Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Policy


Ralph Townsend

Second Committee Member

James Acheson

Third Committee Member

Stephen Fegley


This thesis examines the Georges River Clam Management Program, a multi-town interlocal harvesting and management plan in mid-coast Maine. It discusses relevant economic and communal action theory, and examines their application to the development of the program. Chapter 1 reviews the purposes and methods of the study. Chapter 2 reviews the relevant clam biology necessary to understand the principles of soft-shell clam management. Chapters 3 and 4 provide the history and background of clam harvesting and management in Maine. Chapter 5 discusses the Georges River Program, including the factors that led to its development and the details of its organization and scope. Chapter 6 provides a review of the pertinent literature pertaining to fisheries economics, rational choice theory, externality theory, collective action theory and co-management. Chapter 7 provides state of Maine landings data obtained from the Department of Marine Resources. It compares catch per unit of effort figures between the Georges River estuary and the state as a whole both prior to and post management. Chapter 8 discusses how the theories and facts discussed in the previous chapters are relevant to the Georges River Program. In particular, it examines the relevance of co-management theory versus economic theory. It also discusses the program's potential for long-term success, and what lessons can be learned from the program and applied to fisheries management theory in general.