This project comprised two distinct phases, both supported and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. In the first phase, Meridian Institute convened and facilitated a workshop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in March 2008 to bring together the eight grantees of the Foundation in the region. The grantees discussed ways to better coordinate their efforts to advance the Foundation’s goals relating to fisheries management reform and area-based management. Participants agreed that the workshop provided a useful forum to share ideas, express concerns, and make connections to strengthen partnerships.
In the second phase, Meridian worked with MRAG Americas, Inc., in the fall and winter of 2009 to conduct an analysis of issues related to the transition to catch shares management of fisheries in the New England region. The analysis also identified specific ways that existing catch shares programs in the United States and internationally have addressed those issues. The final report of this analysis, entitled Catch Shares in New England: Key Questions and Lessons Learned from Existing Programs, was delivered to a diversity of decision makers and stakeholders in February 2010. (Please contact Meridian Institute for copies of this report.)
Many stakeholders interviewed as part of this analysis process stressed that concerns about the social and economic impacts of catch shares systems require more significant and meaningful consideration by decision makers. To address this gap, Meridian and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute collaborated to convene a workshop in December 2009 entitled “Managing for Socio-economic Objectives in Catch Shares Systems: Identifying Issues, Learning from Experiences, and Exploring Options for New England.” At this workshop, participants from diverse backgrounds and affiliations identified key social and economic concerns they believe should be addressed in the design of catch shares systems. Participants then discussed those concerns with fishermen and experts from other regions of the United States and Canada who have a wealth of personal experience designing, implementing, and operating under these systems. A summary of workshop proceedings can be found online.