are important to understanding the ocean. They are an invaluable resource for first-hand contact with aquatic environments. Utilizing anglers to construct the filmmaker's argument will only benefit films trying to describe the ocean as a space connected to and defined apart from terrestrial beings. I use my film, 43 and 80, as an example of a film that allows its fishermen to be the primary source of information about one species of marine life, namely pacific halibut. Because of their proximity and reliance on the fishing industry, I portray the fishermen of 43 and 80 as instrumental to understanding the need for halibut conservation and the regulations surrounding the pacific halibut industry.


43 and 80 is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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