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How Access to Maine's Fisheries Has Changed over a Quarter Century: The Cumulative Effects of Licensing on Resilience

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... 2014, Stoll et al. 2016). This trend can be attributed, in part, to the nature of the rules and regulations that are being implemented to curb overfishing and sustain fish stocks. ...
... We also find that there are numerous and diverse connections that fishers have to different fisheries that span gear types, jurisdiction, and geographies. Indeed the ties that fishers have to marine resources in Maine is more similar to the ecological system in the Gulf of Maine, with its myriad of biological connections (Link et al. 2006), than the siloed regulatory system in place to govern the system (Stoll et al. 2016). ...
... Actors that are involved in more than one fishery invariably engage with different components of the environment. Having multiple vantage points is thought to facilitate broader learning about the system (Stoll et al. 2016). This ability to observe how different parts of the system interact gives diversified actors a more comprehensive view of the marine system than fishers who are more specialized. ...
Thesis
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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.
... Ethnographic research techniques to parse out effects of multiple stressors (Murray et al., 2010;Stoll et al., 2016); fisheries connectivity networks and spillover effects (Addicott et al., 2018;Yletyinen et al., 2018;Kroetz et al., 2019). ...
... While fisheries diversification is historically a common strategy employed by fishermen to mitigate revenue losses from any one fishery, the increasing institution of limited entry and catch share programs throughout fisheries systems has restricted the capacity of fishermen to readily switch target fisheries. Murray et al. (2010) and Stoll et al. (2016) document the cumulative effects of lost diversification opportunities through piecemeal fisheries regulations, which have increased uncertainty and undermined the adaptive capacity of fishermen due to the coupling of institutional constraints and investments of fishers in these institutions. Both studies also relay the potential negative implications on the ecological dimensions of the system from this degraded flexibility due to increased non-compliance and continued prosecution of the target resource even in the face of declining abundance. ...
... Given the often sequential nature of perturbations that fishing participants are responding to, cumulative impacts can also be conceptualized as changes to baseline conditions inclusive of changes in the availability of adaptive strategies -represented in Figure 1 with an arrow from cumulative effects back to fisheries participation. For example, decreasing opportunities for fisheries diversification associated with the institution of limited entry and catch share programs have shifted adaptive responses in some fisheries toward pluriactivity, altered succession, and increasing value strategies like direct marketing and value added products (Murray et al., 2010;Stoll et al., 2016;Szymkowiak, 2020a). In the conceptual framework such systemic impacts of previous perturbations (in this case, management changes) would imply a new equilibrium state upon which the effects of the next perturbation would be modeled. ...
Article
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The evolution of fisheries science and management toward an ecosystem perspective necessitates the meaningful incorporation of human dimensions. Whereas great strides have been made over the last several decades at moving toward ecosystem based fisheries management (EBFM), largely through the development of integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs), the inclusion of human dimensions into these efforts has often been fragmentary and, in juxtaposition to the biophysical dynamics, sometimes even seemingly superficial. This presents a great challenge to the accuracy and applicability of these results, as the lack of appropriate incorporation of humans can be problematic in terms of both social and biophysical consequences. This study systematically documents current social science understanding of the multiple human dimensions that should be incorporated within ecosystem assessments and the overall approach to each of these within IEAs and other EBFM efforts. These dimensions include the multi-faceted nature of human well-being, heterogeneity in human well-being derived from fisheries, adaptive behaviors, and cumulative effects. The systematic inclusion of these dimensions into IEAs is then laid out in a conceptual framework that details how a perturbation reverberates through a fisheries system and the iterative approach that should be undertaken to understand its impacts on human dimensions. This framework is supplemented with a data collection scheme that is intended to facilitate operationalization. The detailed examination of incorporating human dimensions within IEAs presented in this study should further resonate with other ecosystem assessment efforts, providing not just ample evidence of the need for moving beyond simplistic assumptions of human homogeneity but a means of systematically integrating a more realistic and representative perspective.
... In the case of fisheries, a range of factors influence how fishermen interact with the marine environment, including length of fishing experience (Pauly 1995), scale of operation (Crona 2006), gear type (Ames 2002), and fishing portfolios (García-Quijano 2006, Garavito-Bermúdez et al. 2016, Stoll et al. 2016. Each of these factors affect the "pieces" of the ecosystem that resource users interact with, which in turn influences the information that they acquire. ...
... Each of these factors affect the "pieces" of the ecosystem that resource users interact with, which in turn influences the information that they acquire. Increasingly, fishermen's decisions are also influenced by management systems that have been created to address specific problems in particular fisheries, in part, by limiting access to those fisheries by creating fishing licenses in order to prevent overexploitation of stocks (Stoll et al. 2016). As natural resources around the world become increasingly managed, and these management systems constrain the way fishermen interact with the marine environment, understanding how these institutions affect LEK becomes increasingly important for setting expectations for the kind of knowledge that LEK can contribute to management. ...
... Maine is an appropriate context to test hypotheses about the role of fisheries management on LEK because the fishing fleet has historically participated in a wide range of fisheries and individuals have vastly different fishing portfolios . Fishermen gain access to fisheries by acquiring and maintaining fishing licenses for particular species; however, access to nearly all fisheries is limited, which makes it difficult (and in some cases impossible) for a fisherman to participate in a fishery if s/he does not already hold a license because of restrictions that have been put on the fisheries (Stoll et al. 2016). ...
Article
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Local ecological knowledge, or the collective perceptions held by a particular group about their environment, results from the transmission of cultural knowledge from one generation to the next, combined with regular and persistent interactions between individuals and the biophysical environment. Management systems that limit access to certain natural resources likely have an effect on the quality of that knowledge. We explore the distribution of local ecological knowledge as it corresponds to different types of fishing activities and experience among fishermen in the eastern Gulf of Maine. We use a network approach to analyze cognitive maps of the ecosystem structure and dynamics described by fishermen during in-depth, open-ended interviews. The interviews reveal unique perspectives on complex interactions between species and their habitat, providing insights about local fluctuations in water temperature and weather patterns, predator-prey dynamics and interspecies competition, with a particular focus on species of commercial interest. We find a significant positive relationship between individuals' diversification in fisheries and the scope of their knowledge. The preliminary findings suggest that fishermen with diversified fishing portfolios interact with a broader range of components in the system, resulting in a more holistic understanding of the marine environment and its dynamics. Because regulatory measures in fisheries management increasingly constrain the ability of individuals to enter diverse fisheries, these findings have significant implications for sustainability and understanding the role that institutions play in shaping local ecological knowledge more generally. A more systematic investigation of how institutional constraints affect the distribution of local ecological knowledge would be well-positioned to inform ecosystem-based approaches in fisheries management.
... Marine ecosystems are undergoing rapid shifts (Cavole et al., 2016) as unfamiliar oceanographic conditions (Bond et al., 2015) and increasing climate variability (Sydeman et al., 2013) alter patterns of marine animal abundance and distribution (Perry et al., 2005;Pinsky et al., 2013). Concurrently, marine resource licensing regimes have restricted fishing portfolios (Stoll et al., 2016) as the growth of the international seafood trade has exposed fishers to the demands of distant markets and political systems (Crona et al., 2016). As interactions operating across sectors, scales and geographies link distant populations (Liu et al., 2013), and processes of social and ecological change are rapid, intensive, and intertwined. ...
... According to existing theory, the fishing strategies developed and implemented by small-scale fishers are a product of the constraints and objectives associated with unique social, cultural, and economic contexts (Béné, 1996;Hart and Pitcher, 1998). Fishers' interactions with the marine environment are influenced by a myriad of factors including age and experience (Pauly, 1995), access rights (Stoll et al., 2016), gear usage (Ames, 2003), and capital investment (Crona, 2006). Actors that are involved in more than one fishery interact with different parts of the marine environment and have multiple perspectives that may facilitate broader knowledge about the system (Stoll, 2017). ...
... Though diversification is considered an important adaptation strategy, giving fishers the ability to shift species based on what is most convenient, valuable or abundant (Finkbeiner, 2015;Stoll et al., 2016), many fishers are reliant on fewer species now than ever before. As global markets offer economic incentives to focus on particular local stocks (Kittinger et al., 2013;Kininmonth et al., 2017), external regimes of management and regulation have restricted fishing portfolios (Hilborn et al., 2001;Stoll et al., 2016). ...
Article
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As changes in climate, governance, and organization reshape the dynamics of small-scale fisheries around the globe, the persistence of many local livelihoods appears contingent upon the ability of resource users to respond and adapt. Though significant scholarship has considered the limiting roles of resources and infrastructure, recent research has highlighted the importance of local learning and knowledge. Rather than being driven by forces exogenous to local communities, it is increasingly recognized that adaptation may be limited by perceptions and processes within them. Here, we explore knowledge production and adaptive response within a small-scale fishery in the central Gulf of California following system perturbation. Using mixed methods from the natural and social sciences, we (1) identify local drivers of social-ecological change, (2) document knowledge concerning their causes and consequences across a diverse group of small-scale fishermen, and (3) identify patterns of intracultural agreement and disagreement associated with divergent adaptive response. Results indicate that perceptions of social-ecological change were heterogeneous and that gear ownership and target species diversification were critical factors in determining the cultural models through which fishermen understood and responded to changes in the resource system. Unlike other user groups, owner-operator fishermen pursuing generalist livelihood strategies held consensus beliefs regarding changes to system structure and function and demonstrated increased ability to modify fishing tactics with the best practices for sustainable use. Our findings highlight how local knowledge can be used to assess the proximate impacts of external drivers of change and provide insight into the cultural models influencing in situ decision-making and adaptive response within modern fishery systems.
... We focus specifically on the state of Maine and the relationship between wild-capture fisheries and aquaculture because changing ocean and coastal conditions are raising concerns about the long-term viability of fisheries in the state, and there is a perceived need for economic alternatives [26]. At the same time, aquaculture is being framed as an important economic alternative for fishermen and coastal communities, and major investments are being made in the science, technology, and infrastructure to improve husbandry practices and catalyze aquaculture-related activities [27]. ...
... These licenses must be renewed annually or fishing privileges will be revoked. The details of this licensing system are beyond the scope of this paper (see Ref. [26] for a detailed description), but, in general, licenses are issued by species or gear and individuals are required to hold a separate license for each fishery s/ he targets. Similarly, individuals who own aquaculture operations are required to obtain a license or a lease from DMR. Licenses for aquaculture are issued to individuals with small-scale operations that are no more than 400 square feet. ...
... Presently, regulatory barriers to aquaculture remain comparatively low to most wild-capture fisheries in Maine. Indeed, most wild-capture fisheries are closed to entry (e.g., shrimp), based on lottery systems with low odds (e.g., elver or scallop), or require enrolling in costly training programs and being placed on a wait list (e.g., lobster) [26]. However, the bar to enter and maintain aquaculture operations is starting to increase as the regulatory hurdles to entry creep up. ...
Article
Aquaculture represents an increasingly significant share of the global supply of freshwater and marine resources. The distribution of benefits from aquaculture development will largely depend on who has the resources necessary to participate in the sector and how the sector is governed. We investigate the extent to which aquaculture is being utilized by commercial fishermen to expand and diversify their livelihoods in Maine, USA. Here, a network approach is used to delineate individuals' participation in aquaculture and wild-capture fisheries. Results show that while some fishermen are starting aquaculture businesses, aquaculture has had a limited effect on livelihood diversification for those engaged in the commercial fishing sector to date. These findings raise questions about who will benefit from aquaculture and how the continued growth will compete with existing marine resource sectors, including wild-capture fisheries. We argue that the extent to which aquaculture can foster livelihood diversification in the long term and fit within existing coastal economies will largely depend on the institutions that are established to govern the sector.
... However, landings and revenue do not capture whether licences in one or more fisheries are concentrated or dispersed, whether there are common/uncommon combinations of licence holdings, nor do they speak to opportunities that different licence portfolios open up/foreclose in the face of changing economic and environmental conditions. Following the work of Stoll, Beitl, and Wilson (2016), Stoll, Fuller, and Crona (2017), we trace licensing history in British Columbia, Canada (BC), and count licence holdings across fisheries for the year 2017. ...
... Their analysis shows a decreasing trend in the diversity of landings at the vessel scale in Alaska 'coincident with broad implementation of limited access programs [in the 1990s]' and that declines continued following catch share implementation 'for vessels that remained active in the catch share program and those that exited but continued fishing in other fisheries' (ibid, p. 454, brackets ours). Stoll et al.'s (2016Stoll et al.'s ( , 2017 work from Maine similarly finds that options for harvesters to switch among species and fisheries diminished concurrently with licence limitation. However, rather than examining landings and revenue, it examines licence holdings. ...
... However, rather than examining landings and revenue, it examines licence holdings. Stoll et al. (2016) trace the evolution of Maine's commercial fisheries licences since 1977, noting that they are now a 'dominant feature of the institutional landscape, competing with and in some cases replacing other institutions that have historically acted to constrain access' (p. 83). ...
Article
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Commercial fishing licences are central to fisheries management systems. They define and allocate harvest rights, place rules upon authorized harvesters and, in some cases, require holders to pay user fees. In this paper, we ask how licences and licensing relate to access, itself a broader concept defined as the opportunity to derive benefits from resources and that draws attention to how institutions and social structures enable and constrain different individuals and groups. Using published literature, reports and publicly available licence data for fisheries off of British Columbia, Canada, we overview licensing history and examine all major commercial licence types in the jurisdiction. Using a network approach, we also describe the diverse suite of licence portfolios held in 2017. Results show that there were 6,563 commercial fishing licences registered by 2,377 unique holders, including a handful that hold ‘access‐rich’ and a much larger number who hold ‘access‐constrained’ portfolios. The literature review and analysis support two broadly applicable conclusions. First, that licensing history shapes access and that limited entry policies continue to influence who benefits from fisheries resources well beyond implementation. Second, that analysing licence holdings suggests business strategies and fishing prospects available to different harvesters and other commercial fisheries participants in a jurisdiction. In response to demand for greater attention to human dimensions and to the perception that indicators are challenging to develop and integrate, we advance conceptual thinking and practical approaches relevant to fisheries research and evaluation.
... Rather than existing as specialists, using specific gear types to target specific species, many fishers participate in multiple fisheries within and between years (Addicott et al., 2019). Decisions concerning how to allocate fishing effort are made in response to changes in species abundance and distribution (Cline et al., 2017;Finkbeiner, 2015), shifting regulations (Holland & Kasperski, 2016;Kroetz et al., 2019;Stoll et al., 2016) and market drivers (Kininmonth et al., 2017). A failure to acknowledge the complex SES interactions driving the dynamic, multi-species, multi-gear reality of most fisheries systems has resulted in a focus on discrete biological and economic objectives rather than sustainable development (Pascoe et al., 2014) and has limited the scope and effectiveness of many management approaches to-date (Cunningham et al., 2016;Fuller et al., 2017;Gaertner et al., 1999). ...
... Across North American fisheries, diverse harvesting portfolios are recognized as means of reducing exposure to such processes and for mitigating risk and uncertainty (Cline et al., 2017;Finkbeiner, 2015;Kasperski & Holland, 2013). However, many fishers are reliant on fewer species now than ever before (Holland & Kasperski, 2016;Stoll et al., 2016). As markets offer economic incentives to focus on particular local stocks (Anderson et al., 2017), modern management and licensing regimes have functioned to restrict resource access and limit fishing effort (Mansfield, 2004). ...
... Over the past several decades, changes in the distribution and abundance of marine resources have operated in tandem with catch shares and limited entry licensing regimes to transform Pacific Northwest fisheries. Market-based reforms have been lauded for slowing the race to fish and increasing economic efficiencies (Birkenbach et al., 2017;Costello et al., 2008), but scholars have warned that they may incentivize capitalization, consolidation and specialization (Beaudreau et al., 2019;Hentati-Sundberg et al., 2015;Mansfield, 2004;Stoll et al., 2016) and raised concerns regarding their deleterious impacts on small-scale fishers and the coastal communities they inhabit (Olson, 2011;Pinkerton & Edwards, 2009). ...
Article
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Marine fisheries around the globe are increasingly exposed to external drivers of social and ecological change. Though diversification and flexibility have historically helped marine resource users negotiate risk and adversity, much of modern fisheries management treats fishermen as specialists using specific gear types to target specific species. Here, we describe the evolution of harvest portfolios amongst Pacific Northwest fishermen over 35+ years with explicit attention to changes in the structure and function of the albacore (Thunnus alalunga, Scombridae) troll and pole-and-line fishery. Our analysis indicates that recent social-ecological changes have had heterogenous impacts upon the livelihood strategies favoured by different segments of regional fishing fleets. As ecological change and regulatory reform have restricted access to a number of fisheries, many of the regional small (<45 ft) and medium (45-60 ft) boat fishermen who continue to pursue diverse livelihood strategies have increasingly relied upon the ability to opportunistically target albacore in coastal waters while retaining more of the value generated by such catch. In contrast, large vessels (>60 ft) targeting albacore are more specialized now than previously observed, even as participation in multiple fisheries has become increasingly common for this size class. In describing divergent trajectories associated with the albacore fishery, one of the US West Coast's last open-access fisheries, we highlight the diverse strategies and mechanisms utilized to sustain fisheries livelihoods in the modern era while arguing that alternative approaches to management and licensing may be required to maintain the viability of small-scale fishing operations worldwide moving forward.
... Though diversification represents an important adaptation strategy, in practice, fishers' ability to broaden their fishing opportunities is becoming increasingly difficult. In many places, fishers are becoming more reliant on an ever narrower suite of fisheries [16,17]. This trend can be attributed, in part, to the nature of the rules and regulations that are being implemented to curb overfishing and sustain fish stocks. ...
... However, we also find that fishers have numerous and diverse connections to other fisheries that span gear types, jurisdictions, and geographies. These connections make the system appear more similar to the complex ecological system in the Gulf of Maine, with its myriad of biological connections [26], than the siloed regulations in place to govern the system [16]. ...
Article
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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
... More specifically, when actors derive benefits from two or more resources, the use of one or both of which has an impact on the other, then they have at least some economic incentive to invest in strategies to address the broader impacts of their actions. This has led some to recommend diversification of fishing portfolios to foster knowledge and incentives to address the ecosystem impacts of fishing [5,25,86,85], while also increasing the resilience of fishers to social and environmental change [53,20]. For example, a shrimp fisher that also fishes for crab might be opposed to opening closed areas because they have a more holistic understanding of the relationship between shrimp trawling and crab populations and enjoy some of the economic benefits of that closure while fishing for crab. ...
... These results are also consistent with research suggesting that species portfolio diversification can enhance the well-being of fishers by increasing their resilience to social and environmental change [53,20]. Indeed, although the twentieth century corresponds to a period of increasingly specialized fisheries, there has been a growing chorus of scholars highlighting the broad benefits of diversification, including internalizing costs and benefits, increased resilience to changes in the abundance of resources, and a better understanding of the structure and function of an ecosystem [7,59,86]. While there was unanimous support among survey participants for diversifying species portfolios, questions about access to resources are often highly contentious [16,19], particularly in Newfoundland where rapid shifts in the abundance of species have led to political battles between large-scale and smaller-scale fleets over allocations to changing quotas [84]. ...
Article
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Fisheries can have significant impacts on the structure and function of marine ecosystems, including impacts on habitats and non-target species. As a result, management agencies face growing calls to account for the ecosystem impacts of fishing, while navigating the political and economic interests of diverse stakeholders. This paper assesses the impacts of two specific factors on the attitudes and well-being of shrimp fishers in the context of a selective fisheries closure designed to protect crabs in the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada: (1) the species portfolios of fishers; and (2) democratic rulemaking. The results of this analysis suggest that shrimp fishers were more likely to support selective closures for the shrimp fishery if they also fished for crab, and felt they had an influence on the management of the fishery. The results further indicate that species portfolio diversification had a positive and statistically significant impact on the subjective economic well-being of fishers. This study contributes to an emerging literature on the human dimensions of ecosystem-based fisheries management, highlighting opportunities to address trade-offs in fisheries through species diversification and by enhancing the role and influence of fishers in management processes.
... More specifically, when actors derive benefits from two or more resources, the use of one or both of which has an impact on the other, then they have at least some economic incentive to invest in strategies to address the broader impacts of their actions. This has led some to recommend diversification of fishing portfolios to foster knowledge and incentives to address the ecosystem impacts of fishing [5,25,86,85], while also increasing the resilience of fishers to social and environmental change [53,20]. For example, a shrimp fisher that also fishes for crab might be opposed to opening closed areas because they have a more holistic understanding of the relationship between shrimp trawling and crab populations and enjoy some of the economic benefits of that closure while fishing for crab. ...
... These results are also consistent with research suggesting that species portfolio diversification can enhance the well-being of fishers by increasing their resilience to social and environmental change [53,20]. Indeed, although the twentieth century corresponds to a period of increasingly specialized fisheries, there has been a growing chorus of scholars highlighting the broad benefits of diversification, including internalizing costs and benefits, increased resilience to changes in the abundance of resources, and a better understanding of the structure and function of an ecosystem [7,59,86]. While there was unanimous support among survey participants for diversifying species portfolios, questions about access to resources are often highly contentious [16,19], particularly in Newfoundland where rapid shifts in the abundance of species have led to political battles between large-scale and smaller-scale fleets over allocations to changing quotas [84]. ...
Preprint
Fisheries can have significant impacts on the structure and function of marine ecosystems, including impacts on habitats and non-target species. As a result, management agencies face growing calls to account for the ecosystem impacts of fishing, while navigating the political and economic interests of diverse stakeholders. This paper assesses the impacts of two specific factors on the attitudes and well-being of shrimp fishers in the context of a selective fisheries closure designed to protect crabs in the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada: (1) the species portfolios of fishers; and (2) democratic rulemaking. The results of this analysis suggest that shrimp fishers were more likely to support selective closures for the shrimp fishery if they also fished for crab, and felt they had an influence on the management of the fishery. The results further indicate that species portfolio diversification had a positive and statistically significant impact on the subjective economic well-being of fishers. This study contributes to an emerging literature on the human dimensions of ecosystem based fisheries management, highlighting opportunities to address trade-offs in fisheries through species diversification and by enhancing the role and influence of fishers in management processes.
... Both these strains of literature have an important thing in common: a tendency to disregard the fact that most natural resources and ecosystems are today governed by political and administrative institutions rather than by selforganizing users. Although it is true that collective action problems underlie many cases of natural resources overexploitation, overlooking the pivotal role of state actors and agencies often generates an incomplete model of real-world social-ecological systems (Finley 2011, Duit 2014, Stoll et al. 2016. ...
... Another important role of the government is to regulate fisheries through laws and regulations, such as quotas and other technical measures. The laws and regulations could be analyzed to offer a complementary perspective on the policy directions during the study period (Hentati-Sundberg and Hjelm 2014, Stoll et al. 2016). We anticipate that a long-term analysis of Swedish fisheries regulations would pick up a similar trend as the subsidy analysis, with initially very few regulations, and in the most recent few years a greening trend representing the rising sustainability awareness. ...
Article
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Many natural resources have degraded and collapsed despite being managed under rigorous institutional frameworks set up to ensure rational exploitation. Path dependency of dysfunction institutions has been suggested as an explanation for such undesired outcomes. We explore the role of path dependency in natural resource management by studying a 100-year evolution of Swedish fisheries. We rely on three main types of original longitudinal data collected for the period 1914-2016: (A) policy documents, (B) government spending on management and subsidies, and (C) catch and fleet data. Our analysis contrasts the periods before and after the Swedish entrance into the European Union (1995) because this marks the year when fisheries policy became beyond the direct influence of the Swedish government. We uncover four pieces of evidence suggesting the existence of a path dependent dynamic in the pre-EU period: (1) despite increasing insights on the vulnerability of fish stocks to overexploitation, national policy goals in relation to fisheries continuously promoted incompatible goals of social and economic growth but without any reference to the sustainability of the biological resources; (2) the same policy instruments were used over long periods; (3) actor constellations within the fisheries policy subsystem were stable over time; (4) neither political regime nor macroeconomic variables and fisheries performance (industry production, oil price, landing values) could explain observed temporal variation in subsidies. We conclude that key policy actors in the pre-EU period formed an "iron triangle" and thereby prevented necessary policy changes. These national reinforcing feedbacks have been weakened since EU entrance, and the indicators for path dependency show broader involvement of stakeholders, a shift in spending, and policy goals that now explicitly address ecological sustainability.
... i.e. recession, shifts in market demand (Kashem et al., 2016 ;Stoll et al., 2016 ). Resilience planning emphasizes building capacity to anticipate and prepare for crises under uncertainty ; and reducing both individuals and communities' vulnerability to potential disturbances, thereby increasing adaptive capacity (Beatley, 2009). ...
... The capacity for fishers to employ one or more of these strategies to cope with or mitigate income variability is dependent on a variety of influences. Adaptability is constrained by individual factors (e.g., personal income, local knowledge, proximity to fisheries), as well as exogenous historical, cultural, political, and economic forces (e.g., environmental conditions, physical access to the waterfront, constricting local governance rules and limited entry systems) (Adger et al., 2009;Sethi, 2010;Stoll et al. 2016;Frawley et al., 2019). ...
Article
Fisheries are complex social-ecological systems comprised of fish, humans, the institutions they create, and the broader ecological and social systems within which they are embedded. Changing ocean conditions, declines and shifts in key species, and loss of working waterfront infrastructure are among the many threats to the longevity of fisheries and fishing communities worldwide. A resilience approach to fisheries governance is increasingly recognized as key to sustaining coastal systems and the human communities that depend on them in the face of mounting socioeconomic and environmental challenges. Here I define resilience as the capacity of a system to withstand disturbances without altering its essential functions, structures, feedbacks, or identity (after Walker et al., 2004). Resilient species, individuals, communities, and systems are desirable, however, the factors related to resilience at multiple scales is understudied. Building resilient social-ecological systems and climate-ready fisheries management requires governance approaches that are adaptive and robust to uncertainty. By identifying the factors that enable resilience, we are better able to understand the capacity of fisheries systems to be maintained long-term. Resilience theory provides a holistic paradigm to understand complex system dynamics and governance of social-ecological systems. This thesis explores associations between key attributes of governance in managing resilience in fisheries systems at three nested scales. At the national scale, I evaluate the integration of two prominent fisheries management approaches in order to provide enriched fisheries management and conservation outcomes. At the community scale, I explore the role that municipal comprehensive plans play as tools to build adaptive capacity in coastal communities in Maine. Finally, I explore latency in Maine’s commercial fisheries to understand individual fisher’s risk management behavior in response to changing socioeconomic and environmental conditions. Although each of the cases are distinct in scale and scope, key elements of participation, adaptation, and innovation in governance stand out; all are integral in enabling overall system resilience. By critically evaluating factors that contribute to adaptation in social-ecological systems, this work aims to inform governance approaches that strengthen the capacity of fisheries systems to manage for resilience in a changing world.
... The lucrative nature of the current market, combined with high barriers to entry, ongoing territorial disputes, and conflicts with state and federal policy makers have led to prolonged regulatory and social battles in many coastal areas (Levinson-King, 2020). In recent decades, a myriad of reasons, including overfishing of other lucrative species and climate change driven population shifts, have led to the siloing of Maine's lobster fishers, with many families and communities depending primarily on lobster for income (Steneck et al., 2011;Stoll et al., 2016). In Southern New England, where lobster abundance declined by around 70% in recent years, state managers suggested a complete closure of the fishery (Steneck et al., 2011). ...
... In Southern New England, where lobster abundance declined by around 70% in recent years, state managers suggested a complete closure of the fishery (Steneck et al., 2011). In Maine, where rural communities tie their cultural identity to the lobster fishery and have little flexibility to pursue other opportunities (Stoll et al., 2016), a similar collapse of the industry would have significant and widespread social and economic impacts, in addition to the ecological impacts. ...
Article
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Despite decades of research on lobster species’ biology, ecology, and microbiology, there are still unresolved questions about the microbial communities which associate in or on lobsters under healthy or diseased states, microbial acquisition, as well as microbial transmission between lobsters and between lobsters and their environment. There is an untapped opportunity for metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and metabolomics to be added to the existing wealth of knowledge to more precisely track disease transmission, etiology, and host-microbe dynamics. Moreover, we need to gain this knowledge of wild lobster microbiomes before climate change alters environmental and host-microbial communities more than it likely already has, throwing a socioeconomically critical industry into disarray. As with so many animal species, the effects of climate change often manifest as changes in movement, and in this perspective piece, we consider the movement of the American lobster (Homarus americanus), Atlantic Ocean currents, and the microorganisms associated with either.
... The history of the licensing system for commercial fisheries and aquaculture in Maine, USA similarly points to the stickiness of institutions and the challenge they pose in bringing about transformative shifts. For the last several decades, policymakers have routinely changed the licensing system to address specific problems in specific fisheries (Stoll et al. 2016). These efforts were meant to support the fishing sector; however, an unintended consequence of these legislative changes was that they contributed to the overall decline in the number of fisheries that fishers were participating in. ...
... For a description of the licensing system in Maine, see(Stoll et al. 2016).6 In some cases, fish carcasses called ''racks'' are used. ...
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.
... There, the fishery is not encumbered by complex legislation and managers can close the harvest of anchovy from a port within 2 days of the proportion of juveniles being landed exceeding 10% of the total catch(Schreiber et al., 2011). In contrast,Stoll, Beitl, and Wilson (2016) describe how decades of well-intentioned adaptive measures in the regulation of Maine fisheries have likely reduced the resilience of the wider fishery. Over time, the licensing of fishery access became ever more fragmented and specialized resulting in a plethora of licences and reduction in the variety of species an individual fisher can access, particularly given the difficulty of acquiring new licenses. ...
Article
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Climate change and ocean acidification are altering marine ecosystems and, from a human perspective, creating both winners and losers. Human responses to these changes are complex, but may result in reduced government investments in regulation, resource management, monitoring and enforcement. Moreover, a lack of peoples' experience of climate change may drive some towards attributing the symptoms of climate change to more familiar causes such as management failure. Taken together, we anticipate that management could become weaker and less effective as climate change continues. Using diverse case studies, including the decline of coral reefs, coastal defences from flooding, shifting fish stocks and the emergence of new shipping opportunities in the Arctic, we argue that human interests are better served by increased investments in resource management. But greater government investment in management does not simply mean more of "business-as-usual." Management needs to become more flexible, better at anticipating and responding to surprise, and able to facilitate change where it is desirable. A range of technological, economic, communication and governance solutions exists to help transform management. While not all have been tested, judicious application of the most appropriate solutions should help humanity adapt to novel circumstances and seek opportunity where possible.
... Clamming has occurred on this coast for at least 1700 years (Dow and Wallace, 1961), as native Wabanaki tribes dug clams for food and trade (Hanna, 2000) and continue to do so today. Over the last two centuries, clamming was an important source of income within what were once diversified fishing livelihoods (Acheson, 1988;Brewer, 2012;Hanna, 2000;Stoll et al., 2016) and often occurred during the fall and winter months when other fishing opportunities were limited (Ambrose et al., 2016) and when water pollution concerns were lessened (Dow and Wallace, 1961). Economically, the soft-shell clam fishery alternates between the second or third most valuable fishery based on commercial landings and it also employs more than 1500 harvesters. ...
... Le Bris et al. 2018;Goode et al. 2019;Mazur et al. 2020). Additionally, limited entry to the GoM lobster fishery has shifted the age of license holders to 50-65 years old(Stoll et al. 2016;Stoll 2017), few younger potential lobster fishers are replacing those that exit the fishery (Appendix 2-9), and state requirements fornumber of licenses sold per existing licenses retired (MDMR 2020) are reducing the number of fishers and total fishing effort (MDMR 2019b). Declines in young-of-year lobster suggest uncertainty in future landings (Le Bris et al. 2018; Oppenheim et al. 2019), potentially affecting the size and distribution of the GoM lobster fishery. ...
Thesis
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The Gulf of Maine has been fundamentally altered by anthropogenic forcings for decades and offers an ideal study system to monitor response to change. Through complex interactions between ocean warming, altered demographic bottlenecks, and reduced top-down controls, the American lobster (Homarus americanus Milne Edwards) capitalized on favorable conditions and proliferated within the Gulf of Maine. These changes catalyzed the expansion of the lobster fishery, elevated its status as North America’s most valuable marine resource, and shifted coastal communities towards a virtual lobster monoculture. The same processes that facilitated lobster to capitalize on favorable conditions may come with unintended consequences and have implications for sustainability in a continually changing ocean environment. As such, evaluating the anthropogenic impacts by the American lobster fishery and to lobster demographic processes is critical for effective fisheries management. This dissertation research developed, and implemented, several modeling frameworks to assess how anthropogenic impacts have fundamentally altered the American lobster fishery, how ocean change affects the demographic processes of larval and postlarval lobster, and the implications of these relationships to the sustainability of this species under climate change.
... Modular networks have low sensitivity to perturbation because a disaster in one network module will be largely contained (Levin and Lubchenco, 2008). However, such modularity in fisheries is thought to simultaneously reduce adaptive capacity by constraining participation of fishers to certain fishing strategies (Stoll et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Marine social–ecological systems are constantly changing, and fishers who make a living from working the seas are continually adapting in response to different sources of variability. One main way in which fishers can adapt to ecosystem change is to change the fisheries they participate in. This acts to connect fisheries, creating interlinked networks of alternative sources of income for fishers. Here, we synthesize fisheries data and construct fisheries connectivity networks for all major ports in the US California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. Fisheries connec-tivity networks are comprised of nodes, which are fisheries, connected by edges, whose weights are proportional to the number of participating vessels. Fisheries connectivity networks identify central fisheries in the US California Current Large Marine Ecosystem, specifically Dungeness crab and Spiny Lobster, and systematic topological differences, e.g. in network resilience and modularity. These network metrics directly relate to the social vulnerability of coastal fishing communities, especially their sensitivity and capacity to adapt to perturbation. Ultimately, improving knowledge of fisheries connectivity is vital if policy makers are to create governance institutions that allow fishermen to adapt to environmental, technological and management change while at the same time enhancing the social and economic value of fisheries. In doing so, new policies that account for fisheries connectivity, will lead to improved sustainable fisheries management, and enhanced socioeconomic resilience of coastal communities.
... Such policy fissures typically occur in neoliberal dominated landscapes where policy mix is used to promote neoliberal agenda to strengthen capital, and simultaneously obscures the real cause of the problem (Mansfield, 2004). In fact, since the Mediterranean regulation obliges MS to implement management plans for large-scale fisheries (mostly trawling and purse seining), national management becomes deployed to myopically address only specific resilience (Stoll et al., 2016) of large-scale fishing interests. As a result of such policy interstice, the exploitative patterns of small-scale professional and recreational segments becomes disregarded, and ideological and spatial user-conflicts between these segments are allowed to emerge due to multiscalar policy gaps which do not cater for a holistic management of the contested open-access fisheries (Ratner et al., 2014). ...
Article
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This paper highlights how multi-scalar interstitial policy failings of the EU fisheries policy can directly trigger policy gaps in fisheries management at the expense of artisanal communities, leading to further expansion opportunities for industrial fishing and triggering instability and marginalization of traditional fishing communities. In order to contextualize and demonstrate this complexity, we explore a detailed scenario of the Maltese waters to show how the development of a national policy portfolio post-EU accession has destabilized long-existing functional fishing governance mechanisms and now pose a direct challenge to the sustainable management of the marine socio-ecological system. Using a mixed-method approach to investigate the partially obscured social, economic and political dynamics which drive marine policy, we demonstrate how the coastal fisheries have become subject to multiple-use competition arising primarily from a burgeoning recreational fishing sector that has benefited from "access-enabling policies," and is, to a great extent uninhibited by fish conservation regulations. Our findings demonstrate how a deeper understanding of the socio-political ramifications of policy processes is necessary to improve the governance and management of contested and congested open-access fisheries.
... Le Bris et al. 2018;Goode et al. 2019;Mazur et al. 2020). Additionally, limited entry to the GoM lobster fishery has shifted the age of license holders to 50-65 years old(Stoll et al. 2016;Stoll 2017), few younger potential lobster fishers are replacing those that exit the fishery (Appendix 2-9), and state requirements fornumber of licenses sold per existing licenses retired (MDMR 2020) are reducing the number of fishers and total fishing effort (MDMR 2019b). Declines in young-of-year lobster suggest uncertainty in future landings (Le Bris et al. 2018; Oppenheim et al. 2019), potentially affecting the size and distribution of the GoM lobster fishery. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Gulf of Maine has been fundamentally altered by anthropogenic forcings for decades and offers an ideal study system to monitor response to change. Through complex interactions between ocean warming, altered demographic bottlenecks, and reduced top-down controls, the American lobster (Homarus americanus Milne Edwards) capitalized on favorable conditions and proliferated within the Gulf of Maine. These changes catalyzed the expansion of the lobster fishery, elevated its status as North America’s most valuable marine resource, and shifted coastal communities towards a virtual lobster monoculture. The same processes that facilitated lobster to capitalize on favorable conditions may come with unintended consequences and have implications for sustainability in a continually changing ocean environment. As such, evaluating the anthropogenic impacts by the American lobster fishery and to lobster demographic processes is critical for effective fisheries management. This dissertation research developed, and implemented, several modeling frameworks to assess how anthropogenic impacts have fundamentally altered the American lobster fishery, how ocean change affects the demographic processes of larval and postlarval lobster, and the implications of these relationships to the sustainability of this species under climate change.
... Livelihood diversity can be a positive attribute where it allows households to cope or adapt to shocks or economic or environmental changes. With this in mind, policies that promote fishers to specialise (i.e. by privatising resources, monetising the right to fish and increasing capital entry requirements) will make it harder for fishers to switch and adapt if resource abundance or other shocks face the fishery [16,57,65,66]. Caution is recommended against interventions that rely on livelihood diversification as a sole means of reducing resource pressure. ...
Article
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Coastal communities within small island developing states are typically highly dependent on fisheries and other natural resource-based livelihoods. However, specialisation as a ‘fisher’ is rare compared to diverse livelihoods that can be adapted as opportunities and challenges emerge. Understanding this dynamic “livelihood landscape” is important for improving governance and livelihood opportunities associated with natural resources. Using data from 495 households across 15 communities on Atauro Island, Timor-Leste, this study evaluates the importance of fisheries within a suite of livelihoods; the correlation of livelihoods structure with wellbeing; and the spatial and temporal variation of those livelihoods. Activities linked to primary production were nominated by 67% of households as their primary livelihood, 41% fished, and of those 54% considered fishing their primary livelihood. Almost all households (95%) owned livestock, and even respondents who considered themselves ‘fishers’ ranked livestock disease, rather than fisheries related concerns, as their most critical livelihood challenge. Engagement in fishing varied by location and time of year. Communities in more protected locales fished throughout the year, and had less diverse livelihoods. This study highlights that interventions focused on self-identified ‘fishers’ would only engage a fraction of the population that derive benefit from fisheries resources, would likely overlook the most prevalent challenges fishers face, and would focus on those with relatively high food security and income. Measures of wellbeing were better explained by geography and socio-cultural settings, rather than dominant income sources. The results emphasise the value of cross-sector development interventions informed by contextualised analysis of livelihoods and wellbeing outcomes.
... Small-scale fisheries worldwide are increasingly embedded within the international seafood trade and the political and economic structures that facilitate it. Marine resource licensing and allocation regimes have restricted fishing portfolios (Hilborn et al. 2001, Stoll et al. 2016 as demand from global markets has accelerated the depletion of particular local stocks (Berkes et al. 2006). With many fishers becoming reliant on fewer and fewer species, emergent forms of social-ecological organization are functioning to decouple them from the marine ecosystems upon which they depend (Farr et al. 2018) and the coastal communities of which they are a part . ...
Article
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External drivers increasingly impact small-scale fisheries worldwide. As globalization accelerates the flow of information, commodities, and capital across geographic space, neoliberal reforms have fueled the development of the international seafood trade. Small-scale fisheries traditionally driven by local forces and market demands are increasingly nested within the broader structures of global markets and international institutions. Building on existing work that integrates social-ecological systems thinking and critical social science theory, we address how globalization has transformed the social fabric of coastal fishing communities and consider the implications for institutional and environmental integrity. Using small-scale fisheries across the Gulf of California as an empirical example, we extend a theory of small-scale fisheries interactions proposed by development scholars to incorporate global market forces, considering how drivers operating at multiple temporal and geographic scales have influenced outcomes in one of the world’s most diverse and productive marine ecosystems. We suggest that neoliberal reforms promoting the growth and development of an export-oriented seafood industry have restructured the relationships between small-scale fishermen, coastal communities, and the marine environment. As the benefits of trade liberalization have been captured by local elites, small-scale fishermen have been left increasingly vulnerable to the shocks and uncertainties associated with political, economic, and environmental change. By situating our findings within an emerging body of scholarship documenting parallel dynamics across diverse geographies, we argue that efforts to avoid and/ or mitigate the tragedy of the commons within small-scale fishery systems must address the relationships between global markets, social and economic inequality, and local capacities for self-organization and collective action.
... 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). Any conversation about diversification in fisheries necessitates taking these multiple factors into consideration. ...
Article
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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.
... Better understanding of local scale watershed hydrology and estuarine hydrodynamics could result in less restrictive and more targeted closures (Evans et al. 2016). However, the nature of small-scale fisheries spread over an extensive coastline can make management and process-level studies at these scales difficult to manage (Stoll et al. 2016). Closure delineations are often contested by harvesters because these systems tend to be data-poor and are based on specific stations that may not accurately capture the variability of the hydrodynamics within a system. ...
Article
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Small-scale fisheries, which are often distributed over large spatial scales and occur in rural settings, tend to lack financial resources and capacity to conduct research on local issues. One approach to overcome this challenge is to use relatively inexpensive environmental monitoring methods with stakeholder engaged science and participatory modeling. Here, we present a case study focused on water pollution impacts and tidal circulation in a mid-coast Maine (USA) estuary to develop a simulation model and a partnership approach that can support soft-shell clamming communities to effectively address water quality, namely bacteriological closures of mudflats. We deployed multiple low-cost drifter buckets, Lagrangian flotation devices that measured surface current speeds and provided validation data for a hydrodynamic model based on finite volume community ocean model (FVCOM). The drifter buckets resolved the influence of wind, tidal currents, and bathymetry on surface water circulation patterns between the main channel and adjacent mudflats, highlighting the impact of cross-estuary winds during slack tides on potential bacterial transport. We calculated residence time using the validated FVCOM model: in the prohibited area (~ 2.5 days), and the conditional area (~ 0.5 days). This information has already influenced local management decisions and helped shape new conservation projects. In addition to contributing new understanding about tidal patterns in this coastal region, our novel methodology of combining field techniques, FVCOM modeling, and stakeholder engagement helps show how engaged research approaches can improve regulatory outcomes for small-scale fisheries while also protecting public health.
... Actors that are involved in more than one fishery invariably engage with different components of the environment. Having multiple vantage points is thought to facilitate broader learning about the system (Stoll et al., 2016). This ability to observe how different parts of the system interact gives diversified actors a more comprehensive view of the marine system than fishers who are more specialized. ...
Article
Leadership is often viewed as being critical to successful natural resource management. This research focuses on a set of leaders identified through a social network analysis of fishers in a rural coastal region. Leaders' connections to different fisheries are evaluated, and these actors are found to be significantly more diversified than other fishers in the area. Drawing on theory related to institutional entrepreneurship and a series of in-depth interviews with these actors, this paper puts forward several hypotheses to explain how diverse social-ecological connections facilitate leadership. Three mechanisms are identified. Being diversified facilitates: (1) production of alternative visions; (2) framing of tractable strategies to sustain local marine resource; and (3) participation in the management process. While more research is needed to understand the relationship between diversification and leadership, these exploratory results suggest that leadership is, in part, a manifestation of ecological circumstance, supporting recent assertions that scholarship on leadership in natural resource management settings could benefit from being more attentive to the processes that shape leadership rather than fixating on individuals and their personal attributes. Given that fisheries policies increasingly constrain diversification, policymakers and managers should consider how specialization of fishers might change the form and function of leaders in the future.
... Policy goals may ultimately be more effectively achieved through the use of more integrated, ecosystem-based regulations than currently exist in Maine. However, such discussions take time and are contingent on social and political path dependencies [72][73][74][75][76][77]. Many demands are being placed on Maine's coastal waters, both for blue growth development as well as for recreation, residential, and tourism uses. ...
Article
As aquaculture production continues to increase worldwide, important questions are emerging about the motivations of growth and who stands to benefit. We use Q method to identify perspectives associated with marine aquaculture development in Maine, where aquaculture expansion in the United States has become a central focus. We used newspaper articles about aquaculture in Maine covering a 25-year period to inform the development of the Q study and participants included industry members, researchers, mangers, and other local experts. We identify four perspectives on aquaculture development based on the values individuals ascribe to the growth of the sector. We label these perspectives as: (1) aquaculture optimists, (2) aquaculture anchors, (3) aquaculture historians, and (4) aquaculture agnostics. Although the aquaculture sector is poised to expand in Maine, our findings suggest that there are material differences in the values associated with aquaculture growth, which may not be entirely compatible. By understanding the heterogeneity of perspectives surrounding aquaculture development in Maine, we aim to contribute to ongoing discussions about the future of aquaculture and encourage a more explicit articulation of the intended outcomes of aquaculture development and who it will serve.
... Fisheries management systems can have many unexpected and often unwelcome impacts, influencing power dynamics, resilience, and overall fisheries success (Foley et al. 2015, Hentati-Sundberg et al. 2015, Stoll et al. 2016. Individual transferable quotas (ITQs) are permits that allow the holder of the ITQ to catch or transfer a share of a total allowable catch (TAC). ...
Article
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The economically and culturally important Pacific halibut fishery in British Columbia, Canada, managed as an individual transferable quota fishery since 1993, has frequently been held up as an example of management best practices. This narrative of success has continued despite repeated warnings that there are serious problems with the fishery, including processors exerting ever greater control over the fishery, contrary to stated fisheries objectives. Administrative data from federal and provincial data sets were used to consider ownership and control in the halibut fishery, with a focus on processor quota ownership, leasing, and brokerage of leases. The analysis indicated that direct processor ownership of halibut quota, while more than doubling between 1996 and 2016, remains relatively low at less than 10% of the available quota. Processor control through the leasing of halibut, however, is much higher, accounting for more than half of all halibut quota transfers in 2016. Through strategies such as "holding licences," processors increasingly act as hubs for leasing activity, which has shifted the balance of power in the fishery. This analysis (a) reveals that there is much more processor control than is obvious from a cursory review of ownership, (b) highlights approaches for assessing the level of processor control, and (c) recommends alternative government procedures for improving transparency and evaluating full spectrum outcomes of fisheries management such as equitable distribution of benefits.
... Breen et al. (2016) recommend a portfolio approach to fisheries management to better understand how harvesters with access to multiple species will respond to regulations or quotas for single species. Portfolio theory has been applied to agricultural systems, but has also been suggested as an approach to balance ecological conservation with individual harvester goals (Hanna 1998), or as a means of building the resilience of fishing communities to fluctuations in price and species abundance (Hilborn et al. 2001, Stoll et al. 2016. Vulnerability and resilience research has taken a broader perspective by examining the link between social resilience and resource dependency (Marshall et al. 2007, Marshall 2011. ...
Article
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Fisheries and Oceans Canada has developed integrated fisheries management plans to promote a more holistic approach to fisheries management. Yet these management plans maintain an emphasis on the ecological domains, without sufficient attention to socioeconomic and institutional domains of management. In this study, I use a case study from Barrington, Nova Scotia, and dimensions from the Canadian Fisheries Research Network Comprehensive Sustainability Framework to demonstrate the importance of socioeconomic and institutional indicators to contribute to fisheries management plans. An analysis of survey data of captains and lobster fishing households revealed decreased access to multiple species fishing strategies, partially because of large inequities in access to individual fishing quotas. Harvesters with a high dependence on lobster as the primary source of income had lower incomes, and higher income sensitivity to the financial crisis of 2008. New strategies have emerged to cope with reduced access to multiple species, and high-yield lobster fishing is often the best available strategy to pay bills and meet costs when lobster prices are low. Outcomes for the region were split, with an equal number of harvesters reporting recent years as the best or worst year they experienced in fishing. Given a history of changing regulations and reduced options to remain flexible when economic and ecological conditions change, harvesters were pessimistic about their future access, and their children's future access, to fisheries. Harvesters faced livelihood challenges caused by cumulative effects of multiple regulatory and ecological events. I demonstrate how the Canadian Fisheries Research Network Comprehensive Sustainability Framework can guide researchers, managers, and fishing organizations to understand the current management objectives that are not being met, and to develop research priorities, methods, protocols, and personnel to meet a broader spectrum of objectives.
... Because many fishermen, especially those who operate at small to medium scales, engage in traditional "annual rounds," 19 they may be less likely to qualify for limited entry/access than vessels exclusively targeting the species in question, when entry is based (as is frequent) on historical landings. This can, in turn, disrupt annual rounds and push such fishermen into a smaller number of fisheries, leading to less ecosystem-based patterns of fishing (Stoll et al. 2016). The heavier dependence on fewer species also means greater economic risk in the event that one of those species undergoes a poor recruitment year. ...
Technical Report
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As United States fisheries managers develop and modify fisheries management plans that set catch limits for the Nation’s commercially important fish stocks, the importance of including and weighing the social impacts associated with changes in management has gained increasing attention. In recognition of the potential for social impacts, social impact assessments have been made a requirement of the overall environmental impact assessment process under the National Environmental Policy Act. To date, there has not been a standardized way of conducting and presenting a fisheries social impact assessment (SIA). In addition, there is a need for a template that incorporates existing data streams and identifies potential new sources of information while being applicable to a wide range of fisheries management decisions. The objective of this Handbook is to provide technical advice for NOAA Fisheries and fishery management councils to streamline the SIA process while fully capturing relevant social impacts. The Handbook provides a primer on SIA in fisheries, the purpose of an SIA, key elements that should be included in SIAs, and common types of social impacts associated with particular management measures. It also reviews the legal requirements for conducting SIAs and provides a set of best practices and analytical tools for conducting SIAs. In addition, it describes the relationship of this Handbook to NMFS Guidance for Social Impact Assessment.
... In this context, resilience can be understood as the ability of coastal communities to withstand disturbances without fundamentally altering their essential identity, structure, and functions (after Berkes and Folke 1998;Leslie and Kinzig 2009). Examples of disturbances include environmental stressors, i.e., flooding, storm surge, sea level rise (Horton et al. 2014;de Coninck et al., 2018;Fu et al. 2017;Wuebbles et al. 2017), as well as socioeconomic stressors, i.e. recession, shifts in market demand (Kashem, Wilson, and Van Zandt 2016;Stoll, Beitl, and Wilson 2016). Resilience planning emphasizes building capacity to anticipate and prepare for crises under uncertainty (Walker and Salt 2012); and reducing both individuals and communities' vulnerability to potential disturbances, thereby increasing adaptive capacity (Beatley 2009). ...
Article
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Planning for change is critical to ensuring resilient coastal communities. In Maine, USA, the comprehensive planning process provides a platform for communities to articulate policies that address social, economic, and environmental issues. While comprehensive plans were initially required of municipalities to address urban sprawl over thirty years ago, a broad range of challenges face coastal communities today. Here, we report on an assessment of 30 comprehensive plans from coastal communities across the state. We analyzed the degree to which plans incorporate principles of social-ecological resilience. Our results reveal significant variability across comprehensive plans, with some communities addressing key indicators of resilience and others engaging with them in a limited way. By more explicitly incorporating principles of social-ecological resilience, the next-generation of comprehensive plans can be repurposed to serve as tools for communities to implement strategies that build adaptive capacity as they face unprecedented challenges and plan for a changing world.
... Maine's evolution to become a fisheries monoculture has occurred due to the confluence of: (1) The splitting of commercial fisheries licensing from only six licenses prior to 1977 (lobster, shellfish, marine worms, scallops, and a general category for other species) to now 23 license types across 16 fisheries, and (2) The collapse or decline of non-lobster fisheries, resulting in restricted access to commercial licenses. The rate of additional new lobster licenses over the past 25 years for example, is only 0.6/year (Stoll et al., 2016). With the changing climate placing uncertainty on species recovery (e.g., cod; Pershing et al., 2015) fishermen are "stuck" in their respective fisheries, unable to diversify by harvesting multiple species as in the past. ...
Article
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For over 50 years, government fishery agencies have recognized the need to transition excess fishing capacity in coastal waters to aquaculture. For the most part, investment strategies to move wild capture and harvest efforts into aquaculture have failed since the technology and capital expense for entry, such as large fish pens, was not conducive for acceptance. In contrast, low trophic level aquaculture of shellfish and seaweeds is suitable as an addition to the livelihoods of seasonal fishing communities and to those displaced by fishery closures, especially if vessels and gear can be designed around existing fishing infrastructures, thus allowing fishers to maintain engagement with their primary fishery, while augmenting income via aquaculture. In this study, an inexpensive, lightweight, and highly mobile gear for kelp seaweed farming was developed and tested over a 3-year period in southern Maine, USA. The system was different from existing kelp farming operations used in nearshore waters that use low-scope mooring lines, and heavy, deadweight anchors. Instead, a highly mobile, easy to deploy system using lightweight gear was designed for exposed conditions. The entire system fit into fish tote boxes and was loadable onto a standard pickup truck. The seaweed system had small but efficient horizontal drag embedment anchors connected to a chain catenary and pretensioned with simple subsurface flotation. The system was able to be deployed and removed in less than 4 h by a crew of three using a 10 m vessel and produced a harvest of 12.7 kg/m over an 8-month fall-winter growth period. The target group for this seaweed research and development effort were coastal fishing communities who move seasonally into non-fishing occupations in service industries, such as construction, retail, etc. An economic assessment suggests farmers would realize an 8% return on investment after3 years and $13.50/h greater income as compared to a non-farming St-Gelais et al. Engineering Community-Scale Kelp Aquaculture off season job at minimum wage. This low-cost seaweed farming system for fall-winter operations fits well into a "livelihood" strategy for fishing families who must work multiple jobs in the offseason when their main fishery is unavailable.
... We found that, in all but two of our focal communities, catch diversity declined between the two time periods examined (Figure 8 top). This aligns with the region-wide trend toward vessels catching fewer species and/or becoming more specialized (Seara, 2014;Stoll et al., 2016;McClenachan et al., 2019), and it suggests higher levels of vulnerability for many communities, especially when compounded by declines in numbers of vessels and fisher-days (Supplementary Table B1) even as catch per trip increases in, for example, the large trawl communities of Gloucester, New Bedford, and Montauk (Supplementary Table B1). ...
Article
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As species respond to warming water temperatures, fishers dependent upon such species are being compelled to make choices concerning harvest strategies. Should they “follow fish” to new fishing grounds? Should they change their mix of target species? Should they relocate their operations to new ports? We examined how fishing communities in the Northeast United States —a hotspot of recent warming—have already responded to documented shifts in the distribution and abundance of fluke, red and silver hake. We focused on groundfish trawl communities that historically targeted these species and examined their “at-sea” responses by combining qualitative interviews with quantitative analysis of fishing records and ecological surveys. Three distinct responses emerged: shifting fishing grounds, shifting target species, and shifting port of landing. Our research finds that following the fish is rare and only occurred in one of the assessed communities, the large trawler community of Beaufort, North Carolina. The more common response was a shift in target species and a change in catch composition. However, regulations and markets often constrained the ability to take advantage of a changing mix of species within fishing grounds. Indeed, the overall species diversity in catch has declined among all of our focal communities suggesting that communities have lost the ability to be flexible when it may be most needed as a response to climate change. Additionally, the high value of fluke and the need to land in southern states with higher quota allocations is likely a driver of the changing nature of “community” with increasing vessels landing outside their home port, especially when landing fluke. Our findings suggest that fidelity to historical fishing grounds combined with perceiving environmental change as non-permanent, predispose many fishers to trust in “cyclicality” and return of species over time. However, this strategy may make those communities unable or unwilling to “follow fish” more vulnerable to changes in distribution and abundance due to climate change. Our findings have the potential to directly inform resource management policies as well as more deliberate adaptations by communities themselves as they strive to address the imminent risks of climate change.
... As described earlier, Maine's fishing portfolio has shrunk over the years. What is more, a study argues that fisheries management that requires a license to operate is limiting fishers from diversifying their portfolio (Stoll et al. 2016). Economic theory suggests specialization leads to increased productivity; economic theory also suggests a less-diverse portfolio leads to higher risk. ...
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This chapter discusses required governance transformation in Japan and Canada in moving towards the holistic health of small-scale sheries and communities. After highlighting the de nitions and numbers of the small-scale sheries in both countries, we will present the governance structures from the national level and a prefecture (provincial) level, Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan, Newfoundland and Labrador of Canada. Lastly, a comparative lens will be applied to explore the respective characteristics of Japan and Canada’s small-scale sheries, comparing and contrasting the situations in both places, especially about how sheries are governed.
... As described earlier, Maine's fishing portfolio has shrunk over the years. What is more, a study argues that fisheries management that requires a license to operate is limiting fishers from diversifying their portfolio (Stoll et al. 2016). Economic theory suggests specialization leads to increased productivity; economic theory also suggests a less-diverse portfolio leads to higher risk. ...
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Blue Justice is a concept that calls for a critical examination of how small- scale sheries (SSF) and their communities may be a ected by ocean development initiatives such as those promoted under Blue Economy and Blue Growth agenda. The relationship between the “seichosangyoka” (growth industrialization), which is the main aim of the sheries policy reform, and SSF in Japan is an example of tension between development and SSF livelihoods, which may lead to social injustice. Because of the lack of su cient discussion and communication between shers and government authority, it is unknown how many and what types of justice issues will SSF face under the new Fishery Act. From the justice perspective, there are many aspects about SSF that need to be considered before realizing “seichosangyoka.”
... As described earlier, Maine's fishing portfolio has shrunk over the years. What is more, a study argues that fisheries management that requires a license to operate is limiting fishers from diversifying their portfolio (Stoll et al. 2016). Economic theory suggests specialization leads to increased productivity; economic theory also suggests a less-diverse portfolio leads to higher risk. ...
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As neighboring countries, Japan and South Korea have many things in common. Similarities also exist in their fisheries, which are analyzed in this chapter. After highlighting the history and structure of fishery rights in both countries, this text will present a discussion on how these rights frequently interfere with the activities of other coastal area users. With current examples, this chapter[1] will explain how the rights systems, which grant high use priority and resource management responsibilities, have a significant influence on coastal governance. Their impact will be explored through a comparative lens, outlining the respective characteristics of Japanese and Korean fisheries. Lastly, in light of these, challenges facing effective and efficient coastal governance are considered.
... As described earlier, Maine's fishing portfolio has shrunk over the years. What is more, a study argues that fisheries management that requires a license to operate is limiting fishers from diversifying their portfolio (Stoll et al. 2016). Economic theory suggests specialization leads to increased productivity; economic theory also suggests a less-diverse portfolio leads to higher risk. ...
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The problems facing Japanese small-scale fisheries (JSSF), which are exposed to both societal and institutional changes, in addition to global environmental changes and recurrent disasters, are “too big to ignore”. Amidst such circumstances, the ship of Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) Japan research network is out into the ocean and expected to play a significant role in JSSF research towards solving these problems. This chapter firstly introduces the TBTI project, which is a global partnership on small-scale fisheries research, and the World Small Scale Fisheries Congress being organized by TBTI every four years. Then it takes a look at JSSF through the TBTI lens and lastly describes the vision of the TBTI Japan research network.
... As described earlier, Maine's fishing portfolio has shrunk over the years. What is more, a study argues that fisheries management that requires a license to operate is limiting fishers from diversifying their portfolio (Stoll et al. 2016). Economic theory suggests specialization leads to increased productivity; economic theory also suggests a less-diverse portfolio leads to higher risk. ...
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The rapid spread of COVID-19 took place while planning this book on the status of Japanese small-scale fisheries (JSSF). More than ever, they are at risk of folding under the pressures of an increasingly changing world. Despite this, various initiatives from coast to coast are being organized by fishers to help JSSF survive these circumstances. Given the uncertainty of the current climate, this book provides timely insights into JSSF and their significant roles. The opening section begins by providing necessary commentary on how JSSF is defined in this book. Next, significant challenges currently facing JSSF are explained, coined as the “triple pains” and “triple changes.” The governance system of Japan’s fisheries is then analyzed, shedding light on the far-reaching and little-known influence of JSSF. Finally, in addition to outlining the book’s structure, the chapter closes by detailing the book’s objectives and messages.
... Policy goals may ultimately be more effectively achieved through the use of more integrated, ecosystem-based regulations than currently exist in Maine. However, such discussions take time and are contingent on social and political path dependencies (Kelly et al., 2018;McCay, 2002;NOAA, 2016;Pew Oceans Commission, 2003;Stoll et al., 2016;U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, 2004). Many demands are being placed on Maine's coastal waters, both for blue growth development as well as for recreation, residential, and tourism uses. ...
Article
Coastal oceans are changing and experiencing increased use. The social and ecological benefits of healthy coastal oceans are well documented and include habitats for marine species, storm protection, and recreational opportunities (MEA, 2005). As the impacts of human activities are recognized, questions about how ocean spaces should be used are becoming more common. These questions are complex and involve many tradeoffs. Understanding the values people hold about uses, and how activities and ecosystems overlap, is critical for weighing tradeoffs and improving future management. I use the northeastern U.S. state of Maine to study human interactions with coastal oceans. Maine is biologically productive and hosts commercial fishing, aquaculture, tourism, and renewable energy industries. I explore perspectives about aquaculture development at a statewide scale (Chapter 1), and intersections among scientific literature, human activities, and ecosystems in two estuaries in midcoast Maine (Chapter 2). Understanding these small-scale interactions is important for improving local management and can also provide information for larger-scale conversations. In Chapter 1, I focus on Maine’s aquaculture industry. I use the Q method to describe perspectives about aquaculture held by people who are familiar with the industry, and areas of consensus and disagreement among them. I identified four perspectives: the Aquaculture Optimists, the Aquaculture Anchors, the Aquaculture Historian, and the Aquaculture Agnostics. These groups valued Maine’s marine economy and felt aquaculture could play a role, but disagreed about the scope of the industry and the distribution of benefits. They also had different perspectives about the role of local communities in siting aquaculture farms. Understanding perspectives can contribute to dialogue about the future of the aquaculture industry in Maine and globally. In Chapter 2, I review literature about the Damariscotta River Estuary (DRE) in midcoast Maine. The DRE hosts three research institutions and is heavily studied on diverse marine science-related topics. This literature review supports a participatory mapping project using local ecological knowledge to map the spatial overlaps of shellfish and human use activities in the DRE, as well as observed changes and their causes. Preliminary results from the mapping study are in Appendix E. In the literature review, I describe the publications, their themes, locations, and the years in which they were published. I discuss missing themes and compare our literature review themes to a preliminary analysis of the participatory mapping project interview data. This identifies knowledge gaps about the estuary and highlights areas for future research. The large amount of data provides a valuable baseline for documenting change over time and shows the value of examining literature at an estuary-wide scale.
... In this context, regulations that associate access rights with geographically defined boundaries have been proposed as solutions to the overexploitation problem, but these management approaches do not necessarily account for spatial diversification as an adaptation mechanism, nor do they address underlying socioeconomic, political and environmental drivers (Finkbeiner et al., 2017). Such policies may lead to unintended consequences such as inducing effort displacement (Abbott and Haynie, 2012;Kroetz et al., 2019) or reducing diversification capacities (Kasperski and Holland, 2013) while increasing individual vulnerability and rule-breaking (Stoll et al., 2016). A better understanding of spatial diversification patterns and how they have changed over time is of critical importance for improved fishery management that better accounts for actors' diversification across large scales (e.g., Cudney-Bueno and Basurto, 2009;Nunan et al., 2012). ...
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Small-scale fisheries’ actors increasingly face new challenges, including climate driven shifts in marine resource distribution and productivity. Diversification of target species and fishing locations is a key mechanism to adapt to such changes and maintain fisheries livelihoods. Here we explore environmental and institutional factors mediating how patterns of spatial diversification (i.e., utilization of alternative fishing grounds) and target species diversification change over time. Using small-scale fisheries in Baja California Sur (Mexico) as a case study, we adopt a social-ecological network approach to conduct a spatially explicit analysis of fisheries landings data (2008–2016). This approach quantifies relative patterns of diversification, and when combined with a qualitative analysis of existing literature, enables us to illuminate institutional and environmental factors that may influence diversification strategies. Our results indicate that interannual changes in spatial diversification are correlated with regional oceanographic change, while illustrating the heterogeneity and dynamism of diversification strategies. Rather than acting in isolation, we hypothesize that environmental drivers likely operate in combination with existing fisheries regulations and local socioeconomic context to mediate spatial diversification. We argue that small-scale fisheries policies need to better account such linkages as we move towards an increasingly variable environment. Overall, our results highlight spatial diversification as a dynamic process and constitute an important step towards understanding and managing the complex mechanisms through which environmental changes affect small-scale fisheries.
... For example, lobster fishing effort has tracked abundance shifts northeastward (Steneck and Wilson 2001;Kleisner et al. 2017), attributable to rapid warming (Pershing et al. 2015;Friedland et al. 2020) and increased habitat suitability (Tanaka and Chen 2016;LeBris et al. 2018;Goode et al. 2019;Mazur et al. 2020). Additionally, limited entry to the GoM lobster fishery has shifted the age of license holders to 50-65 years old (Stoll et al. 2016;Stoll 2017), few younger potential lobster fishers are replacing those that exit the fishery (Supplemental Fig. S6 1 ), and state requirements for number of licenses sold per existing licenses retired (MDMR 2020) are reducing the number of fishers and total fishing effort (MDMR 2019b). Declines in young-of-year lobster suggest uncertainty in future landings (LeBris et al. 2018;Oppenheim et al. 2019), potentially affecting the size and distribution of the GoM lobster fishery. ...
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The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act mandates U.S. fisheries minimize adverse effects of fishing on essential fish habitat (EFH). The Gulf of Maine (GoM) American lobster fishery is the most valuable U.S. fishery, and can deploy more than three million traps annually. To date, the impact of this fishery on benthic EFH has not been addressed quantitatively. To evaluate the impact of the GoM lobster fishery on EFH, lobster fishing effort was incorporated into a model linking habitat susceptibility and recovery to area impacted by fishing gear; the Swept Area Seabed Impact model. Impact to EFH was localized along the coast and highest along mid-coast Maine. Upwards of 13% of the benthos is in the process of recovery, but between 99.92 – 99.96% of initially affected habitat fully recovers. These estimates suggest that lobster fishing negligibly contributes to accumulation of EFH damage in the GoM due to the expansive area fished and the small footprint of each trap. Identifying areas of persistent impact is crucial in developing effective fisheries management for critical marine habitats.
... We show how the methodology can be employed by using the case of lobster (Homarus spp.) and analyzing trade routes for it through time, as well as evaluating the effect of re-exports on the appearance of market dependence between producer-nations and terminal-markets. We focus on lobster as a case example because it is a high-value commodity that is traded worldwide and it is of particular sociocultural and economic importance in North America, where it supports thousands of small-scale fishers (Steneck et al., 2011;Stoll et al., 2016). We also use this case because it speaks to, and illustrates, the growing role of China in the global seafood economy. ...
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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.
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The concept of resilience gained increased attention in sustainability science, with a notable spike from 2014 onwards. However, resilience is a multifaceted concept with no unanimous definition, making applications in the context of sustainability, a similarly multifarious term, a challenge. Here, we examine the use of resilience in well-cited sustainability literature in the period from 2014 to 2018. Based on our analysis, resilience as a concept proves its analytical strength through a diverse set of frameworks, indicators, and models, while its usefulness as boundary object is less clear. Most of the examined publications do not cite one of the well-established resilience definitions as a conceptual basis. The normativity of resilience is often implicit and rarely critically questioned, and strong participatory approaches are lacking. A multivariate statistical full-text bibliographic analysis of 112 publications reveals four distinct research clusters with partial conceptual proximity but hardly any overlap. While the majority of publications consider human well-being as an integral factor in their research, some research marginalizes this concept. Resilience to climate change dominates the discourse in the literature investigated, which signifies a need to broaden research efforts to other equally pressing-but in terms of the concept, widely neglected-sustainability challenges.
Article
Small-scale coastal fisheries are a key feature of Virginia’s cultural heritage, account for a significant portion of the state’s annual landings, and employ thousands of individuals. Despite the value of these fisheries, the number of commercial licenses sold has declined more than 15% since 1994. Using state license and permitting data, this research investigates participation and diversification in wild fisheries and marine-related economic industries through structural change and multiple correspondence (MCA) analyses. Results indicate evidence of instability in participation and diversification since the mid-1990s. The percentage of fishermen with diverse fishing portfolios accounts for less than half of those licensed and has not varied widely. Diversification into marine-related industries, however, has increased, likely due to aquaculture expansion. While some changes can be characterized as long-term trends, others indicate that participation and diversification may change considerably over shorter periods of time. MCA indicates evidence of similarity, in terms of license and permit holdings, between participants of several wild fisheries, including fishermen with a blue crab and finfish license or permit. Participation characteristics of individuals in marine-related business has changed since 1994 with more overlap between commercial fishing and seafood sales and processing in later years. Understanding participation and diversification patterns can aid managers in assessing impacts to individuals and fishing communities during adverse events and allow for consideration of social identity in management decisions. Furthermore, understanding and contextualizing resource dependency of commercial fishers, as well as the connectivity across species and sectors, may support the long-term goals of ecosystem-based management.
Article
It is evident that fishery stakeholder groups are not homogenous, and that inter‐ and intra‐group variation can exist in the form of unique perspectives, motivations for fishery participation, and receptiveness to management measures. However, management agencies often allocate quota and design regulatory plans around distinct groups, such as recreational versus commercial sectors. Our study used the commercial fishery for Striped Bass Morone saxatilis as a case study to explore the motivations and behaviors of commercial fishers in Massachusetts. Results of an online and mail survey suggest that many commercial fishers maintain several motivations for fishing, including both monetary and non‐monetary, like the desire to be outdoors. Intended behavior differences emerged in response to several hypothetical regulatory scenarios, and these disparate behaviors could be partly explained by heterogeneity in fisher motivations and other fishing and non‐fishing attributes. Additionally, we uncovered spillover effects, whereby effort controls could impact other commercial and recreational fisheries. We recommend a relaxation of the assumption that commercial fishers are solely motivated by monetary outcomes, and that holistic approaches to management include information on fisher behavior and motivations.
Chapter
Working waterfront industries are reliant upon water access and encompass everything from wild harvest and cultured seafood to towboats, shipping, and marine research. Many of the industries along Oregon’s working waterfronts are inaccessible to the public or hard to see, even though they play critical social and economic roles in the local community. Working waterfront industries thrive when there is local understanding of, and support for, the work and the people doing this work. This chapter explores the connection between working waterfront industries and coastal community resilience and vitality using examples of infrastructure, family and gender, education, and changing demographics.
Article
Natural resources often exhibit large interannual fluctuations in productivity driven by shifting environmental conditions, and this translates to high variability in the revenue resource users earn. However, users can dampen this variability by harvesting a portfolio of resources. In the context of fisheries, this means targeting multiple populations, though the ability to actually build diverse fishing portfolios is often constrained by the costs and availability of fishing permits. These constraints are generally intended to prevent overcapitalization of the fleet and ensure populations are fished sustainably. As linked human‐natural systems, both ecological and fishing dynamics influence the specific advantages and disadvantages of increasing the diversity of fishing portfolios. Specifically, a portfolio of synchronous populations with similar responses to environmental drivers should reduce revenue variability less than a portfolio of asynchronous populations with opposite responses. We built a bioeconomic model based on the Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister), Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and groundfish fisheries in the California Current, and used it to explore the influence of population synchrony and permit access on income patterns. As expected, synchronous populations reduced revenue variability less than asynchronous populations, but only for portfolios including crab and salmon. Synchrony with the longer‐lived groundfish population was not important because environmentally‐driven changes in groundfish recruitment were mediated by growth and natural mortality over the full population age structure, and overall biomass was relatively stable across years. Thus, building a portfolio of diverse life histories can buffer against the impacts of poor environmental conditions over short time scales. Increasing access to all permits generally led to increased revenue stability and decreased inequality of the fleet, but also resulted in less revenue earned by an individual from a given portfolio because more vessels shared the available biomass. This means managers are faced with a tradeoff between the average revenue individuals earn and the risk those individuals accept. These results illustrate the importance of considering connections between social and ecological dynamics when evaluating management options that constrain or facilitate fishers’ ability to diversify their fishing.
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All benefits provided by natural systems are embedded within coupled social-ecological systems (SESs). Fisheries are clear examples of SESs: through fishing, humans affect ecosystem structure and functioning, and in turn, receive benefits, including sustenance, employment, and cultural value. Resilience, the ability to maintain structure and function in the face of change, is key to sustaining the social and ecological components of fisheries-related SESs and their interactions. Many factors contribute to resilience, including heterogeneity. By identifying heterogeneity in these complex systems, we are better able to understand the capacity of fishery-related SESs to adapt to change, and contribute to management that protects valuable services. In this dissertation, I ask: 1) How are SESs associated with marine fisheries shaped by environmental, social, and institutional heterogeneity, and 2) what are the implications of this variation for resilience and adaptive capacity of fishers and the SES, in the face of changing environmental and socioeconomic conditions? To answer these questions, I employ an interdisciplinary approach focused on the chocolate clam (Megapitaria squalida) fishery in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico. I conducted biological field studies, household surveys, interviews, ethnographic conversations, and developed fisheries models from my empirical work. Together, my results illustrate that management aligned with the biology of target populations and stakeholders’ goals is critical to sustainable fisheries. Heterogeneity among fishers affects their individual capacities to adapt to change. Maintaining a diversity of adaptive strategies is essential for individual adaptive capacity. Likewise, maintaining fishery heterogeneity, by ensuring all fishers are equipped to adapt, will strengthen community adaptive capacity. The chocolate clam provides diverse cultural and provisioning values to communities, and management that considers all benefits will be better equipped to account for the needs and knowledge of diverse stakeholders. Both formal and informal institutions shape fishing practices, and integrating them, via collaborative governance, would increase community participation in management and enhance fishery resilience. My interdisciplinary approach acknowledges the intricate web of human-resource interactions shaping fisheries and reveals how heterogeneity shapes SES resilience. Management that supports diversity in all forms will be better equipped to contribute to the resilience of these highly valuable and dynamic systems.
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Many global fisheries have transitioned to rights-based management to improve bioeconomic outcomes, but several fishing communities have experienced negative social impacts. Negative social impacts are often attributed to a focus on economic efficiency and resource sustainability, with less focus on the distributional equity among fishery participants. Among rights-based systems, limited entry has been used for over a century to reduce excess fleet capacity. In 1991, a limited entry permit system was initiated in the Hawai‘i longline fleet, following years of rapid growth. The Hawai‘i system did not set an ownership cap, which presented a natural experiment to examine distributional equity in the fleet over time. We examined permit ownership changes in the Hawai‘i longline fishery using 27 years of permit transactions, then linked it to logbook landings and commercial dealer data to examine revenue inequality using the gini coefficient. We also analyzed property rights components to better understand how institutional factors affected ownership changes. We found that three distinct permit ownership groups emerged and permits, landings, and revenue became increasingly consolidated among multiple permit owners. The gini coefficient indicated that how the fishery was analyzed significantly affected measures of revenue inequality. One measure indicated that revenue inequality in the Hawai‘i limited entry system was similar to other U.S. fisheries managed by catch shares. Without an ownership cap, distributional equity in the Hawai‘i longline fleet changed significantly over time. Our findings indicate that distributional equity should be considered prior to initiating rights-based transitions in other global fisheries
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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.
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We present a conceptual framework that explores some of the forces creating innovation and novelty in complex systems. Understanding the sources of variability and novelty may help us better understand complex systems. Understanding complex phenomena such as invasions, migration, and nomadism may provide insight into the structure of ecosystems and other complex systems, and aid our attempts to cope with and mitigate these phenomena, in the case of invasions, and better understand and or predict them. Our model is broadly applicable to ecological theory, including community ecology, resilience, restoration, and policy. Characterizing the link between landscape change and the composition of species communities may help policymakers in their decision-making processes. Understanding how variability is related to system structure, and how that generates novelty, may help us understand how resilience is generated. We suggest that there are three primary opportunities for the generation of novelty into complex systems. These sources of novelty are inherent in the cross-scale structure of complex systems, and are critical for creating adaptive capacity. Novelty originates from the inherent variability present in cross scale structures, within scale reorganization associated with adaptive cycles, and whole-scale transformations resulting from regime shifts. Although speculative, our ideas are grounded in research and observation, and they may provide insight into the evolution of complex systems.
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Social adaptation is often touted as a desirable and necessary response to continued decline in the fisheries sector, however little is currently understood about the impacts of adaptive strategies on people's broader sense of ‘wellbeing’, or how the spread of impacts affect people in different ways. This article draws from research in Northern Ireland to explore the types of adaptation strategising that takes place within fishing households, and to specifically address how such strategies interplay with the wellbeing of people affected. We demonstrate some of the hard choices that arise through becoming adaptive, and discuss how the costs of adaptation are sometimes disproportionality born by particular individuals, especially women. We argue that greater consideration of the impacts of adaptation on wellbeing can give useful insights into why some people thrive, whilst others struggle, and can point to opportunities to strengthen both resilient and wellbeing outcomes.
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The Maine lobster Homarus americanus fishery is considered one of the most successful fisheries in the world due in part to its unique comanagement system, the conservation ethic of the harvesters, and the ability of the industry to respond to crises and solve collective-action problems. However, recent threats raise the question whether the industry will be able to respond to future threats as successfully as it has to ones in the past or whether it is now less resilient and can no longer adequately respond to threats. Through ethnographic research and oral histories with fishermen, we examined the current level of social resilience in the lobster fishery. We concentrated on recent threats to the industry and the ways in which it has responded to them, focusing on three situations: a price drop beginning in 2008, a recovery in 2010-2011, and a second collapse of prices in 2012. In addition, we considered other environmental and regulatory concerns identified by fishermen. We found that the industry is not responding effectively to recent threats and identified factors that might explain the level of social resilience in the fishery.
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This paper compares two case studies in Alaska, one on commercial fishers of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands region and the other on moose hunters of Interior Alaska, to identify how governance arrangements and management strategies enhance or limit people's ability to respond effectively to changing climatic and environmental conditions. The two groups face similar challenges regarding the impacts of a changing climate on wild fish and game, but they tell very different stories regarding how and under what conditions these impacts challenge their harvest activities. In both regions, people describe dramatic changes in weather, land, and seascape conditions, and distributions of fish and game. A key finding is that the "command-and-control" model of governance in the Alaska Interior, as implemented through state and federal management tools such as registration hunts and short open seasons, limits effective local responses to environmental conditions, while the more decentralized model of governance created by the Limited Access Privilege systems of the Bering Sea allows fishers great flexibility to respond. We discuss ways to implement aspects of a decentralized decision-making model in the Interior that would benefit hunters by increasing their adaptability and success, while also improving conservation outcomes. Our findings also demonstrate the usefulness of the diagnostic framework employed here for facilitating comparative crossregional analyses of natural resource use and management.
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A great deal of research to inform environmental conservation and management takes a predict-and-prescribe strategy in which improving forecasts about future states of ecosystems is the primary goal. But sufficiently thorough understanding of ecosystems needed to reduce deep uncertainties is probably not achievable, seriously limiting the potential effectiveness of the predict-and-prescribe approach. Instead, research should integrate more closely with policy development to identify the range of alternative plausible futures and develop strategies that are robust across these scenarios and responsive to unpredictable ecosystem dynamics.
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Sea urchin barrens are benthic communities on rocky subtidal reefs that are dominated by urchins and coralline algae; in the absence of intense herbivory by urchins, these barrens support luxuriant seaweed communities such as kelp beds (or forests). Barrens can extend over 1000s of km of coastline or occur in small patches (10s to 100s of m) within a kelp bed. They are characterized by low primary productivity and low food-web complexity relative to kelp communities and are generally considered a collapsed state of the kelp ecosystem. To assess the stability of sea urchin barrens and potential for return to a kelp-dominated state, we document temporal and spatial patterns of occurrence of barrens along temperate and polar coasts. We examine the various drivers of phase (or regime) shifts in these areas, the threshold levels of urchin abundance that trigger abrupt changes in ecosystem state, and the feedback mechanisms that stabilize each state. Although longitudinal (decadal) studies are limited, we find evidence in several regions that transitions between barrens and kelp beds are characterized by discontinuous phase shifts, with different thresholds for forward (to barrens) and reverse (to kelp beds) shifts, in accordance with alternative stable-state dynamics. In other areas, barrens may reflect regime shifts associated with large-scale oceanographic changes. Accelerating climate change and increasing anthropogenic impacts play important roles in altering alternative stable-state dynamics and triggering phase shifts. Recovery of the kelp state may be possible through management or remediation measures, but this necessitates a clear understanding of the thresholds and stabilizing factors for a given system.
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Scale mismatches result in incomplete or ambiguous feedback that impairs the ability to learn and adapt and, ultimately, to sustain natural resources. Our aim is to examine the sea urchin fishery in Maine, USA to better understand the multiscale, social, and biophysical conditions that are important for the design of institutions that might be able to sustain the resource. During the late 1980s and 1990s, the Maine sea urchin fishery was a classic gold rush fishery. In the beginning, the fishery was characterized by an abundant resource with little to no harvesting activity, followed by a period of rapid increase in landings and effort that led to a subsequent and persistent decline in the sea urchin population and a significant reduction in effort. We conducted semistructured interviews with scientists and experienced fishermen to understand the multiscale, social, and biophysical conditions that influence fishermen's harvesting strategies, and the implications of this for the design of institutions for successful resource management. The current co-management system includes an advisory body made up of industry members and scientists it also includes limited entry, and additional input control mechanisms. Many of these measures are implemented at a very broad scale; however, we find that the ecological conditions relevant to the sustainable processes occur at the scale of individual fishing sites or ledges, which is a much finer scale than current management. Therefore, the co-management system maintains an open access system and leaves few incentives for the development of sustainable harvesting strategies among fishermen. The clear suggestion is that the appropriate management system would be one that directly addresses the fine scale ecological and social dynamics within this fishery and gives fishermen property rights over individual ledges (for example, leases). After having briefly reviewed experiences in Canada and Chile, we found that knowledge of the coupled natural and human system at the fine scale is necessary if we are to assess the feasibility of area management in this fishery, because what works in one fishery does not necessarily work in another.
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Fisheries are increasingly understood as complex adaptive systems; but the cultural, behavioral, and cognitive factors that explain spatial and temporal dynamics of fishing effort allocation remain poorly understood. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a visualization tool, this paper combines catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) and ethnographic data on the Ecuadorian mangrove cockle fishery to explore patterns in fishing effort and the social production of fishing space. I argue that individual decisions about where, when, and how to fish result in spatial and temporal patterns in effort allocation, ultimately regulating open-access fisheries that typically operate on a first-come, first-served basis. These emergent patterns in the fishing effort are explained by individual-level preferences and adaptations; the development of knowledge and customary norms through the habitual use of resource space by individuals and groups; ecological conditions; and access. New adaptive challenges threaten to undermine such self-organization of open-access systems on larger spatial and temporal scales prompting a likely re-allocation of the fishing effort in the future.
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Change is a defining characteristic of coastal social-ecological systems, yet the magnitude and speed of contemporary change is challenging the adaptive capacity of even the most robust coastal communities. In the context of multiple drivers of change, it has become increasingly important to identify how threatened communities adapt to livelihood stressors. We investigate how adaptation is negotiated in two coastal fishing communities by documenting livelihood stressors, household assets, adaptive strategies, and factors that facilitate or inhibit adaptation. Declining catch is the most common stressor being experienced in both communities, however, socioeconomic, e.g., disease or theft, and ecological, e.g., severe storms and drought, changes are also creating livelihood stress. We find that specialized fishers' with higher investment in fishing gear and government support are adapting by intensifying their fishing efforts, whereas poorer fishers with more livelihood options are adapting through diversification. Adaptation is facilitated by fishers' groups, occupational pride, and family networks. It is inhibited by limited assets, competition over declining resources, and pervasive poverty. Our data suggest that adaptation is a heterogeneous process that is influenced by multiple factors. Understanding the complexity of fishers' responses to livelihood stressors is critical for fostering adaptive capacity in coastal communities, for strengthening fisheries management, and for improving the livelihoods of fishing dependent communities.
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Production ecosystems typically have a high dependence on supporting and regulating ecosystem services and while they have thus far managed to sustain production, this has often been at the cost of externalities imposed on other systems and locations. Thus one of the largest challenges facing humanity is to secure the production of food and fibre while avoiding long-term negative impacts on ecosystems and the range of services that they provide. Resilience has been used as a framework for understanding sustainability challenges in a range of ecosystem types, but has not been systematically applied across the range of systems specifically used for the production of food and fibre in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments. This paper applied a resilience lens to production ecosystems in which anthropogenic inputs play varying roles in determining system dynamics and outputs. We argue that the traditional resilience framework requires important additions when applied to production systems. We show how sustained anthropogenic inputs of external resources can lead to a "coercion" of resilience and describe how the global interconnectedness of many production systems can camouflage signals indicating resilience loss.
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