IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Power and perspective: Fisheries and the ocean commons beset by demands of development


  • Pomeroy, Caroline
  • Hall-Arber, Madeleine
  • Conway, Flaxen


Marine renewable energy (MRE), though a relative newcomer to the ocean and coastal commons, has become a significant driver of marine spatial planning in the US, posing particular challenges to commercial fisheries and fishing communities. State and federal agencies with primary oversight for MRE development have focused on the identification of places where MRE might proceed unhindered by other uses, most notably coastal fisheries. These agencies and MRE developers have focused on potential space-use conflict and standard mitigation measures for loss of access to that space. However, discussions with fishery participants and other community members, as well as observations of processes on the US West and East Coasts, reveal a complex, multi-faceted social–ecological system not easily parsed out among users, nor amenable to classic mitigation formulas. Recent ethnographic research on potential space-use conflicts and mitigation for MRE demonstrates that marine space use is dynamic and multi-dimensional, with important linkages among fisheries, communities and other interests. Although experiences vary within and across regions and fishing communities, this research illustrates the weak position of fishing communities in marine spatial planning in the context of MRE development. This paper considers the implications of MRE for US East and West Coast fisheries and fishing communities situated within the larger context of neoliberalism and commodification of the ocean commons.

Suggested Citation

  • Pomeroy, Caroline & Hall-Arber, Madeleine & Conway, Flaxen, 2015. "Power and perspective: Fisheries and the ocean commons beset by demands of development," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 339-346.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:61:y:2015:i:c:p:339-346
    DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.11.016

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edella Schlager & Elinor Ostrom, 1992. "Property-Rights Regimes and Natural Resources: A Conceptual Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 249-262.
    2. Suárez de Vivero, Juan L. & Rodríguez Mateos, Juan C. & Florido del Corral, D., 2008. "The paradox of public participation in fisheries governance. The rising number of actors and the devolution process," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 319-325, May.
    3. Degnbol, Ditte & Wilson, Douglas Clyde, 2008. "Spatial planning on the North Sea: A case of cross-scale linkages," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 189-200, March.
    4. Kevin St. Martin & Bonnie J. McCay & Grant D. Murray & Teresa R. Johnson & Bryan Oles, 2007. "Communities, knowledge and fisheries of the future," International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(2/3), pages 221-239.
    5. St. Martin, Kevin & Hall-Arber, Madeleine, 2008. "The missing layer: Geo-technologies, communities, and implications for marine spatial planning," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 779-786, September.
    6. McConnell, Kenneth E. & Price, Michael, 2006. "The lay system in commercial fisheries: Origin and implications," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 295-307, May.
    7. Pinkerton, Evelyn & Edwards, Danielle N., 2009. "The elephant in the room: The hidden costs of leasing individual transferable fishing quotas," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 707-713, July.
    8. Takeda, Louise & Røpke, Inge, 2010. "Power and contestation in collaborative ecosystem-based management: The case of Haida Gwaii," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 178-188, December.
    9. Lester, Sarah E. & Costello, Christopher & Halpern, Benjamin S. & Gaines, Steven D. & White, Crow & Barth, John A., 2013. "Evaluating tradeoffs among ecosystem services to inform marine spatial planning," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 80-89.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:61:y:2015:i:c:p:339-346. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.