Terms for harvesting order in the Nova Scotia lobster fishery
LE3 .A278 2003
Powers, Ann Marie
Master of Arts
This study examines the motivational vocabularies that inshore fishers use to construct community based property relations. Harvesters employ local practices to regulate access to the lobster fishery in the waters adjacent to their communities. Disjointed micro-management systems have influenced the construction of unofficial rules and practices that harvesters use; each micro organization functions as a sphere for fragmented groups of lobster fishermen to construct unwritten rules based on the joint interests of the separate groups. Working from the theoretical orientation of Kenneth Burke, this study shows that harvesters identify with symbols of authority, and use aligning actions and scapegoating techniques to maintain territorial lobster fishing boundaries. A dramaturgical approach is used to conduct a pentadic analysis of interviews with lobster fishermen to show that the vocabulary of motives lobster fishers use functions to rationalize the social inequalities that systematically emerge from unofficial property relationships. The use of unwritten rules negatively affected three groups: non-community, First Nations, and part-time lobster harvesters. These management schemes can be changed through a community co-management system with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which would permit harvesters from multiple communities to gain greater access Nova Scotia's Lobster Fishing Area 33.
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