Fellows in the News

Increasing environmental uncertainty coupled with rapidly changing market conditions in the Gulf of Maine raise important questions about the ability of Maine’s commercial fishermen to adapt. How resilient is the industry to these shifting waters? Who is best positioned to adapt and who is most vulnerable?

“We have started to explore these questions by studying the relationships fishermen have to marine resources in Maine,” says Joshua Stoll, assistant research professor at the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences and lead author of the paper “Uneven adaptive capacity among fishers in a sea of change” published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE.

“Most assessments of adaptability are conducted at the community scale, but our focus is on individual-level adaptive capacity because we think community-level analyses often obscure critical differences among fishermen and make the most at-risk groups invisible,” says Stoll, whose research was funded in part by a grant from the UMaine Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, where he is a Faculty Fellow.

In their analysis, Stoll and co-authors Beatrice Crona and Emma Fuller identified over 600 types of fishing strategies in Maine based on the combinations of marine resources that fishermen target to support their livelihoods.

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