Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
  • This project developed a participatory, place-based approach for assessing the vulnerability and resilience of Maine fishing communities, documenting threats and resources available to respond to those threats. To understand the forces driving vulnerability, Johnson and graduate students Cameron Thompson and Anna Henry worked with community stakeholders to identify opportunities and strategies for improving resilience of fishing communities. They produced a summary report, entitled, “In Their Own Words: Fishermen’s Perspectives of Community Resilience.” 

    Once upon a time, Maine fishermen and women harvested a diversity of species, from groundfish and herring to lobsters, clams, shrimp, and scallops, depending on market conditions and resource abundance. Today, Maine’s fishing culture is concentrated in 50 coastal communities and is overwhelmingly dependent on lobster, while regulations have restricted other fisheries. Since 1990, the number of vessels landing groundfish in Maine dropped from 350 to 70. At least 72 groundfish permits have been lost, and dramatic changes in management are imminent, leading Johnson to wonder, “How vulnerable are Maine’s fishing communities? What can be done to improve their resiliency to future change?”

    These are the questions that federal fisheries managers must ask when assessing the impact of new rules, yet too often they don’t have the right data to answer the questions. This project developed a participatory, place-based approach for assessing the vulnerability and resilience of Maine fishing communities, documenting threats and resources available to respond to those threats. To understand the forces driving vulnerability, Johnson and graduate students Cameron Thompson and Anna Henry worked with community stakeholders to identify opportunities and strategies for improving resilience of fishing communities.

Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Gary Libby Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

Interview with Gary Libby of Port Clyde, ME. Libby was born in Thomaston on April 26, 1958. born in Camden. Lives in Port Clyde, ME. Gary has served on shrimp and groundfish Advisory Panels and on a forage fish group as well. He grew up in Thomaston and started digging clams at 12 years of age. His father purchased a groundfish boat and Gary began to work aboard ship. He has also worked in scallops and aboard trip vessels, dragging for groundfish. He worked on deck for a number of years while fishing with his brother.

Cameron Thompson Port Clyde, ME University of Maine
Leonard E. Young III Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

Interview with fisherman Leonard E. Young, III, born September 9, 1944 in Bar Harbor, Maine. Young describes his entry into the commercial fisheries and discusses both lobstering and groundfish fishing.
 

Sara Randall, Mike Kersula Bar Harbor, ME University of Maine
Lynn Bowden Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

Interview with former sardine cannery employee Lynn Bowden. Bowden was born in Eastport, ME on December 20, 1938 and worked as an adolescent at local canning facilities. As a third generation Eastport native, Bowden moved back to Eastport fifteen years prior to the interview after living in Portland, ME for forty eight years. Retired at the time of interview, Bowden mentions her career at Blue Cross Blue Shield and her early involvement with Eastport's canning factories at the age of 15.

Anna Henry Eastport, ME University of Maine
Hollis Matthews Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

Interview with Hollis Matthews (born 1925) and Wayne Wilcox (born 1954) of Eastport, ME.
 

Anna Henry Eastport, ME University of Maine
Dan Miller Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

Dan Miller was born on January 29, 1949 in Waterville, Maine. He began lobstering at the age of seven and started commercial fishing for groundfish in 1973. At the time of this interview, he resided in Tenants Harbor, Maine.

Sara Randall Tenants Harbor, ME University of Maine
William R. Modden Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

Interview with William R. Modden, born July 21, 1934 in Bar Harbor, Maine. Modden began fishing commercially in 1952 at the age of 18. He participated in the scallop and groundfish fisheries in Maine and Massachusetts.

Sara Randall Bar Harbor, ME University of Maine
Doug Anderson Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

In this oral history with Doug Anderson, born December 16, 1948 in Rockland, ME, he describes his fishing career in Port Clyde, ME. The interview includes descriptions of Port Clyde, the social impacts of commercial fishing, the Maine lobster and groundfish industries and his views on tensions between fishing communities and environmentalists.

Anna Henry Port Clyde, ME University of Maine
Paul Molyneaux Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

In this interview, fisherman Paul Molyneaux of East Machias, Maine discusses his work in the groundfish fishery from 1978 to 1996.

Kevin Athearn East Machias, ME University of Maine
Andy Barstow Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

Interview with Jim (born September 21, 1943) and Andy Barstow (born December 8, 1969) of Tenants Harbor, ME. As providers of shoreside services and cruises, they offer observations on rules and regulations as well as the challenges of succeeding in business in a small community.

Cameron Thompson Tenants Harbor, ME University of Maine
John Phinney Assessing Vulnerability and Resilience in Maine Fishing Communities

In this interview with seafood buyer John Phinney, he discusses the community of Lubec and his work in the seafood business.

Cameron Thompson Lubec, ME University of Maine