New book examines how fishing communities cope with change


CORVALLIS - Who are the people who catch and process fish? How are their lives and work changing? How do families, businesses and ports respond to declining fisheries? What are the economic consequences of fisheries policy decisions?

These are some of the questions addressed by "Change and Resilience in Fishing," a new book published by Oregon Sea Grant.

The 176-page book, edited by Oregon State University economist Susan Hanna and Madeleine Hall-Arber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology anthropologist, brings together a dozen essays by noted specialists in resource economics, sociology and other disciplines from the Pacific Northwest and New England. Each essay focuses on an aspect of fisheries change and how it affects fishing regions, communities, families and fisheries management.

The book is intended as a resource for fisheries managers, who are required by federal law to take into account the human and economic consequences of their regulatory actions, as well as their impact on fish stocks and the environment. But its editors believe it will also be of interest to general readers who want more background on the issues surrounding a resource that has been increasingly in the public spotlight in recent years.

Several chapters compare and contrast the experiences of Northwest fishing communities with their counterparts in New England, where commercial fishing - and fisheries decline - has a much longer history. Other authors focus on fishing families and the ways in which they and their communities respond to change.

The book grew out of an unusual Sea Grant-funded research project, "Adapting to Change," which brought together six teams of researchers from different disciplines to examine different aspects of fisheries change. Also part of the project were Extension Sea Grant agents and specialists whose purpose was to link fishing families and communities with OSU resources that could help them cope with change.

"Change and Resilience in Fishing" (publication number ORESU-B-00-001) is available for $10, plus $3 shipping and handling, from Oregon Sea Grant Communications, Oregon State University, 402 Kerr Admin. Bldg., Corvallis OR 97331-2134, or by calling 541-737-2716. Visa and Master Card are accepted.