James Acheson

Contact Information

James Acheson

207 581.1898


102B Stevens Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME  04469-5741


Ph.D, Social Anthropology, University of Rochester

Research interests

Jim Acheson is an anthropologist whose specialty is economic anthropology. He has had a long term interest in the culture and social organization of Maine fishing communities, and the social science aspects of fisheries management. In recent years, much of Acheson’s research has focused on using rational choice theory to understand the conditions under which people will constrain their own exploitive efforts in the common good and develop effective conservation institutions. Recently, he has devoted considerable time to understanding the social, cultural and economic factors underlying the development of legislation in the Maine Lobster Industry. The Maine lobster industry is very unusual in that catches have been very stable for more than half a century, and it is one in which fishermen have consistently supported effectively conservation legislation. Currently he is Principal Investigator of a project entitled “Case Studies in Co-Management” sponsored by Sea Grant which is studying the implementation of the Maine Lobster Zone Management Law, one of the first true co-management laws in the United States.