Fishing Policies and Island Community Development: Case Studies in Newfoundland and Labrador

This project is part of a larger research initiative that explores the relationship between fisheries policy and island community development in Maine and Newfoundland and Labrador. Two communities in each study area will be used to examine the impacts of fisheries policy on island communities and, conversely, how small island communities seek to influence fisheries policy and management decisions. The Maine portion of this study will include two small communities of Swan’s Island and the island of Monhegan. In Newfoundland and Labrador the selected case studies are Anchor Point (on the western shore of the Northern Peninsula) and Fogo and Change Islands (located off the coast of northeastern Newfoundland). For each of these communities, the fishing industry is the largest economic player. On Fogo Island, for example, fishing and fish processing represented 61% of direct employment in Seldom-Little Seldom, 54% in Fogo, and 48% in Joe Batt’s Arm-Barr’d Islands-Shoal Bay in 2006; in Anchor Point the fishery provides 67% of direct employment (Community Accounts 2006).

The research has three key objectives:

  1. To determine how residents in these island communities have been impacted by policy decisions about fisheries;
  2. To see how communities have challenged past policies or responded to the impacts of past, current or anticipated future policies, and to explore the impact these efforts have had in the resiliency of these communities to changes in the fishery;
  3. To connect these communities with one another and allow them to learn about, assess, and critique each other’s resilience and coping strategies and in doing so to enhance their own efforts to create more sustainable local fisheries and economies in the future. If something has worked for one area, then there is the possibility that the strategy will inform and benefit another. Differences between fishing policies and responses will be drawn out to explore how location and contextual factors affect policy practices and impacts.

Research Team