Towards Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management

Towards Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in Eastern Maine: Understanding the Linkages between Social-Ecological Setting and Institution Formation and Function

Lobster boat in harborInstitution: University of Maine
Sponsor: Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

This research explores the ways in which existing formal and informal institutional arrangements enable or impair the implementation of ecosystem-based management of marine fisheries in eastern Maine. The conceptual approach will be multi-scale but with a strong emphasis on local institutions because they tend to be absent or less robust than State or Federal institutions engaged in the management of these resources. The objective of the work will be to better understand the practical problems of building local institutions with the capability of managing finer scale ecological processes. With a direct focus on system dynamics and resilience, our research aims to contribute to sustainability theory by more fully articulating the path dependent relationship between past and current context on the emergence and persistence of place-based institutions. This work will benefit communities in Maine by helping to inform a regional effort to design and implement ecosystem-based management and has the potential to inform management thinking more broadly.

Team Leader:
Jim Wilson, School of Marine Science, UMaine

Graduate Student:
Joshua Stoll, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, UMaine

Team Members:
Teresa Johnson, School of Marine Sciences, UMaine
Yong Chen, School of Marine Sciences, UMaine

Robin Alden, Penobscot East Resource Center
Ted Ames, Penobscot East Resource Center
Carla Guenther, Penobscot East Resource Center
Aaron Dority, Penobscot East Resource Center