Understanding Values in Canada's North Pacific

Intangible Values

This chart illustrates connections between social and cultural values that were identified in interviews. The width of each line is proportional to the number of times that connection was drawn. Note that the width of each arc does not denote importance - rather, it reflects the number of times that value was mentioned in interviews.

This chart is interactive!

Hover your mouse over the circle's edge to identify connections between values.

The Interviews

We conducted a series of interviews with fishermen in Prince Rupert and Lax Kw’alaams to investigate the relationships between these social and cultural values. In their responses, four major themes emerged.

Economic ripple effects

Commercial fishing revenue strengthens local economies. As fishermen spend money on equipment and supplies, fishing revenue spreads through local businesses and beyond. The 23 fishermen we interviewed purchase their supplies from more than 200 different individuals or businesses in Prince Rupert and beyond.

Role of fishing in gifting and trading seafood

Commercial vessels play a key role in a surprisingly large and complex social network. Fishermen reported that in one year, they each might give or trade seafood to 100 other people. This “food community” contributes to regional food security and gives participating fishermen higher standing among their peers.

Lifestyle of a commercial fisherman

Commercial fishing is more than just a job; it is a lifestyle that connects people to each other, to their communities, and to the surrounding environment.

For many fishermen, the less tangible aspects of commercial fishing are among the most meaningful. Being able to contribute to their communities’ food security is important, as are the values found in stewardship, education, lifestyle, and income.

Intergenerational significance

Commercial fishing is an important cultural connection for current and future generations. In interviews, fishermen told stories of important life skills and lessons learned through fishing, the industry's culture and tradition, and the lessons fishermen are able to pass on to their children.