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Controlling Common Property

Controlling Common Property: Regulating Canada's East Coast Fishery

David Ralph Matthews
Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 277
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  • Book Info
    Controlling Common Property
    Book Description:

    In 1991 the Newfoundland inshore cod fishery virtually collapsed. This book looks at the reasons for the collapse.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8387-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-2)
  4. 1 Setting Out: An Introduction to the Analysis
    (pp. 3-23)

    This book can be seen as dealing with three general areas of concern. First, it is concerned with the role of the state, particularly with the impact of state regulation on the Newfoundland fishery. Second, it is concerned with the nature of work in the Newfoundland fishery, particularly with the way in which the nature of work has been ‘transformed’ through changes in technology and as a result of state regulation. Third, it is concerned with the nature of community life in rural Newfoundland, particularly with the way in which rural community life is being altered by the transformation of...

  5. 2 The Historical Context
    (pp. 24-37)

    In one of his books on the Newfoundland fishery, Peter Sinclair (1985, 31) states:

    Although immediate political and economic factors (such as fisheries management regulations and recent fish prices) are often decisive in generating and moulding change, the accumulated experience and consequences of past practices set the stage upon which contemporary forces play: the past limits what is possible in the present and influences what is perceived to be possible.

    Although it has become a commonplace to observe that historical background gives context to current events, the observation is particularly apt in the case of the Newfoundland fishery. The relevant...

  6. 3 Changing Metaphors: Value Reorientation in Canadian Fishery Policy
    (pp. 38-65)

    Fisheries policies, like all policies, are ‘goal-value systems’; that is, they constitute value orientations that dictate the appropriate means for achieving desired goals.¹ Consequently, in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the nature of fisheries policies for Canada’s East Coast, it is important to understand the changing value orientations that underlie such policies. Our treatment of the subject therefore goes beyond a simple chronology of changes in Canadian and Newfoundland fisheries policies to a consideration of the reorientation of values and goals that may have prompted those changes.

    The fishery, like many forms of human activity, can be regulated...

  7. 4 Understanding Common Property: Social and Social-Psychological Dimensions
    (pp. 66-94)

    The preceding chapter documented the acceptance of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ perspective as the basis of federal fisheries policy for Canada’s East Coast. Attention was given to the very different orientations of the Canadian and Newfoundland governments with regard to the regulation of the fisheries. We depicted those orientations as competing metaphors that expressed different world-views.

    Thus far, however, we have focused largely on the policy level. Thus, although we outlined the assumptions of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ perspective, we did not attempt to locate that perspective in the context of general theory on the nature of property....

  8. 5 Small Worlds: The Calculus of Work and Survival in Two Small Fishing Communities
    (pp. 95-137)

    One of the underlying themes of this book is the diversity of fishing communities. This chapter will examine two of the smaller fishing communities in Newfoundland, both with fewer than 300 residents. Yet, in the context of Newfoundland, such communities cannot be deemed insignificant. As late as 1971, 71.4 per cent of all Newfoundland communities had fewer than 400 persons, and 62 per cent (some 545 communities) had fewer than 300 persons (Matthews 1976, 19). To be sure, a considerably larger proportion of Newfoundland’s population is living in the remaining 28.6 per cent of larger communities. However, as the small...

  9. 6 Community Control and Conflict: Regulating Competition in Two Intermediate-Sized Fishing Communities
    (pp. 138-191)

    Grates Cove and Fermeuse, the two communities discussed in this chapter, differ from each other considerably and have quite different types of fisheries. They provide further evidence of the community character of the inshore fishery and of the distinctiveness of each community’s fishing organization. As in chapter 5, the analysis of the two communities will be undertaken in the context of the issues outlined in chapter 1. We will show that the definition of what constitutes a fisherman and the distinction between part-time and full-time fishermen are important issues in Grates Cove and Fermeuse, just as they were in Charleston...

  10. 7 A House Divided: Competition for Scarce Resources in Newfoundland’s Largest Inshore Fishing Centre
    (pp. 192-237)

    Bonavista is the largest inshore fishery community in Newfoundland, if not in the world. The 1986 census lists its population as 4605, making it the fourteenth-largest community in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, each of the thirteen larger communities in the province has a major source of employment other than or in addition to the fishery, or is within easy commuting distance of St John’s, which provides an alternative source of employment for much of its labour force. Of greater significance for our purposes is that Bonavista has more licensed inshore fishermen than any other community in the province. Federal fisheries...

  11. 8 Guiding Metaphors: Some Concluding Thoughts on Future Fisheries Regulation
    (pp. 238-248)

    At the beginning of chapter 3 we quoted the words of Archibald MacLeish: ‘A world ends when its metaphor has died.’ We implied there that fisheries policy, as indeed all policy, is guided not so much by facts or reality as by a representation of reality. In time, this representation comes to be accepted as reality itself. Put somewhat differently, under the influence of such metaphoric representations, facts take on distinctive meanings. However, lest metaphors be perceived as prisms that unnecessarily distort our understanding of reality, it should also be noted that facts, in and of themselves, indeed have no...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 249-258)
  13. References
    (pp. 259-270)
  14. Index
    (pp. 271-277)