MEDIA REPRESENTATION OF AQUACULTURE IN SWEDEN
Aquaculture is a recurring topic of controversy among public groups, often visible through news media representation. The media is an important source of information and communication, that both influences and reflects social consensus. Social license to operate (SLO) is an on-going concern within aquaculture that can impact development, limiting sustainable and ecological innovation. Aquaculture in Sweden is small however a growing interest toward cultivating finfish and low trophic species is present. This study conducted a content analysis of media representation of different aquaculture species within Sweden, over a ten-year period, exploring the tones and main topics included within this context. Overall, aquaculture representation was increasing moderately as a result of articles pertaining to salmon and algae cultivation (R =0.62 and 0.75, respectively). Salmon aquaculture was perceived negatively overall, however a positive discourse is emerging. A significant disparity between positive and negative tones was present among different species (p<0.001), where algae, mussel and low trophic sectors were favored positively. Environmental attributes were the most utilized for every species group and technological aspects were increasing significantly over time (R=0.80). The main topics of discussion included: sustainable potential and benefits of low trophic aquaculture, environmental degradation and industry development. This research aims to support the development of local and restorative forms of aquaculture within Sweden, by contributing toward the understanding of the present public perspective.