Making space for community resource management in fisheries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


The dominant discourse of fisheries science and management, bioeconomics, places the behavior of individual fishermen operating on an open-access commons at the center of its understanding of fisheries resources and the fishing industry. Within this discourse, fishermen are the sole actors and the fishery is the fixed stage for an inevitable "tragedy of the commons." Starting from these particular assumptions of both subject and space, bioeconomics proposes solutions to fisheries crisis that differ sharply from fishers' perceptions of the resource and their desires for management. These divergent understandings of both the natural and social environments are reflected in the maps produced by fisheries scientists/managers and those produced by fishers themselves. Remapping fisheries in terms of fishers' perceptions and scales of operation reveals diverse natural landscapes and communities in which the dominant discourse charted only quantities of fish and individual fishermen. The landscape of fishing communities, once made visible, suggests an opportunity for forms of area-based management that might facilitate community development rather than just individual prosperity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-142
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


  • Co-management
  • Community
  • Fisheries
  • Space


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