Article
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... We discuss ramifications of catch diversity at greater length below. Furthermore, the adaptive responses documented here-in particular, change in fishing location and exiting from fishing-are strategies that harvesters have demonstrated in response to a host of changes, including changes in stock abundance, regulation, markets, and other economic opportunities (Holland and Sutinen, 2000;Wilen et al., 2002;Murray et al., 2010;Daw et al., 2012;Stoll et al., 2015). These findings suggest that lessons about adaptation among resource users in the face of broader change may be relevant in the context of changing climate. ...
... Harvesters make decisions about where to fish based on a host of factors, including resource location and abundance, but also local knowledge and experience, regulatory regime, shoreside infrastructure, and costs incurred (Holland and Sutinen, 2000;Wilen et al., 2002;St. Martin and Hall-Arber, 2008a;Murray et al., 2010;Stoll et al., 2015). Definitively determining the mechanism for the changes in fishing location documented here is outside the scope of this analysis, but we suspect that the change in fishing location is the result of a combination of environmental and regulatory pressures. ...
... Harvesters land species that dealers and processors will buy. As an example, Stoll et al. (2015) point out that spiny dogfish landings dropped precipitously after the European Union stopped importing the product in 2013. In addition, management strategies such as catch shares and limiting access to fisheries can result in reduced diversification or make it difficult for harvesters to switch between species (Kasperski and Holland, 2013;Stoll et al., 2016;Holland et al., 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
In this period of environmental change, understanding how resource users respond to such changes is critical for effective resource management and adaptation planning. Extensive work has focused on natural resource responses to environmental changes, but less has examined the response of resource users to such changes. We used an interdisciplinary approach to analyse changes in resource use among commercial trawl fishing communities in the northwest Atlantic, a region that has shown poleward shifts in harvested fish species. We found substantial community-level changes in fishing patterns since 1996: southern trawl fleets of larger vessels with low catch diversity fished up to 400 km further north, while trawl fleets of smaller vessels with low catch diversity shrank or disappeared from the data set over time. In contrast, trawl fleets (of both large and small vessels) with higher catch diversity neither changed fishing location dramatically or nor disappeared as often from the data set. This analysis suggests that catch diversity and high mobility may buffer fishing communities from effects of environmental change. Particularly in times of rapid and uncertain change, constructing diverse portfolios and allowing for fleet mobility may represent effective adaptation strategies.
... Rasters were used to demonstrate the inextricable link between the marine resources at sea and the onshore seafood infrastructure in a study examining fisheries supply chains. Stoll et al. (2015) illustrated the full supply chain for the herring (Clupea harengus) and dogfish (Squalus acanthias) fisheries, starting from where both species are caught at sea, and following the catch to where it is landed, processed, and eventually reaches its final use as bait or human food ( Figures 4A & B). The rasters provide valuable context in understanding the complete geography of where these 2 fisheries occur at sea. ...
... Maps used to illustrate connectivity between fishery and seafood supply chain in the dogfish (Squalus acanthias) (left) and Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) (right) fisheries and were featured inStoll et al. (2015). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Social Sciences Branch (SSB) developed a fishing-intensity raster dataset to improve the spatial representation of self-reported Vessel Trip Report (VTR) fishing locations. This derived dataset allows us to describe the spatial footprint of fishing statistically, instead of treating fishing locations as points or as discrete areas of the ocean based on a priori assumptions on spatial precision that have previously been used. In this document, we describe how this dataset was constructed, how it can be linked to other commonly used data, caveats with using and interpreting the processed data, basic directions on how to work with rasters, and we describe applications for this data set that have been used in both research and fishery management support. We also describe the aggregated, processed dataset that has been constructed and is readily available for interested parties, including the regional Fisheries Management Councils, state fisheries agencies, and the general public.
... Yet just as cumulative stressors often have negative effects on the natural environment, so too can they erode the integrity of social and economic components of systems (albeit that these stressors may be different than those that affect the natural environment) (Murray et al. 2010). In a social context, any number of socioeconomic processes can have cumulative effects, ranging from market dynamics (Stoll et al. 2015b) to regulations (Cinti et al. 2009, Chan andPan 2012). In the case of the latter, it is not only the individual regulations that affect social-ecological systems, but also the cumulative effects as new regulations are created and modified over time (Murray et al. 2010). ...
... Signs of these types of innovation may already be starting to become visible. In recent years, there have been a wave of fishers experimenting with direct marketing arrangements (Stoll et al. 2015b), ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Turning away from classic single-species bioeconomic models based on equilibrium theory, many have called for the adoption of ecosystem-based fisheries management approaches that account for the non-linearity and multi-scale interactions of the biophysical and human dimensions of these systems. Yet despite progress towards this objective there has been limited attention given to social-ecological interactions across different fisheries. Using the licensing system for commercial fisheries in Maine, each of the chapters presented in this dissertation investigate connections that fishers’ have to different fisheries, examining how social-ecological linkages affect individual- and system-level resilience. The first data chapter provides a historical analysis of the licensing system for commercial fisheries in Maine over the past 25 years and examines how fishers’ access to marine resources has changed through time (Chapter 2). The subsequent chapter presents a typology of fishers based on their ties to different fisheries (Chapter 3). The typology underscores the heterogeneity of the fishing fleet in Maine and serves as the basis for an analysis of the adaptive capacity of the fishing industry. The following chapter (Chapter 4) is a short photo essay made up of a collection of six images that depict connections that fishers have to different combinations of fisheries. The essay included as part of this body of work because it provides an alternative way to illustrate the commonality of these connections. The final data chapter (Chapter 5) explores the relationship between industry leaders and access to fisheries. The central questions that this chapter grapples with are why are leaders in the commercial fishing industry more diversified than other commercial fishers, and how does this diversification act to facilitate leadership? The final chapter (Chapter 6) aims to highlight the near-absence of social science in support of EBFM and outlines specific ways that it can be used to advance EBFM in the future. In combination, this research aims to bring explicit attention to fisher-fisheries connections and how they shape social-ecological dynamics. These connections are ubiquitous in fishing communities in Maine and more broadly, yet seldom are they the subject of dedicated analysis. As this research demonstrates, such inattention is problematic because it obscures meaningful heterogeneity among fishers that it critical to understanding social-ecological dynamics including adaptive capacity, economic stability, and the production of leadership.
... These types of market entrepreneurship, which include a range of business arrangements that provide short (often direct) supply chains1, serve two important roles in fostering coastal community resilience. First, fishermen benefit by earning higher prices for their catch (Brinson et al. 2011;Olson et al. 2014;Stoll et al. 2015a;Stoll et al. 2015b). Second, these new market arrangements act to diversify the supply chain by creating a greater range of outlets through which fishermen can sell their product. ...
... Second, these new market arrangements act to diversify the supply chain by creating a greater range of outlets through which fishermen can sell their product. This is thought to increase coastal community resilience by lessening the impact of market disturbances, such as that which was recently observed in New England by the temporary European Union ban on spiny dogfish caused by elevated levels of toxins in several shipments (Stoll et al. 2015b). However, beyond the examples provided by Lubchenco and a general awareness that some level of market transformation is occurring in New England (Olson et al. 2014), there is an absence of empirical data on the role that catch shares play in shaping seafood distribution patterns or the extent to which it is occurring. ...
Article
Federal fisheries policy in the United States aims to balance resource conservation with maximum sustainable use. Catch shares are a quota-based management tool that are being increasingly deployed to achieve this ambitious goal. One perceived benefit of catch shares is that they give fishermen control of their catch so they will have the latitude to pursue the most profitable marketing arrangements. Using a mixed-methods approach, this research seeks to (1) describe and document the different marketing strategies that commercial fishermen in the Northeast Multispecies Groundfish and Atlantic Sea Scallop fisheries are using to sell their catch; and (2) estimate the total volume and value of seafood distributed through each strategy. This work comes after both fisheries have been operating under catch share management programs for nearly a decade and therefore represents an opportunity to investigate the question: to what extend have catch shares facilitated business expansion and market innovation for fishermen in these fisheries in practice? The findings from this study suggest that while there are examples of market innovation, at least 96% and 98% of the total volume of product within the scallop and groundfish fisheries, respectively, are sold through conventional middlemen and that fish auctions remain the predominant mechanism for seafood distribution. Common challenges in expanding into new, alternative direct markets include operational costs, competition with foreign imports, limiting quota, and product availability. These challenges underscore the broken relationship between fisheries policy and market infrastructure, which combined are preventing fishermen from expanding into new markets.
... As recently as the early 2000s, an estimated 70 to 75% of this catch was used in the lobster industry as bait, equal to 70 to 90% of the total bait needed to support the fishery (Saila et al., 2002;Grabowski et al. 2010) (also see Driscoll et al. 2015). Most of this catch is delivered to lobster fishers via local networks of bait dealers in New England (Stoll et al. 2015). Fishers place this bait inside a compartment in their traps called the ''kitchen'' to attract lobsters. ...
... We defined ''involvement'' in the lobster industry broadly to include those who fish for lobster as well as actors that work to support the fishing fleet (Table 1). By taking an expanded view of the Maine lobster industry, we acknowledge that fishery systems extend beyond those who target and catch marine resources and include those within the supply chain as well as decisionmakers, researchers, and advocacy groups (Charles 2001;Stoll et al. 2015). Fourteen interviewees held more than one role in the industry (e.g., as a fisher and lobster dealer). ...
Article
Climate change, overfishing, and other anthropogenic drivers are forcing marine resource users and decision makers to adapt—often rapidly. In this article we introduce the concept of pathways to rapid adaptation to crisis events to bring attention to the double-edged role that institutions play in simultaneously enabling and constraining swift responses to emerging crises. To develop this concept, we draw on empirical evidence from a case study of the iconic Maine lobster (Homarus americanus) industry. In the Gulf of Maine, the availability of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) stock, a key source of bait in the Maine lobster industry, declined sharply. We investigate the patterns of bait use in the fishery over an 18-year period (2002–2019) and how the lobster industry was able to abruptly adapt to the decline of locally-sourced herring in 2019 that came to be called the bait crisis. We found that adaptation strategies to the crisis were diverse, largely uncoordinated, and imperfectly aligned, but ultimately led to a system-level shift towards a more diverse and globalized bait supply. This shift was enabled by existing institutions and hastened an evolution in the bait system that was already underway, as opposed to leading to system transformation. We suggest that further attention to raceways may be useful in understanding how and, in particular, why marine resource users and coastal communities adapt in particular ways in the face of shocks and crises.
... Additional community climate indicators are under development. Work on how seafood enters and flows through the regional food system (Stoll et al. 2015; Pinto da Silva et al. in review) will help to further elucidate the climate impacts of species range changes on seafood available to consumers and community resilience. Local ecological knowledge has been used to better understand Atlantic cod populations in the Gulf of Maine (Ames 2004) and is being used to examine Atlantic cod spawning areas on Georges Bank. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Northeast U.S. Shelf Ecosystem supports a wide array of living marine resources from Atlantic sea scallops, one of the most valuable, to the North Atlantic Right whale, one of the most endangered. All of these resources - fish, invertebrates, marine mammals, sea turtles, plants, habitats, and other ecosystem components - are being impacted by climate change and multidecadal climate variability. In fact, the pace of observed climate change in the Northeast U.S. is faster than in many other U.S. Large Marine Ecosystems, and future change in the Northeast U.S. Shelf ecosystem is projected to be greater than many other portions of the world’s oceans. These changes in climate are already creating significant challenges for the region. Species distributions are becoming out of sync with the spatial allocations of management. The productivity of some iconic species is decreasing, making rebuilding and recovery difficult. Some ports rely on one or two fisheries; changes in these fisheries could have dramatic consequences for the human communities connected to these ports. Changes in science and management can be slow, while changes in the physics, chemistry, and biology of the ecosystem are occurring rapidly. Despite these challenges, there are opportunities. Some species in the region are responding positively to the changes in climate: moving into the region and increasing in productivity. For many managed species, management actions can occur relatively rapidly: the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) and Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC) have developed specification procedures and framework adjustments that can be implemented within a year of receiving new, peer-reviewed advice. The region has an excellent marine science infrastructure and advanced technologies offer new tools for observing, understanding, and adapting to change. Recognizing the opportunities and challenges resulting from climate change, NOAA Fisheries released the Climate Science Strategy in August 2015. This Strategy develops a national framework to meet the growing demand for information to better prepare for and respond to climate-related impacts on the nation’s living marine resources and resource-dependent communities. The Strategy calls on each region to develop a Regional Action Plan to customize and execute the Strategy over the next 3-5 years. The Plan and Strategy cover all NOAA Fisheries mission elements: sustainable fisheries, protected resources, aquaculture, habitat, and ecosystems; work is needed across all of these mission elements. Here, the Northeast Regional Action Plan (NERAP) applies to the Northeast U.S. Shelf Ecosystem, which extends from North Carolina to Maine, and includes watersheds, estuaries, the continental shelf and the open ocean. The Northeast Regional Action Plan identifies 15 NERAP Actions of highest priority. These actions are ordered by the objectives of the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy (e.g., NERAP Action 1 is associated with Objective 1 of the Strategy). Actions are prioritized for No New Resources and New Resources scenarios (Table 1). Under No New Resources, the Plan describes actions that can be taken to advance the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy at current funding and staffing levels. These actions are broadly consistent with activities currently underway at Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and the Greater Atlantic Regional Fishery Office (GARFO) and within the region but will require greater integration across the NEFSC and GARFO and greater collaboration with partners throughout the region. Under New Resources, the Plan prioritizes actions that can be taken with $2 million in additional funding. The description of actions under New Resources is limited and does not encompass everything that is needed to accomplish the action.
... Signs of these types of innovation may already be starting to become visible. In recent years, there have been a wave of fishers experimenting with direct marketing arrangements [29], there is an increasing number of people entering the aquaculture sector, and fisheries managers at the state level are working with fishers to implement new management regimes and utilize new technologies to improve monitoring and accountability. Fisheries managers and policymakers will need to play a critical role in facilitating and ultimately institutionalizing innovation and therefore should be mindful that those who may be most willing to experiment and innovate may also have the least capacity. ...
Article
Full-text available
Fishers worldwide operate in an environment of uncertainty and constant change. Their ability to manage risk associated with such uncertainty and subsequently adapt to change is largely a function of individual circumstances, including their access to different fisheries. However, explicit attention to the heterogeneity of fishers' connections to fisheries at the level of the individual has been largely ignored. We illustrate the ubiquitous nature of these connections by constructing a typology of commercial fishers in the state of Maine based on the different fisheries that fishers rely on to sustain their livelihoods and find that there are over 600 combinations. We evaluate the adaptive potential of each strategy, using a set of attributes identified by fisheries experts in the state, and find that only 12% of fishers can be classified as being well positioned to adapt in the face of changing socioeconomic and ecological conditions. Sensitivity to the uneven and heterogeneous capacity of fishers to manage risk and adapt to change is critical to devising effective management strategies that broadly support fishers. This will require greater attention to the social-ecological connectivity of fishers across different jurisdictions
... Innovations in fisheries, such as traceability technology, community-supported fisheries, and direct marketing, could be expanded rapidly with targeted government funds. • Shift assumptions about fisheries management (1) Expand the scope of fisheries management's general consideration of fish as being a food to more specifically include food systems and supply chains that form part of the broader socio-ecological connections integral to the viability and resilience of fishing businesses [98] and to think of fishing communities as part of this system rather than simply the home of fishermen or a landing site for vessels. This is a radical shift from the knowledge and training that most individuals who work in fisheries possess, and would require new collaborations. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Food availability, access, and utilization are the three pillars of food security and need to be aligned in order to support a healthy population. United States (US) fisheries policy plays an important role in seafood availability. US health policy impacts access and utilization of seafood in various ways; however, health policies are often disconnected from fisheries policy. Aligning fisheries and health policies is imperative to improve food security. We address two questions with our work: (1) how would US federal fisheries policy be different if our fisheries were managed with beneficial health outcomes for Americans as clear objectives; and (2) how would US health policy be different if one of its goals was to support sustainable domestic fisheries and aquaculture? Results We report how fisheries policies and health policies are additive, synergistic, or antagonistic with regard to seafood, and provide illustrative examples of collaboration between health and fisheries communities at different levels of the food system (federal and state policies, corporate partnerships, and civil society). We also develop a list of topics for future research, and opportunities to align and integrate fisheries and health policies. Conclusions Managing fisheries to promote optimal nutrition and efficient food production likely requires a different approach to fisheries management—new outcomes will need to be monitored, new approaches found, and fisheries, aquaculture, and health policies better integrated. Health policies rarely consider the source of fish, their connections with US fisheries systems, and global distribution of seafood. Change can begin where the most promising opportunities exist, such as institutional food procurement, Farm to School programs, social marketing campaigns, and private sector start-ups. Continued development in fisheries and health policies, however, will need to occur at multiple levels of federal policy, and across the different domains and dimensions of the food system (e.g., social, political, biophysical, economic).
... Little research and data are available about seafood distribution systems (Stoll et al. 2015). This could be because of the emphasis that has been placed on the unique resource management challenges confronting fisheries, different government agencies manage agricultural and fisheries statistics, and/or the markets are considerably smaller economically than those of agricultural products. ...
... Similarly, elevated levels of heavy metals were detected in shipments of spiny dogfish from the United States that were bound for the European Union, where standards for heavy metals and PCBs are more stringent. The discovery caused the market to come to a sudden halt, adding additional strain on an already depressed fishing sector (Stoll et al., 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Reliance on international seafood markets leaves small-scale fishers and fishing economies vulnerable to distant disturbances that can negatively affect market prices and trigger social, economic, and environmental crises at local levels. This paper examines the role of seafood trade routes and re-exports in masking such market linkages. We employ a network approach to map the global trade routes of lobster (Homarus spp.) from small-scale producers in North America to terminal markets and evaluate the extent to which intermediary nations act to obscure producer-market relationships. In taking this approach, we provide a method for systematically measuring “teleconnectivity” created through seafood trade routes, and thus making explicit vulnerabilities to small-scale fisheries from this teleconnectivity. Our empirical analysis shows that the perceived trade diversification of lobster producers is masking increased dependencies on a reduced number of end-markets, particularly in Asia. These results suggest, paradoxically, that the apparent diversification of trade partnerships may actually amplify, rather than reduce, the vulnerabilities of small-scale fishers associated with international trade by making risk harder to identify and anticipate. We discuss our results in the context of local fisheries and global seafood trade and describe key impediments to being able to monitor market dependencies and exposure to potential vulnerabilities.
... Despite the multi-faceted motivations behind enhancing local seafood markets, research to-date into seafood distribution systems is not widespread [21]. Except for a study in New England by O'Hara and McClenachan [19], most research on local seafood marketing has focused on direct marketing business models like community supported fisheries (CSFs) [11,[2][3][4]. ...
Article
Local seafood marketing is intended to improve livelihoods in coastal communities and the sustainability of fisheries practices. While local seafood procurement aligns with the objectives of “farm to school” (F2S) programming in the United States (U.S.), local seafood purchases by schools are infrequent. Understanding the impediments to local seafood procurement can inform strategies to support such practices. This research employs Farm to School Census data to identify attributes that influence school purchases of local seafood at both the school-level and regional-level in the U.S. At the school-level, outreach strategies and promotional efforts employed by schools are important in influencing local seafood sourcing decisions, while the percentage of students on free/reduced-price lunch and school size are not. These findings suggest that technical assistance to practitioners is impactful in supporting the development of local seafood markets. Schools that are close to commercial fishing ports are also more likely to procure seafood locally. At the regional-level, North Pacific and New England schools had a greater propensity to procure local seafood than elsewhere. In the North Pacific this could be occurring because the commercial fishery is economically prominent. In New England this phenomenon may be occurring to develop new markets for alternative seafood species, since historically-important groundfish stocks are depleted. Local agricultural marketing is also relatively important in New England. Thus, there could be spillover benefits to local fishers from technical assistance resources developed to support the local marketing of agricultural products.
... While many small-scale fishermen were able to pivot to direct marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic, many faced obstacles that relate to a policy environment designed around large-scale industrial fishing and international trade. Some of the challenges that small-scale fishermen trying to enter the direct-marketing space face are similar to the challenges faced by many new business owners: lack of business knowledge, struggling with workload and capacity, and marketing their product (DesRivières et al., 2017;Stoll, Dubik, et al., 2015;Stoll, Pinto da Silva, et al., 2015). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
The globalization of the seafood industry has prompted the creation of alternative business models that seek to resist the industrialization of the industry, while promoting a specific set of core social and environmental values that ostensibly deviate from the global mainstream. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, actors in this "alternative" space emerged as a visible feature of the global seafood distribution system. By restructuring and shortening seafood supply chains, alternative seafood networks (ASNs) are reasserting the importance of a specific set of values in food systems for both environmental and socio-cultural reasons. This thesis explores the diversity of businesses within the alternative seafood space and how this diversity has emerged and changed over time. It also draws comparisons from food systems literature to understand the implications of too much diversity within the alternative seafood space. Finally, this thesis also explores the challenges ASN operators face and opportunities to address them. This work is an opportunity to explore the current and future role of ASNs in the broader seafood economy. iii
... Seafood processors and other shore-side businesses have to make decisions about expanding or reducing capacity, processing equipment, infrastructure location (Bell et al. 2011), and other operational factors in response to changing catch composition, volume, and seasons. New markets may need to be developed, and transport and supply chains may have to be restructured (Stoll et al. 2015;Pecl et al. 2019). Local governments and communities require information to evaluate investments for maintaining or altering port facilities and working waterfronts (DFO 2013), whereas managers need to anticipate regulatory challenges and management costs based on changes in the abundance and distribution of species. ...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change impacts to ocean ecosystems are altering the distribution and abundance of fish populations and impacting the people whose health, well‐being, and livelihoods depend on them. Thousands of published papers make it very clear that fish are on the move, alterations in productivity are occurring, and natural and human ecosystems are responding to climate variability and change. Across the globe, numerous high‐level strategies have been developed to provide guidance for managing fisheries in the face of climate change, but specific examples of implementation and actionable decision making in real‐world situations to address climate change impacts are generally lacking. Here we present a review of tangible actions that have been undertaken to reduce, mitigate, and confront climate change impacts to fisheries at a range of levels from individual choice to federal governance. Actions fall into seven general categories covering conservation of natural marine resources, emerging fisheries, reference points, future planning, integrated monitoring and management, and increasing adaptive capacity across all levels. We found that diverse fishery actors around the globe, including managers, scientists, and industry, are taking actions to address climate impacts, but given the scale of the problem there are relatively few intentional, well‐documented examples of tactical responses.
... Many of the disruptions experienced by fishers during this pandemic were in fact disruptions of the seafood supply chain [9], such as a loss of export markets or a lack of domestic markets other than restaurants. Promoting resilience and stability of the seafood supply chain in the long run through, for example, expanding the demand for domestic products and expanding retail markets, may be just as important to fishers' livelihoods as maintaining their ability to fish [40]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Commercial fisheries globally experienced numerous and significant perturbations during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting the livelihoods of millions of fishers worldwide. In the Northeastern United States, fishers grappled with low prices and disruptions to export and domestic markets, leaving many tied to the dock, while others found ways to adapt to the changing circumstances brought about by the pandemic. This paper investigates the short-term impacts of the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-June 2020) on commercial fishers in the Northeast U.S. to understand the effects of the pandemic on participation in the fishery and fishers’ economic outcomes, using data collected from an online survey of 258 Northeast U.S. commercial fishers. This research also assesses characteristics of those fishers who continued fishing and their adaptive strategies to the changing circumstances. Analysis of survey responses found the majority of fishers continued fishing during the early months of the pandemic, while a significant number had stopped fishing. Nearly all reported a loss of income, largely driven by disruptions of export markets, the loss of restaurant sales, and a resulting decline in seafood prices. Landings data demonstrate that while fishing pressure in 2020 was reduced for some species, it remained on track with previous years for others. Fishers reported engaging in a number of adaptation strategies, including direct sales of seafood, switching species, and supplementing their income with government payments or other sources of income. Many fishers who had stopped fishing indicated plans to return, suggesting refraining from fishing as a short-term adaptation strategy, rather than a plan to permanently stop fishing. Despite economic losses, fishers in the Northeastern U.S. demonstrated resilience in the face of the pandemic by continuing to fish and implementing other adaptation strategies rather than switching to other livelihoods.
... Many of the disruptions experienced by fishers during this pandemic were in fact disruptions of the seafood supply chain [1], such as a loss of export markets or a lack of domestic markets other than restaurants. Promoting resilience and stability of the seafood supply chain in the long run through, for example, expanding the demand for domestic products and expanding retail markets, may be just as important to fishers' livelihoods as maintaining their ability to fish [51]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Commercial fisheries globally experienced numerous and significant perturbations during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting the livelihoods of millions of fishers worldwide. In the Northeast United States, fishers grappled with low prices and disruptions to export and domestic markets, leaving many tied to the dock, while others found ways to adapt to the changing circumstances brought about by the pandemic. This paper investigates the short-term impacts of the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-June 2020) on commercial fishers in the Northeast U.S. to understand the effects of the pandemic on participation in the fishery and fishers’ economic outcomes, using data collected from an online survey of 258 Northeast U.S. commercial fishers. This research also assesses characteristics of those fishers who continued fishing and their adaptive strategies to the changing circumstances. Analysis of survey responses found the majority of fishers continued fishing during the early months of the pandemic, while a significant number had stopped fishing. Nearly all reported a loss of income, largely driven by disruptions of export markets, the loss of restaurant sales, and a resulting decline in seafood prices. Landings data demonstrate that while fishing pressure in 2020 was reduced for some species, it remained on track with previous years for others. Fishers reported engaging in a number of adaptation strategies, including direct sales of seafood, switching species, and supplementing their income with government payments or other sources of income. Many fishers who had stopped fishing indicated plans to return, suggesting refraining from fishing as a short-term adaptation strategy, rather than a plan to permanently stop fishing. Despite economic losses, fishers in the Northeast U.S. demonstrated resilience in the face of the pandemic by continuing to fish and implementing other adaptation strategies rather than switching to other livelihoods.
... Understanding underlying mechanisms for global seafood system vulnerabilities requires addressing the system holistically, 8 rather than by isolated supply chains (Stoll, Pinto da Silva, Olson, & Benjamin, 2015). Given their reach, SSFs are positioned to play a crucial role in addressing global food and nutrition insecuritythough may require intentional and systematic adjustments to global seafood flows (Hicks et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated mitigation measures have disrupted global systems that support the health, food and nutrition security, and livelihoods of billions of people. These disruptions have likewise affected the small-scale fishery (SSF) sector, disrupting SSF supply chains and exposing weaknesses in the global seafood distribution system. To inform future development of adaptive capacity and resilience in the sector, it is important to understand how supply chain actors are responding in the face of a macroeconomic shock. Comparing across seven SSF case studies in four countries, we explore how actors are responding to COVID-19 disruptions, identify constraints to adaptive responses, and describe patterns of disruption and response across cases. In all cases examined, actors shifted focus to local and regional distribution channels and particularly drew on flexibility, organization, and learning to re-purpose pre-existing networks and use technology to their advantage. Key constraints to reaching domestic consumers included domestic restrictions on movement and labor, reduced spending power amongst domestic consumers, and lack of existing distribution channels. In addition, the lack of recognition of SSFs as essential food-producers and inequities in access to technology hampered efforts to continue local seafood supply. We suggest that the initial impacts from COVID-19 highlight the risks in of over-reliance on global trade networks. The SSFs that were able to change strategies most successfully had local organizations and connections in place that they leveraged in innovative ways. As such, supporting local and domestic networks and flexible organizations within the supply chain may help build resilience in the face of future macroeconomic shocks. Importantly, bolstering financial wellbeing and security within the domestic market both before and during such large-scale disruptions is crucial for supporting ongoing supply chain operations and continued food provision during macroeconomic crises.
... Understanding underlying mechanisms for global seafood system vulnerabilities requires addressing the system holistically, 8 rather than by isolated supply chains (Stoll, Pinto da Silva, Olson, & Benjamin, 2015). Given their reach, SSFs are positioned to play a crucial role in addressing global food and nutrition insecuritythough may require intentional and systematic adjustments to global seafood flows (Hicks et al., 2019). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic and response has significantly disrupted fishery supply chains, creating shortages of essential foods and constraining livelihoods globally. Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) are responding to the pandemic in a variety of ways. Together, disruptions from and responses to COVID-19 illuminate existing vulnerabilities in the fish distribution paradigm and possible means of reducing system and actor sensitivity and exposure and increasing adaptive capacity. Integrating concepts from literature on supply chain disruptions, social-ecological systems, human wellbeing, vulnerability, and SSFs, we synthesize preliminary lessons from six case studies from Indonesia, the Philippines, Peru, Canada, and the United States. The SSF supply chains examined employ different distribution strategies and operate in different geographic, political, social, economic, and cultural contexts. Specifically, we ask: a) how resilient have different SSF supply chains been to COVID-19 impacts; b) what do these initial outcomes indicate about the role of distribution strategies in determining the vulnerability of SSF supply chains to macroeconomic shocks; and c) what key factors have shaped this vulnerability? Based on our findings, systemic changes that may reduce SSF vulnerability to future macroeconomic shocks include diversification of distribution strategies, livelihoods, and products, development of local and domestic markets and distribution channels, reduced reliance on international markets, establishment of effective communication channels, and preparation for providing aid to directly assist supply chains and support consumer purchasing power.
... quota systems or licensing restrictions; Holland and Kasperski, 2013;Holland et al., 2017) or market opportunities (e.g. direct marketing or distribution patterns; Stoll et al., 2015a;Stoll et al., 2015b). Such interventions can be especially important when considering that most records related to livelihood modification rely on individual choice. ...
Article
Full-text available
Social-ecological systems dependent on fisheries must be resilient or adapt to remain viable in the face of change. Here, we identified possible interventions (termed “adaptation options”) from published literature, aimed at supporting social or ecological resilience and/or aiding adaptation to changes induced by environmental or social stressors. Our searches centered on nations/regions across North America, Europe, and the South Pacific, encompassing fisheries literature with and without a climate change focus, to compare how, when, and by whom interventions are currently or potentially implemented. We expected that adaptation options within a climate change context would have a greater focus on enhancing social resilience due to a connection with climate change adaptation assessment methodology. Instead, we found a greater focus on ecological resilience, likely indicating a focus on management adaptation. This pattern, along with the more extensive use of social adaptation options responsively and outside the context of climate change, along with an importance in bottom-up influences in implementing them, suggests a general lack of centralized planning and organization with regards to adaptation of stakeholders. Determining how adaptation options are created, chosen, and implemented is a crucial step within or external to ecosystem-based management, especially if planned stakeholder adaption is the goal.
... Yet just as cumulative stressors often have negative effects on the natural environment, so too can they erode the integrity of social and economic components of systems (albeit these stressors may be different than those that affect the natural environment) (Murray et al., 2010). In a social context, any number of socioeconomic processes can have cumulative effects, ranging from market dynamics (Stoll et al., 2015b) to regulations (Chan and Pan, 2012;Cinti et al., 2009). In the case of the latter, it is not only the individual regulations that affect social-ecological systems, but also the cumulative effects as new regulations are created and modified over time (Murray et al., 2010). ...
Article
Rising incomes and urbanization have led to an increase in global seafood consumption. Using big data pertaining to the seafood restaurants in 332 Chinese mainland cities, this study analyzes the factors characterizing the spatial imbalance of the restaurants in these cities to identify the driving factors behind the imbalance. We find: 1) The distribution of seafood restaurants and dishes has obvious hierarchical differences and spatial imbalance tendencies; although seafood consumption is increasing in areas further from the coastal cities, seafood restaurants are still concentrated in coastal cities. 2)The difference in the number of seafood restaurants across cities is significantly higher than that of dishes, and the “cluster” phenomenon is more significant. 3) The results from testing the spatial econometric model show that differences among consumer groups, urban land rent, economic scale, and distance from coastal areas are the key factors driving the spatial imbalance of seafood restaurants. Urban traffic accessibility significantly affects the number of seafood dishes, and the temperature difference caused by the urban underlying surface and natural climate also affects consumers' preference for seafood catering. The main reason for these phenomena is the spatial and temporal differentiation of urban elements and the non-equalization of external factors brought about by diversified expansion.
Article
Full-text available
While localist visions of alternative food systems advocate for the expansion of local ecological knowledge through more proximate producerconsumer relationships, globalized seafood supply-demand chains persist. Moving beyond this dichotomy, commons scholars recognize that collective action among resource users at the local level can shape cross-scalar producer relations with government and more capitalized firms operating in regional and global markets. In the case of the New England groundfishery, a quasi-public fish auction not only transformed the scalar, logistical, and financial parameters of harvester-buyer relationships, it altered the production and use of local knowledge among some harvesters, and their technological choices. Resulting markets offer potential benefits that extend to broader publics, by increasing the monetary value and experimental development of a knowledge commons. Qualitative analysis of field data shows that with new market transparency, fish are no longer valued as an undifferentiated commodity, but as a variety of products with individually nuanced price structures. Displacement of local seafood buyers incurred some shoreside job losses, but fishers on smaller, owner-operated boats in multi-generational fishing harbours benefit particularly from new opportunities compared to larger, fleet boats due to different labour relations, allocations of decision-making responsibilities, observational contexts, and associated information flows. Implications for the mobilization of knowledge-action linkages to influence formal resource management arenas merit further research. © content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Article
Full-text available
Faced with strict regulations, rising operational costs, depleted stocks, and competition from less expensive foreign imports, many fishers are pursuing new ways to market and sell their catch. Direct marketing arrangements can increase the ex-vessel value of seafood and profitability of operations for fishers by circumventing dominant wholesale chains of custody and capturing the premium that customers are willing to pay for local seafood. Our analysis goes beyond a paradigm that understands direct marketing arrangements as solely economic tools to consider how these emerging business configurations create a set of conditions that can result in increased bonding and bridging capital among fishers by incentivizing cooperation, communication, and information production and organization. To build our case, we report on the economic value being generated for fishers in a cooperatively owned and operated direct marketing arrangement in eastern North Carolina. Over the course of 2 years, fishers participating in the Walking Fish community-supported fishery received 33% more revenue for their catch compared to the average monthly ex-vessel price of finfish and shellfish landed in the surrounding region, and an additional 14% to 18% more per dollar by way of year-end profit sharing. We argue that these economic benefits create an incentive to participate, resulting in cooperation among fishers and increased communication skills that foster bonding and bridging capital that put fishers in a position to identify and respond to challenges that threaten the social-ecological resilience of the systems within which they operate. We suggest that “institutional starters” like these can play a critical role in increasing the resilience of social-ecological systems, including fisheries.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The precision of self-reported VTR points often comes into question, despite its importance in both fisheries management and stock assessment. This manuscript uses a novel statistical approach to assess the spatial precision of these points in order to generate a better understanding of how the data can best be used.
Article
Full-text available
Community-supported fisheries (CSF) projects show signs of rapid growth. Modeled on community-supported agriculture (CSA) projects, CSFs share objectives of reducing social and physical distance between consumers and producers and re-embedding food systems in social and environmental contexts. This article offers a comparison of CSF and CSA, situated in the differences between seafood and agricultural products, and fishing and farming. We draw on economic and resource theory, past research on CSA, and a member survey from a case study CSF. Survey results show CSF members are interested in accessing high-quality, fresh, local seafood, and in supporting fishing communities, and they believe that participating in a CSF achieves both. They are less certain that a CSF can address environmental concerns, and few identify environmental motives as their primary reason for participating. The latter contrasts with CSA research results, and we contextualize these findings in our broader comparison.
Article
Full-text available
A theoretical basis is required for comparing key features and critical elements in wild fisheries and aquaculture supply chains under a changing climate. Here we develop a new quantitative metric that is analogous to indices used to analyse food-webs and identify key species. The Supply Chain Index (SCI) identifies critical elements as those elements with large throughput rates, as well as greater connectivity. The sum of the scores for a supply chain provides a single metric that roughly captures both the resilience and connectedness of a supply chain. Standardised scores can facilitate cross-comparisons both under current conditions as well as under a changing climate. Identification of key elements along the supply chain may assist in informing adaptation strategies to reduce anticipated future risks posed by climate change. The SCI also provides information on the relative stability of different supply chains based on whether there is a fairly even spread in the individual scores of the top few key elements, compared with a more critical dependence on a few key individual supply chain elements. We use as a case study the Australian southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii fishery, which is challenged by a number of climate change drivers such as impacts on recruitment and growth due to changes in large-scale and local oceanographic features. The SCI identifies airports, processors and Chinese consumers as the key elements in the lobster supply chain that merit attention to enhance stability and potentially enable growth. We also apply the index to an additional four real-world Australian commercial fishery and two aquaculture industry supply chains to highlight the utility of a systematic method for describing supply chains. Overall, our simple methodological approach to empirically-based supply chain research provides an objective method for comparing the resilience of supply chains and highlighting components that may be critical.
Article
Full-text available
In the midst of a global fisheries crisis, there has been great interest in the fostering of adaptation and resilience in fisheries, as a means to reduce vulnerability and improve the capacity of fishing society to adapt to change. However, enhanced resilience does not automatically result in improved well-being of people, and adaptation strategies are riddled with difficult choices, or trade-offs, that people must negotiate. This paper uses the context of fisheries to explore some apparent tensions between adapting to change on the one hand, and the pursuit of well-being on the other, and illustrates that trade-offs can operate at different levels of scale. It argues that policies that seek to support fisheries resilience need to be built on a better understanding of the wide range of consequences that adaptation has on fisher well-being, the agency people exert in negotiating their adaptation strategies, and how this feeds back into the resilience of fisheries as a social-ecological system. The paper draws from theories on agency and adaptive preferences to illustrate how agency might be better incorporated into the resilience debate.
Article
Full-text available
The Eastern Bering Sea fishery for pollock is one of the largest fisheries in the world and has often been touted as an example of sustainable fisheries management. Yet, sustainability requires more than protection of the biological productivity of the targeted fish species. It requires preservation of the flows of net social and economic benefits of the fishery, and flexible governance and management institutions that allow for adaptation to changes in fish abundance as well as changes in consumer demand and in the prices of key inputs. From an economic perspective, the Alaska pollock fishery was unsustainable before passage of the American Fisheries Act (AFA) in 1998. The AFA permanently divided the pollock Total Allowable Catch (TAC) giving a 10% allocation to the Community Development Quota (CDQ) program and partitioning the remainder among four fishing sectors. It allowed CDQ to be leased to any sector but largely prohibited leasing or sale between other sectors. These limits on intersectoral transfers have reduced the ability of sectors to respond to changes in the abundance and distribution of pollock, implementation of management measures intended to benefit other species, and changes in the prices of input factors and products. This paper explores these consequences.
Article
Full-text available
The concept of resilience in ecology has been expanded into a framework to analyse human-environment dynamics. The extension of resilience notions to society has important limits, particularly its conceptualization of social change. The paper argues that this stems from the lack of attention to normative and epistemological issues underlying the notion of ‘social resilience’. We suggest that critically examining the role of knowledge at the intersections between social and environmental dynamics helps to address normative questions and to capture how power and competing value systems are not external to, but rather integral to the development and functioning of SES.
Article
Full-text available
Catches and prices from many fisheries exhibit high interannual variability, leading to variability in the income derived by fishery participants. The economic risk posed by this may be mitigated in some cases if individuals participate in several different fisheries, particularly if revenues from those fisheries are uncorrelated or vary asynchronously. We construct indices of gross income diversification from fisheries at the level of individual vessels and find that the income of the current fleet of vessels on the US West Coast and in Alaska is less diverse than at any point in the past 30 y. We also find a dome-shaped relationship between the variability of individuals' income and income diversification, which implies that a small amount of diversification does not reduce income risk but that higher levels of diversification can substantially reduce the variability of income from fishing. Moving from a single fishery strategy to a 50-25-25 split in revenues reduces the expected coefficient of variation of gross revenues between 24% and 65% for the vessels included in this study. The increasing access restrictions in many marine fisheries through license reductions and moratoriums have the potential to limit fishermen's ability to diversify their income risk across multiple fisheries. Catch share programs often result in consolidation initially and may reduce diversification. However, catch share programs also make it feasible for fishermen to build a portfolio of harvest privileges and potentially reduce their income risk. Therefore, catch share programs create both threats and opportunities for fishermen wishing to maintain diversified fishing strategies.
Article
Full-text available
Discusses the restructuring of the food production, processing and retailing sectors in the USA. Describes different methods of vertical and horizontal integration that have occurred. Goes on to discuss the consolidation of business in retailing in particular. Refers to the relationships that are being formed between the supermarket chains, for example Wal-Mart and Kroger, and dominant food-chain clusters. Considers whether or not smaller retail chains and wholesalers should feel threatened by this consolidation. Takes the dairy sector in the USA as a case study in the restructuring of the retailing and processing sectors.
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of epizootic shell disease in American lobsters Homarus americanus in the southern New England area, USA, has presented many new challenges to understanding the interface between disease and fisheries management. This paper examines past knowledge of shell disease, supplements this with the new knowledge generated through a special New England Lobster Shell Disease Initiative completed in 2011, and suggests how epidemiological tools can be used to elucidate the interactions between fisheries management and disease.
Article
Full-text available
Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in the Gulf of Maine provide an important but depleted fishery that needs to be made sustainable. However, restoring and maintaining robust population components to achieve sustainability is made difficult when their distribution and character is unknown. This study clarifies the structure of the Gulf of Maine cod grouping by deriving the distribution, movements, and behavior of population components from 1920s data and surveys of retired fishermen. These derivations are consistent with current cod populations and with the existence of localized spawning components. Nearly half the coastal spawning grounds of 50 to 70 years ago are abandoned today and their spawning components have disappeared, suggesting depletion, undetected by system-wide assessments, may have been well advanced by the 1980s.
Article
Full-text available
Michael W. Beck, Kenneth L. Heck, Jr., Kenneth W. Able, Daniel L. Childers, David B. Eggleston, Bronwyn M. Gillanders, Benjamin Halpern, Cynthia G. Hays, Kaho Hoshino, Thomas J. Minello, Robert J. Orth, Peter F. Sheridan and Michael P. Weinstein
Article
Full-text available
Kelp forests are phyletically diverse, structurally complex and highly productive components of cold-water rocky marine coastlines. This paper reviews the conditions in which kelp forests develop globally and where, why and at what rate they become deforested. The ecology and long archaeological history of kelp forests are examined through case studies from southern California, the Aleutian Islands and the western North Atlantic, well-studied locations that represent the widest possible range in kelp forest biodi-versity. Global distribution of kelp forests is physiologically constrained by light at high latitudes and by nutrients, warm temperatures and other macrophytes at low latitudes. Within mid-latitude belts (roughly 40–60° latitude in both hemispheres) well-developed kelp forests are most threatened by herbivory, usually from sea urchins. Overfishing and extirpation of highly valued vertebrate apex predators often triggered herbivore population increases, leading to widespread kelp deforestation. Such deforestations have the most profound and lasting impacts on species-depauperate systems, such as those in Alaska and the western North Atlantic. Globally urchin-induced deforestation has been increasing over the past 2–3 decades. Continued fishing down of coastal food webs has resulted in shifting harvesting targets from apex predators to their invertebrate prey, including kelp-grazing herbivores. The recent global expansion of sea urchin harvesting has led to the wide-spread extirpation of this herbivore, and kelp forests have returned in some locations but, for the first time, these forests are devoid of vertebrate apex predators. In the western North Atlantic, large predatory crabs have recently filled this void and they have become the new apex predator in this system. Similar shifts from fish-to crab-dominance may have occurred in coastal zones of the United Kingdom and Japan, where large predatory finfish were extirpated long ago. Three North American case studies of kelp forests were examined to determine their long history with humans and project the status of future kelp forests to the year 2025. Fishing impacts on kelp forest systems have been both profound and much longer in duration than previously thought. Archaeological data suggest that coastal peoples exploited kelp forest organisms for thousands of years, occasionally resulting in localized losses of apex predators, outbreaks of sea urchin popu-lations and probably small-scale deforestation. Over the past two centuries, commercial exploitation for export led to the extirpation of sea urchin predators, such as the sea otter in the North Pacific and predatory fishes like the cod in the North Atlantic. The large-scale removal of predators for export markets increased sea urchin abundances and promoted the decline of kelp forests over vast areas. Despite southern California having one of the longest known associations with coastal kelp forests, widespread deforestation is rare. It is possible that functional redundancies among predators and herbivores make this most diverse system most stable. Such biodiverse kelp forests may also resist invasion from non-native species. In the species-depauperate western North Atlantic, introduced algal competitors carpet the benthos and threaten future kelp dominance. There, other non-native herbivores and predators have become established and dominant components of this system. Climate changes have had measurable impacts on kelp forest ecosystems and efforts to control the emission of greenhouse gasses should be a global priority. However, overfishing appears to be the greatest manageable threat to kelp forest ecosystems over the 2025 time horizon. Management should focus on minimizing fishing impacts and restoring popu-lations of functionally important species in these systems.
Article
Full-text available
We explore the social dimension that enables adaptive ecosystem-based management. The review concentrates on experiences of adaptive governance of social-ecological systems during periods of abrupt change (crisis) and investigates social sources of renewal and reorganization. Such governance connects individuals, organi-zations, agencies, and institutions at multiple organizational levels. Key persons provide leadership, trust, vision, meaning, and they help transform management organizations toward a learning environment. Adaptive governance systems often self-organize as social networks with teams and actor groups that draw on various knowledge systems and experiences for the development of a common understanding and policies. The emergence of "bridging organizations" seem to lower the costs of collaboration and conflict resolution, and enabling legislation and governmental policies can support self-organization while framing creativity for adaptive comanagement efforts. A re-silient social-ecological system may make use of crisis as an opportunity to transform into a more desired state.
Article
Full-text available
In the past decade international and national environmental policy and action have been dominated by issues generally defined as global environmental problems. In this article, we identify the major discourses associated with four global environmental issues: deforestation, desertification, biodiversity use and climate change. These discourses are analysed in terms of their messages, narrative structures and policy prescriptions. We find striking parallels in the nature and structure of the discourses and in their illegibility at the local scale. In each of the four areas there is a global environmental management discourse representing a technocentric worldview by which blueprints based on external policy interventions can solve global environmental dilemmas. Each issue also has a contrasting populist discourse that portrays local actors as victims of external interventions bringing about degradation and exploitation. The managerial discourses dominate in all four issues, but important inputs are also supplied to political decisions from populist discourses. There are, in addition, heterodox ideas and denial claims in each of these areas, to a greater or lesser extent, in which the existence or severity of the environmental problem are questioned. We present evidence from location-specific research which does not fit easily with the dominant managerialist nor with the populist discourses. The research shows that policy-making institutions are distanced from the resource users and that local scale environmental management moves with a distinct dynamic and experiences alternative manifestations of environmental change and livelihood imperatives.
Article
Full-text available
The food regime concept is a key to unlock not only structured moments and transitions in the history of capitalist food relations, but also the history of capitalism itself. It is not about food per se, but about the relations within which food is produced, and through which capitalism is produced and reproduced. It provides, then, a fruitful perspective on the so-called ‘world food crisis’ of 2007–2008. This paper argues that the crisis stems from a long-term cycle of fossil-fuel dependence of industrial capitalism, combined with the inflation-producing effects of current biofuel offsets and financial speculation, and the concentration and centralization of agribusiness capital stemming from the enabling conjunctural policies of the corporate food regime. Rising costs, related to peak oil and fuel crop substitutes, combine with monopoly pricing by agribusiness to inflate food prices, globally transmitted under the liberalized terms of finance and trade associated with neoliberal policies.
Article
Full-text available
Overfishing of large-bodied benthic fishes and their subsequent population collapses on the Scotian Shelf of Canada's east coast and elsewhere resulted in restructuring of entire food webs now dominated by planktivorous, forage fish species and macroinvertebrates. Despite the imposition of strict management measures in force since the early 1990s, the Scotian Shelf ecosystem has not reverted back to its former structure. Here we provide evidence of the transient nature of this ecosystem and its current return path towards benthic fish species domination. The prolonged duration of the altered food web, and its current recovery, was and is being governed by the oscillatory, runaway consumption dynamics of the forage fish complex. These erupting forage species, which reached biomass levels 900% greater than those prevalent during the pre-collapse years of large benthic predators, are now in decline, having outstripped their zooplankton food supply. This dampening, and the associated reduction in the intensity of predation, was accompanied by lagged increases in species abundances at both lower and higher trophic levels, first witnessed in zooplankton and then in large-bodied predators, all consistent with a return towards the earlier ecosystem structure. We conclude that the reversibility of perturbed ecosystems can occur and that this bodes well for other collapsed fisheries.
Article
Full-text available
Ecologists, fisheries scientists, and coastal managers have all called for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management, yet many species such as the American lobster (Homarus americanus) are still largely managed individually. One hypothesis that has yet to be tested suggests that human augmentation of lobster diets via the use of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) as bait may contribute to recent increases in lobster landings. Currently 70% of Atlantic herring landings in the Gulf of Maine are used as bait to catch lobsters in traps throughout coastal New England. We examined the effects of this herring bait on the diet composition and growth rate of lobsters at heavily baited vs. seasonally closed (i.e., bait free) sites in coastal Maine. Our results suggest that human use of herring bait may be subsidizing juvenile lobster diets, thereby enhancing lobster growth and the overall economic value and yield of one of the most valuable fisheries in the U.S. Our study illustrates that shifting to an ecosystem approach to fisheries management should require consideration of cross-fishery interactions.
Article
Full-text available
"What makes social-ecological systems (SESs) robust? In this paper, we look at the institutional configurations that affect the interactions among resources, resource users, public infrastructure providers, and public infrastructures. We propose a framework that helps identify potential vulnerabilities of SESs to disturbances. All the links between components of this framework can fail and thereby reduce the robustness of the system. We posit that the link between resource users and public infrastructure providers is a key variable affecting the robustness of SESs that has frequently been ignored in the past. We illustrate the problems caused by a disruption in this link. We then briefly describe the design principles originally developed for robust common-pool resource institutions, because they appear to be a good starting point for the development of design principles for more general SESs and do include the link between resource users and public infrastructure providers."
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem stewardship is an action-oriented framework intended to foster the social-ecological sustainability of a rapidly changing planet. Recent developments identify three strategies that make optimal use of current understanding in an environment of inevitable uncertainty and abrupt change: reducing the magnitude of, and exposure and sensitivity to, known stresses; focusing on proactive policies that shape change; and avoiding or escaping unsustainable social-ecological traps. As we discuss here, all social-ecological systems are vulnerable to recent and projected changes but have sources of adaptive capacity and resilience that can sustain ecosystem services and human well-being through active ecosystem stewardship.
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the relationship between traditional fisheries, fisheries enhancement (ranching), and aquaculture. It evaluates why they are different and why fisheries economists have largely neglected aquaculture issues, despite the fact that most of the growth in fish supply over the past two decades has been the result of aquaculture development. It is argued that the core difference between aquaculture and traditional fisheries is the degree of control; control of the environment, production, and marketing systems. It is further argued that the degree of control is closely related to the strength of property rights. Three examples are presented to provide empirical support for the propositions. They focus on the salmon, lobster, and shrimp industries.
Article
Full-text available
All ecosystems are exposed to gradual changes in climate, nutrient loading, habitat fragmentation or biotic exploitation. Nature is usually assumed to respond to gradual change in a smooth way. However, studies on lakes, coral reefs, oceans, forests and arid lands have shown that smooth change can be interrupted by sudden drastic switches to a contrasting state. Although diverse events can trigger such shifts, recent studies show that a loss of resilience usually paves the way for a switch to an alternative state. This suggests that strategies for sustainable management of such ecosystems should focus on maintaining resilience.
Article
Full-text available
Human-dominated marine ecosystems are experiencing accelerating loss of populations and species, with largely unknown consequences. We analyzed local experiments, long-term regional time series, and global fisheries data to test how biodiversity loss affects marine ecosystem services across temporal and spatial scales. Overall, rates of resource collapse increased and recovery potential, stability, and water quality decreased exponentially with declining diversity. Restoration of biodiversity, in contrast, increased productivity fourfold and decreased variability by 21%, on average. We conclude that marine biodiversity loss is increasingly impairing the ocean's capacity to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover from perturbations. Yet available data suggest that at this point, these trends are still reversible.
Article
After decades of overexploitation and severe depletion, Atlantic herring stocks in waters of the northeastern United States have recovered. Fishery managers now consider the herring resource to be underexploited. Nevertheless, some fishery managers and sustainable fishery advocates in New England have expressed concern that the fishery management plan may not adequately consider the importance of herring as prey for marine mammals, seabirds, and piscivorous fish. Several studies suggest that consumption by these predators is significant, yet trophic interactions are not explicitly considered in stock assessment models. Instead, as in most fisheries stock assessments, predation is subsumed within the natural mortality rate, and no empirical estimates of herring consumption are used in the models. The goal of the present study was to assess the consumption of herring by marine mammals and to compare this level of consumption with estimates of natural mortality derived from herring stock assessment models. Using the most recent estimates of abundance and the best available data on diet, we estimated total annual consumption of herring by eight marine mammal species in the Gulf of Maine. Our results indicate that marine mammals consume 93,802-189,898 metric tons (mt; 1 metric ton = 1000 kg) of herring annually. In addition, piscivorous fish and seabirds are important predators of herring. We estimate that the consumption of herring by these upper trophic level predators may have exceeded the estimate of natural mortality used in stock assessment models by more than fourfold in 1991. We suggest that fisheries management must move beyond a single-species approach to one that includes formal consideration of trophic relationships.
Article
Competition in U.S. agricultural markets has been shaped and reshaped over the course of decades by a number of factors. These include long-standing statutory exemptions from the U.S. antitrust laws for some forms of agricultural business organizations, changes in regulation, advances in technology, the rise of intellectual property protection, and globalization. More recent changes, however, have fundamentally altered the landscapes of domestic and global agricultural markets. This has been driven largely by horizontal and vertical consolidation, which has created tight oligopolies and by the emergence of powerful players at critical stages in increasingly complex agricultural supply chains.
Article
Introduction: Diverse Economies as a Performative Ontological ProjectBecoming Different Academic SubjectsThe Ethics of ThinkingNew Academic Practices and PerformancesConclusion References
Article
Management of the American lobster fishery in U.S. waters recognizes 3 biological stocks. Since 2001, the northern 2 stocks have increased in abundance whereas the southernmost stock has declined dramatically. Decline in abundance indices of all sizes, including larvae and young-of-year, indicate that the stock is experiencing recruitment failure. Increasing water temperature and a corresponding increase in shell disease may be contributing factors. Assessment procedures have recently included a 2-fold increase in nonharvest losses; however, modeling spawning stock losses specific to the disease process has not been accomplished. Rebuilding strategies need to maximize stock production while at the same time minimize the spread and severity of shell disease.
Article
Fishing communities are subject to economic risk as the commercial fisheries they rely on are intrinsically volatile. The degree to which a community is exposed to economic risk depends on a community׳s ability to confront and/or alter its exposure to volatile fishery conditions through risk-reduction mechanisms. In this article, economic risk – as measured by community-level fishing gross revenues variability – is characterized across Alaskan fishing communities over the past two decades, and exploratory analyses are conducted to identify associations between community attributes and revenues variability. Results show that communities’ fishing portfolio size and diversification are strongly related to fishing revenues variability. Communities with larger and/or more diverse fishing portfolios experience lower fishing revenues variability. Portfolio size and diversification appear to be related to the number of local fisheries, indicating that communities’ portfolios may be constrained to the set of local fisheries. Hotspots of relatively higher fishing revenues variability for communities in north and west Alaska were identified, mirroring the spatial distribution of fishery-specific ex-vessel revenues variability. This overall pattern suggests that a community׳s fishing portfolio – and hence its exposure to risk – may be “predetermined” by its location, thereby limiting the policy options available to promote economic stability through larger and/or more diverse fishing portfolios. For such communities, diversifying income across non-fishing sectors may be an important risk reduction strategy, provided any potential negative cross-sector externalities are addressed.
Article
Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs), also called “catch shares”, have been broadly adopted in the last two decades, at the same time that concerns about their equity and effectiveness in delivering the predicted outcomes have increased. This paper documents how an alternative fishermen-designed and operated system of spreading fishing effort to avoid the race for fish—called the lay-up system—worked effectively and equitably for four decades in the British Columbia halibut fishery before ITQs were introduced in this fishery. Why the lay-up system was allowed to collapse and its history ignored illustrates important roles played by conflicting ideologies, bureaucratic rationality, and the inability to imagine an alternative way of solving fisheries management problems. Trade-offs between the efficiency, equity, and effectiveness of halibut and other management systems are considered.
Article
How might academic practices contribute to the exciting proliferation of economic experiments occurring worldwide in the current moment? In this paper we describe the work of a nascent research community of economic geographers and other scholars who are making the choice to bring marginalized, hidden and alternative economic activities to light in order to make them more real and more credible as objects of policy and activism. The diverse economies research program is, we argue, a performative ontological project that builds upon and draws forth a different kind of academic practice and subjectivity. Using contemporary examples, we illustrate the thinking practices of ontological reframing, re-reading for difference and cultivating creativity and we sketch out some of the productive lines of inquiry that emerge from an experimental, performative and ethical orientation to the world. The paper is accompanied by an electronic bibliography of diverse economies research with over 200 entries.
Article
The potential role of lobster trap bait as a significant food subsidy contributing to unprecedented recent increases in abundance and landings of the American lobster Homarus americanus is seldom considered seriously outside the fishing community. Although bait input is a very small source of organic carbon compared with primary production, the yearly input of bait per unit area to the inshore waters of the Gulf of Maine is about 85 kg/ha, an amount equal to a very productive fishery yield from a marine area. Because much of the bait is imported from outside the inshore area of the Gulf of Maine, it represents a direct subsidy to secondary production within this portion of the system. An empirical relationship between fish yield and primary production in phytoplankton-based marine systems suggests that inshore primary production would have to be increased by about 80% to provide an increment in fish yield equal to the bait input. Moreover, a simple trophic calculation based on an estimated amount of bait consumed in traps and the growth efficiency of juvenile American lobsters also shows that the bait could potentially support one-quarter to one-third of the recent American lobster landings from the inshore area of the Gulf. This preliminary assessment suggests that lobster bait may make a substantial contribution to American lobster production—a contribution that, if confirmed, should be further examined and carefully considered in future American lobster management.
Article
a b s t r a c t Fisheries management around the world has experimented with regulations to promote privatization, in order to reach such multifaceted goals as ending overfishing and reducing economic inefficiencies. This review surveys a wide range of empirical experiences in different contexts around the world to help provide a fuller picture of potential and sometimes disparate consequences from privatization in general and new ways of organizing around fishing that can follow in the wake of such measures. Looking at the many different participants in the fishing industrydfrom crew, small-boat owners, to households and communitiesdas well as the diverse sociocultural contexts in which fishing takes place, enables a better understanding of who and what is impacted, how they are impacted, why and with what further consequences, such that communities come to be seen less oppositional to economy, but rather constituted by multiple scalar processes and by economic relations comprising different motivations and behaviors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Article
Human agency is considered a key factor in determining how individuals and society respond to environmental change. This article synthesizes knowledge on agency, capacity, and resilience across human development, well-being, and disasters literature to provide insights to support more integrated and human-centered approaches to understanding environmental change. It draws out the key areas of agreement across these diverse fields and identifies the main points of contestation and uncertainty. This highlights the need to consider subjective and relational factors in addition to objective measures of capacity and to view these as reflexive and dynamic, as well as differentiated socially and temporally. These findings can help distinguish between coping, adaptation, and transformation as responses to environmental and other stressors.
Article
Genes, species and ecosystems are often considered to be assets. The need to ensure a sufficient diversity of this asset is being increasingly recognised today. Asset managers in banks and insurance companies face a similar challenge. They are asked to manage the assets of their investors by constructing efficient portfolios. They deliberately make use of a phenomenon observed in the formation of portfolios: returns are additive, while risks diversify. This phenomenon and its implications are at the heart of portfolio theory. Portfolio theory, like few other economic theories, has dramatically transformed the practical work of banks and insurance companies. Before portfolio theory was developed about 50 years ago, asset managers were confronted with a situation similar to the situation the research on biodiversity faces today. While the need for diversification was generally accepted, a concept that linked risk and return on a portfolio level and showed the value of diversification was missing. Portfolio theory has closed this gap. This article first explains the fundamentals of portfolio theory and transfers it to biodiversity. A large part of this article is then dedicated to some of the implications portfolio theory has for the valuation and management of biodiversity. The last section introduces three development openings for further research.
Article
The resilience perspective is increasingly used as an approach for understanding the dynamics of social–ecological systems. This article presents the origin of the resilience perspective and provides an overview of its development to date. With roots in one branch of ecology and the discovery of multiple basins of attraction in ecosystems in the 1960–1970s, it inspired social and environmental scientists to challenge the dominant stable equilibrium view. The resilience approach emphasizes non-linear dynamics, thresholds, uncertainty and surprise, how periods of gradual change interplay with periods of rapid change and how such dynamics interact across temporal and spatial scales. The history was dominated by empirical observations of ecosystem dynamics interpreted in mathematical models, developing into the adaptive management approach for responding to ecosystem change. Serious attempts to integrate the social dimension is currently taking place in resilience work reflected in the large numbers of sciences involved in explorative studies and new discoveries of linked social–ecological systems. Recent advances include understanding of social processes like, social learning and social memory, mental models and knowledge–system integration, visioning and scenario building, leadership, agents and actor groups, social networks, institutional and organizational inertia and change, adaptive capacity, transformability and systems of adaptive governance that allow for management of essential ecosystem services.
Article
Managing fish stocks in terms of a portfolio of economic assets is likely to significantly increase benefits for society relative to single-species approaches. A portfolio framework systematically combines fish stocks that are joined by ecology (e.g., predation, competition) and unspecialized fishing technologies (e.g., mixed-species trawls) into a portfolio which balances expected aggregate returns against the risks associated with stock-attribute and other uncertainties. To be productive, however, this framework must be combined with property rights institutions that clearly state management objectives, create long-run time-horizons among harvesters, internalize spillovers caused by ecological and technological jointness, and reduce uncertainty through research and adaptive management. Although the cost of reducing scientific uncertainty about ecological interactions may limit the portfolio approach to intensive management of relatively few species, its scope can be broadened to integrate tradeoffs among more types of marine resources, such as nature preserves and oil and gas deposits.
Article
Over a period of some 20 years, different aspects of co-management (the sharing of power and responsibility between the government and local resource users) have come to the forefront. The paper focuses on a selection of these: knowledge generation, bridging organizations, social learning, and the emergence of adaptive co-management. Co-management can be considered a knowledge partnership. Different levels of organization, from local to international, have comparative advantages in the generation and mobilization of knowledge acquired at different scales. Bridging organizations provide a forum for the interaction of these different kinds of knowledge, and the coordination of other tasks that enable co-operation: accessing resources, bringing together different actors, building trust, resolving conflict, and networking. Social learning is one of these tasks, essential both for the co-operation of partners and an outcome of the co-operation of partners. It occurs most efficiently through joint problem solving and reflection within learning networks. Through successive rounds of learning and problem solving, learning networks can incorporate new knowledge to deal with problems at increasingly larger scales, with the result that maturing co-management arrangements become adaptive co-management in time.
Article
Unsustainable fishing simplifies food chains and, as with aquaculture, can result in reliance on a few economically valuable species. This lack of diversity may increase risks of ecological and economic disruptions. Centuries of intense fishing have extirpated most apex predators in the Gulf of Maine (United States and Canada), effectively creating an American lobster (Homarus americanus) monoculture. Over the past 20 years, the economic diversity of marine resources harvested in Maine has declined by almost 70%. Today, over 80% of the value of Maine's fish and seafood landings is from highly abundant lobsters. Inflation-corrected income from lobsters in Maine has steadily increased by nearly 400% since 1985. Fisheries managers, policy makers, and fishers view this as a success. However, such lucrative monocultures increase the social and ecological consequences of future declines in lobsters. In southern New England, disease and stresses related to increases in ocean temperature resulted in more than a 70% decline in lobster abundance, prompting managers to propose closing that fishery. A similar collapse in Maine could fundamentally disrupt the social and economic foundation of its coast. We suggest the current success of Maine's lobster fishery is a gilded trap. Gilded traps are a type of social trap in which collective actions resulting from economically attractive opportunities outweigh concerns over associated social and ecological risks or consequences. Large financial gain creates a strong reinforcing feedback that deepens the trap. Avoiding or escaping gilded traps requires managing for increased biological and economic diversity. This is difficult to do prior to a crisis while financial incentives for maintaining the status quo are large. The long-term challenge is to shift fisheries management away from single species toward integrated social-ecological approaches that diversify local ecosystems, societies, and economies.
Article
"After decades of overexploitation and severe depletion, Atlantic herring stocks in waters of the northeastern United States have recovered. Fishery managers now consider the herring resource to be underexploited. Nevertheless, some fishery managers and sustainable fishery advocates in New England have expressed concern that the fishery management plan may not adequately consider the importance of herring as prey for marine mammals, seabirds, and piscivorous fish. Several studies suggest that consumption by these predators is significant, yet trophic interactions are not explicitly considered in stock assessment models. Instead, as in most fisheries stock assessments, predation is subsumed within the natural mortality rate, and no empirical estimates of herring consumption are used in the models. The goal of the present study was to assess the consumption of herring by marine mammals and to compare this level of consumption with estimates of natural mortality derived from herring stock assessment models. Using the most recent estimates of abundance and the best available data on diet, we estimated total annual consumption of herring by eight marine mammal species in the Gulf of Maine. Our results indicate that marine mammals consume 93,802â 189,898 metric tons (mt; 1 metric ton = 1000 kg) of herring annually. In addition, piscivorous fish and seabirds are important predators of herring. We estimate that the consumption of herring by these upper trophic level predators may have exceeded the estimate of natural mortality used in stock assessment models by more than fourfold in 1991. We suggest that fisheries management must move beyond a single-species approach to one that includes formal consideration of trophic relationships."
Article
Based on author's thesis, University Of Chicago.
Article
Resource managers and scientists from disparate disciplines are rising to the challenge of understanding and moderating human impacts on marine ecosystems. Traditional barriers to communication between marine ecologists, fisheries biologists, social scientists and economists are beginning to break down, and the distinction between applied and basic research is fading. These ongoing trends arise, in part, from an increasing awareness of the profound influence of people on the functioning of all marine ecosystems, an increased focus on spatial and temporal scale, and a renewed assessment of the role of biodiversity in the sustainability of ecosystem goods and services upon which human societies depend. Here, we highlight the emergence of a complex systems approach for sustaining and repairing marine ecosystems, linking ecological resilience to governance structures, economics and society.