Shared Jurisdiction, Different Reflection?

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Wenche KJÆMPENES, UiT The Artic University of Norway, Norway
In Norway, after a 15 year long struggle the aquamedicine biologists gained in 2005, the right to prescribe veterinary medical products for aquatic animals. In addition to medical doctors, dentists and veterinarians, they are the fourth profession in Norway with this right. Control of diseases is the x-factor in the rapidly growing aquaculture industry. In Norway, universities and individual actors were driving forces in the professionalization of aquamedicine biologists. It is unique that veterinarians and aquamedicine biologists have shared jurisdiction in the fish health work field.

First, by using a five-actor model, I will show how the aquamedicine biologist profession has been shaped by factors that mark the Norwegian aquaculture industry. The professionalization is an outcome of strategies and interaction of practicing professionals, other professions, the state, the users and the universities (Kjæmpenes, 2012).

Second, I will use this unique empirical field, to address some research questions related to the fact that is now 12 years since the veterinarians and aquamedicine biologists got shared jurisdiction in the fish health work field. Fish health management and the professionalization of the field is taking place in a socio-political process involving power and interest in the market. The tendency in ownership in Norway are now for large-scale and stock exchange companies. The professional services will take place in both a national and international context. Professions tend to advocate that their authorization oblige them to take ethical responsibility. How does the two involved professions, adress ethical responsibility in care and cure of fish? How do they take care of the public interests either they are employed in the public or the private sector? How do the professions solve the classical tension between production/profit, food safety and protection of the fish welfare and the environment?