Sara Randall Awarded Canadian-American Center Fellowship

Sara RandallSara Randall, who enrolled as a SPIA student in January 2011, has been awarded a Canadian-American Center Fellowship, which is available to graduate students in all disciplines focusing on Canada or Canadian-American relations.

Along with providing a one-year stipend and a tuition waiver, the Canadian-American Fellowship will allow Sara to contribute research and analysis on international and Atlantic-fisheries, and to examine the economic and social impact of catch share programs in Canada on fishing communities. The findings will offer insight into broader design questions that are likely to arise as other catch shares programs are imposed on fishing communities. This project would contribute significantly to the current needs for designing catch share programs that preserve small-scale, fishery-dependent communities and would aid policy-makers interested in supporting these communities.

Sara’s research is part of a larger project being conducted under the auspices of UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences, which was recently awarded a NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service) grant. The objective of this project, led by Dr. Teresa R. Johnson, is to study the capability of small-scale fishing dependent communities in Maine to participate in catch share programs. The study also analyzes the types of conditions and resources needed by fishing communities to facilitate successful participation in catch share management systems.

Proponents of catch shares systems of management say that they believe privatizing fishing rights will stop the race to fish and provide fishermen with greater economic incentives to increase stewardship of the resource. However, the federal government’s promotion of catch shares is of serious concern to fisheries dependent communities in the U.S. Consolidation and the collapse of small, family owned independent fishing businesses and their communities is a known result of catch share management imposed without specific controls.