FisherCoast Exhibition and Study Guide: Coastal Transformations

By Natalie Djohari, University of East Anglia.

The FisherCoast Online Exhibition is a rich data resource for exploring the impact of coastal transformation on the people who live and work by the sea. It is based on research from 2019-2022 that explores the historical and contemporary changes to fishing communities across the UK, India, Slovenia, and Norway.

Coastal communities have historically been reliant of the sea for their livelihoods, but changes in fishing practices and the shift to tourism, oil, gas and windmills, alongside physical or environmental change inevitably impacts on the people who live and work there.

But how exactly do these changes affect their lives? Do men and women experience these changes equally? Who are the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ of industrialisation or modernisation along the coast? 

FisherCoast Study Guide

This online Exhibition brings together infographics, satellite images, life histories, ethnographic films, archive photos and even recipes, to tell the story of coastal transformation across diverse contexts.

To facilitate deeper engagement with the Exhibition, we created a Study Guide to help students explore for themselves what can be learnt from the collection found on the Exhibition pages. We wanted to encourage students and educators to engage with the exhibition and think about why we, as researchers, had chosen such assorted formats.

The Guide is intended for Introductory Level Courses but can be easily adapted to meet requirements for lower or higher levels. It comprises a one page summary of the research and three sets of questions.

The first set of questions challenge students to find examples of different methods the researchers have used to communicate their findings and to reflect on why they chose them.

The second set of questions allow students to pick from deeper exploration of three core themes: coastal change; gender; heritage and identity. Each theme encourages students to identify examples within the exhibition, discuss potential explanations, and then consider what this might tell us about costal change.

The final question asks students to consolidate their learning by returning to the first question to reconsider why the methods used were important for telling these particular stories about coastal change.

The Exhibition continues to evolve and the Study Room is regularly updated with links to publications emerging from the FisherCoast research. We are also hoping to translate the Study Guide in future.

We hope this resource will be useful to teachers and students. Please do leave us feedback by emailing

FisherCoast Exhibition:

Coastal transformations and fisher well-being – synthesized perspectives from India and Europe (FisherCoast) is a three-year, multi partner project funded by the EU-India Platform for Social Sciences and Humanities (EqUIP). It focuses on the political economy of coastal transformation and the role of the state and market forces in shaping fishers’ well-being in India, UK, Slovenia and Norway.

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