MIT Sea Grant: New England's Fishing Communities Table of Contents

5. Preface to the Sub-region and Port Profiles

As explained in Chapter 1, the introduction to this report, the sub-regions designated herein are partially an artifact of the way statistics are collected by the government (country-based). In addition, the researchers have tried to make this report dovetail with economics modeling research led by Di Jin of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Furthermore, the analysis of the social and economic networks of the fishing communities demonstrate that these often extend beyond the named "fishing communities" that are readily identified by residents and observers of coastal New England.

The sub-regions thus described are not necessarily recognized by their own residents as appropriate or real designations. However, the boundaries of the more commonly named regions, such as Midcoast Maine and Downeast Maine, are also permeable and used vaguely by residents, the tourist industry, Chambers of Commerce, various web sites, etc. Sometimes they are used interchangeably to refer to a small-town life-style with a greater degree of independence or isolation imputed to Downeast Maine. For this research, an effort has been made to identify subregions with similar fishing-related attributes while maintaining a structure that is also amenable to the use of the U.S. Census and other available systematic data.

In each section, we describe a sub-region in general terms, focusing particularly on the relative dependency on fishing as indicated by the dependency indices described in Chapter 3 of this report. A brief sketch of each of the counties in the subregion follows, usually including Census-based data and a list of the towns in the county with those known to have fishing activity noted. Finally, one or two prominent fishing communities in the counties are profiled in some detail, including a section based on interviews with key respondents.

Some redundancy is built into the report to allow readers to read selectively rather than cover-to-cover. In some cases, the redundancy is evident even within a single community profile since some readers may want to read comparatively–selecting only one or two categories, but reading about these for each community.