Publication Detail

Power and perspective: Fisheries and the ocean commons beset by demands of development

Caroline Pomeroy, Madeleine Hall-Arber, Flaxen Conway

Marine renewable energy (MRE), though a relative newcomer to the ocean and coastal commons, has become a significant driver of marine spatial planning in the US, posing particular challenges to commercial fisheries and fishing communities. State and federal agencies with primary oversight for MRE development have focused on the identification of places where MRE might proceed unhindered by other uses, most notably coastal fisheries. These agencies and MRE developers have focused on potential space-use conflict and standard mitigation measures for loss of access to that space. However, discussions with fishery participants and other community members, as well as observations of processes on the US West and East Coasts, reveal a complex, multi-faceted social–ecological system not easily parsed out among users, nor amenable to classic mitigation formulas. Recent ethnographic research on potential space-use conflicts and mitigation for MRE demonstrates that marine space use is dynamic and multi-dimensional, with important linkages among fisheries, communities and other interests. Although experiences vary within and across regions and fishing communities, this research illustrates the weak position of fishing communities in marine spatial planning in the context of MRE development. This paper considers the implications of MRE for US East and West Coast fisheries and fishing communities situated within the larger context of neoliberalism and commodification of the ocean commons.

type: Journal, book, proceeding reprints

Parent Project

Project No.: 2014-A/A-3
Title: Marine Social Sciences