Managing a Fishery Through Contract: Legal Issues Raised by Sector Operating Agreements in the New England Multispecies Fishery
Rita S. Heimes
University of Maine - School of Law
January 20, 2008
Ocean & Coastal Law Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2008
New England boasts one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. It has a long and rich tradition of fishing and has supported large scale commercial fisheries for cod and other groundfish (e.g., haddock and flounder) for centuries. It also has a history of fishery management failure. Recently, the multispecies groundfish community has worked with regulators to adopt a community-based management system known as "sectors." Fisheries stakeholders met in 2008 to discuss these new management tools and the contractual issues that will arise as they are more widely adopted. This article summarizes the Sector Workshop’s proceedings by highlighting the major legal issues discussed at the meeting. It describes community-based management generally and sectors as a management tool for the New England multispecies fishery. It also discusses the legal issues to be resolved in sector operating agreements and reflects some of the specific concerns and suggestions raised by the workshop participants. It concludes with reflections on sectors as a management tool and provides information on resources for those in the New England multispecies fishing industry who are considering forming or joining a sector.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Date posted: October 21, 2010
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