Document Type


Publication Title

Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Sciences


Taylor & Francis

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This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

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Abington, UK

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Abstract/ Summary

The Maine lobster Homarus americanus fishery is considered one of the most successful fisheries in the world due in part to its unique comanagement system, the conservation ethic of the harvesters, and the ability of the industry to respond to crises and solve collective-action problems. However, recent threats raise the question whether the industry will be able to respond to future threats as successfully as it has to ones in the past or whether it is now less resilient and can no longer adequately respond to threats. Through ethnographic research and oral histories with fishermen, we examined the current level of social resilience in the lobster fishery. We concentrated on recent threats to the industry and the ways in which it has responded to them, focusing on three situations: a price drop beginning in 2008, a recovery in 2010–2011, and a second collapse of prices in 2012. In addition, we considered other environmental and regulatory concerns identified by fishermen. We found that the industry is not responding effectively to recent threats and identified factors that might explain the level of social resilience in the fishery.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Henry, A.M., & Johnson, T.R. 2015. Understanding Social Resilience in the Maine Lobster Industry. Marine and Coastal Fisheries, 7(1):33-43.

Publisher Statement

© 2015 American Fisheries Society


DOI: 10.1080/19425120.2014.984086


post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.