The impact of "community" on fisheries management in the US Northeast

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85 Scopus citations


The discourse of fisheries science and management displaces community and culture from the essential economic dynamic of fisheries. The goal of this dominant discourse is to enclose fisheries, to constitute them as within the singular and hegemonic economy of capitalism. Alternative economies, such as those based on the presence of community, are always seen as either existing before or beyond the dominant economic formation. The category of community is, nevertheless, being incorporated into contemporary fisheries science and management where it has the potential to disrupt the ontological foundations of the current management regime. To avoid disruption, community is situated such that it is the domain of anthropology while the essential economic dynamic of fisheries remains the purview of fisheries bioeconomics. Community can be identified, documented, and analyzed but always only as a site of economic impact and never as a constituent of the economic itself. Curiously, this disciplining of community has a literal geographic dimension: the discursive domain of bioeconomics corresponds to the spatial domain of fisheries resources themselves while that of fisheries social science/anthropology corresponds to the terrestrial locations where fishers reside. Fishing ports become the place of community while the actual common property resource remains the site where the essential economic dynamic reigns uncompromised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-184
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Commons
  • Community
  • Economic discourse
  • Fisheries
  • Political ecology
  • Space


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