Keywords:fishing architecture, coastal settlements, food processing, socio-ecology, Atlantic landscapes, cod fisheries, port architecture
To what extent can a fish drive specific urban developments? This paper seeks to trace the links between fluctuations in the natural cod resources, the technologies used by fishermen to catch and process the fish, and the development of coastal landscapes and urban forms. The fishing port of Gafanha da Nazaré, near Aveiro on the River Vouga lagoon, is an example of the close relationship between the twentieth-century nationalist cultural construction in Portugal (in which cod fishing played a major role), the development of urban sprawls in new territories (independently from the old urban centres with ties to agriculture) and the fluctuations in the cod populations on the other side of the Atlantic. Despite the somewhat haphazard development of the fishing port between the 1920s and the 1970s, it nonetheless established the territorial dynamics that displaced the centre of local urban developments from the ancient urban core to new territories.