Our investigation examines the perspectives of fish harvesters on key challenges facing the inshore fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador. The findings, based primarily on in-depth interviews with harvesters in the town of Change Islands, show that fishers are deeply concerned about ineffective regulations, low prices for their catch, and rationalization policies. They explain how existing regulations restrict traditional cooperative fishing practices and impose rules that are not suited for local environmental conditions. Low prices for fish landed, they argue, are caused in part by lack of competition among buyers and a bonus system that favours larger enterprises. These conditions, combined with policies aimed at reducing the fishing fleet and barriers to youth involvement, threaten the long-term survival of coastal communities. Overall, current policies keep inshore harvesters on the sidelines of an increasingly industrialized fishery. Local fish harvesters have valuable local, place-based knowledge that can be used to develop more effective fishery management policies and marketing strategies, and in this article we share their recommendations on how to build more sustainable fisheries. However, traditional fishing communities - along with the potential social, cultural, economic, and environmental benefits of smaller-scale, community-based fishing - need to become more visible for these changes to occur.

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Keywords coastal communities, fish harvesters, inshore fishery, local knowledge, Newfoundland
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-0064.2013.12053.x
Citation
Smith, D, Vodden, K. (Kelly), Woodrow, M. (Maureen), Khan, A. (Ahmed), & Fürst, B. (Bojan). (2014). The last generation? Perspectives of inshore fish harvesters from Change Islands, Newfoundland. doi:10.1111/j.1541-0064.2013.12053.x