Unravelling the shrimp nets.
Rapport, 2016

'Controversy mapping' can provide insights about issues related to actors, their networking, and governance where the interpretation of science is at stake. In turn, these insights can be useful for advocacy processes, collective problem-solving and decision-making. In order to explore the potential of controversy mapping, a case study was conducted for the North prawn (Pandalus borealis), which was the main subject of a controversy that started in 2014 on the West Coast of Sweden. A temporary stabilization in the controversy was reached in May 2016 when WWF endorsed the Marine Stewardship Council labeling for the also red-listed and red-lighted prawn. We used ‘controversy mapping’ from the scientific humanities, following the methodology suggested by Venturini (2010) and Latour (2012). The method allows to tracing of statements, literatures, and actors involved in a controversy. By assembling these elements, we described the process of the controversy and identify the networks that 'wrestled' over the scientific interpretation of the (same) data on population size for the Swedish West coast shrimp. Using network visualisation and analysis softwares, we map the extent of the actor networks in the controversy, and analyse the roles and influence of different actors. The material gathered was subsequently analysed through a life cycle lens in order to see how the controversy played out in the shrimp’s product chain organization. This shows advocacy actors seeking to enrol the consumption system in order to protect the shrimp, resulting in many reactions from production system actors. Based on the findings, we discuss implications for life cycle thinking and life cycle management of product chains. Among else, we suggest that controversy study can help product chain actors better understand their production and consumption system. This, in turn, may support shared conflict resolution and problem-solving, for example, in product chain roundtables. Latour, Bruno. “Mapping controversies: syllabus 2012 -13.” MediaLab. Science Po. Retrieved from www.medialab-dev.sciences-po.fr October 15, 2015. Venturini, Tommaso. “Diving in magma: How to explore controversies with actor-network theory.” Public understanding of science 19.3 (2010): 258-273

pandalus borealis

life cycle assessment (LCA)



production and consumption system




Juana Camacho Otero

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Environmental Systems Analysis

Henrikke Baumann

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Environmental Systems Analysis


Hållbar utveckling


Tvärvetenskapliga studier

Miljö- och naturvårdsvetenskap

Annan humaniora



Ekonomi och näringsliv

Vilt- och fiskeförvaltning


Grundläggande vetenskaper

Report / Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology: 2016:17

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