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Tom Bartlett

This chapter examines negotiations over fishing rights and the local management of marine resources in the Western Isles of Scotland and discusses how competing discourses of sustainability are constructed by a fishing-dependent community and national and transnational governmental bodies. The chapter describes the socioeconomic and cultural conditions behind the competing discourses, including the introduction of the 2015 Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act, which aims to facilitate local involvement in national and international decision-making. The chapter provides an explanation for the limited progress in this area to date in terms of the contrast in scope and intensity of the different groups’ activities and related discourses, and questions the extent to which such differences are simply a matter of scale, with local and national discourses feeding into each other in different ways, or whether they render the two discourse systems incommensurate.