Accountability, transformative learning, and alternate futures for New England groundfish catch shares
Environmental change heightens the need for governance structures that enable transformative social learning across socio-ecological scales. Questions arise concerning the ability of audit-based accountability to deliver such adaptive outcomes, particularly if implementation is hampered by communicative divides between insider and outsider groups. In the New England region of the United States, groundfish policy and its catch share system present an illustrative case. Despite severe depletion of cod and other species, governance insiders prevent consideration of regulatory alternatives. An insider-outsider activist strategy based in the state of Maine aims to regain fishery access, intensify grassroots community organizing to support owner-operators attentive to conservation ethics, broaden participation within conventional science and management venues, and improve prospects for community-based area management through strategic policy networks. Adaptive, polycentric accountability therefore seems more feasible, but requires further development.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Brewer, J.F., K. Molton, R. Alden, and C. Guenther. 2017. “Accountability, Adaptation, and Alternate Futures for New England Groundfish Catch Shares.” Special issue on Neoliberalism and Global Small-scale Fisheries, Marine Policy, 80, 113-122.