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From Theory to Practice: Maine's New Approach to Lobster Management

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Taylor, Laura
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1557
Sector: Fisheries
Region: North America
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources--case studies
Abstract: "In 1995, the Maine State Legislature approved a plan by the Department of Maine Resources and the lobster industry to design a new approach to lobster management which transfers limited management responsibility to local Lobster Policy Management Councils. Many lessons have been learned over the past two years of implementing this landmark legislation. This paper presents a state government perspective on how Maine's new lobster management law is being implemented and what challenges lay ahead for further development of this co-management system. First, there will be a brief discussion of Maine's lobster fishery and the history that has brought us to where we are in 1998. Following this description, I will make some observations on how this new cooperative management approach is working. My comments are drawn from the experiences of the two area coordinators who work most closely with the industry and from comments received during a day-ling workshop held in March 1997 that reflected on cooperative management approaches in Maine's lobster, sea urchin, and soft-shell clam fisheries. This paper discusses the lobster case because it is an example of formal power-sharing among the legislature, the state regulatory agency and the industry members. It is truly a cooperative management scheme with both responsibility and authority being shifted to more local and non-traditional units of governance."

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