Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

D. Scott Slocombe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The intent of this study is to examine the present institutional arrangements of the Newfoundland and Labrador Northern shrimp fishery, to identify the roles of cooperative fisheries economic development corporations and make recommendations for institutional improvements. There are a number of institutional and organizational arrangements more favorable for fisheries management and development than present ones (Bishop, 1981; Bromley, 1982; McCay and Acheson, 1987; Pinkerton, 1989). Jentoft and McCay (1995) identified the need for this type of research in fisheries management in order to understand the complexity of relationships in fisheries management and to develop more effective means of fisheries management in general. The research was divided into two phases. The first phase constituted a review of the literature focusing on cooperative fisheries management and the relative importance of institutional research and institutional considerations in fisheries management. The first part of the thesis presented a vision of how commercial fisheries should be managed and regulated to promote cooperative fisheries economic development arrangements. The strengths and weaknesses identified in the literature regarding cooperative fisheries management, institutional arrangements, systems theory, ecosystem-based management, coastal zone management, and economic development were adapted to develop a normative model and evaluative institutional framework for cooperative fisheries management arrangements. Evaluative criteria were based on elements of process (interactive organizations, local control, community support, planned processes) and substantive values (substantive diversity, holism). The second phase of this research involved the selection of the Newfoundland and Labrador Northern shrimp fishery as a case study for the application of the normative framework. The Northern shrimp fishery is a relatively new fishery and is presently undergoing a major transformation in management and institutional structure. At the same time, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is also undergoing an institutional restructuring in its approach to regional and community economic development. Through application of the normative framework, institutional constraints regarding the Newfoundland and Labrador Northern shrimp fishery were identified. At the same time, through application of the framework, field interviews revealed a number of institutional opportunities for economic development corporations as alternative institutional arrangements in the cooperative management and development of the Northern shrimp fishery. The research concluded that institutional arrangements are an important prerequisite for facilitating effective cooperative fisheries management and development arrangements. The minimum critical criteria for institutional arrangements for cooperative fisheries management include interactive organizations, local control of regulation, management and decision-making responsibilities, community support and a planned process. Institutional arrangements in fisheries management are the entity from which resource management decisions are made and action is taken. Effective institutional arrangements facilitate a cooperative management arena, decentralize and delegate responsibility to the resource users and lowest capable organizations, allow a more flexible management process, and provide a framework in which problems can be evaluated and addressed in a timely and equitable manner. It is concluded in this thesis that rather than undergo a complete institutional restructuring of the present Northern shrimp fishery to achieve these critical conditions, processes and mechanisms provided by cooperative fisheries economic development corporations could offer an alternative management arrangement for cooperative fisheries management and development. Cooperative fisheries economic development corporations display characteristics of interactive organizations, local control, community support and strategic planning processes, essential for effective cooperative fisheries management and development.

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