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Assisting an Evolving Industry

In 2010, New England’s groundfish fleet underwent a monumental shift in management systems. Where historically the fleet had been managed by the amount of effort they could put into fishing, measured by number of days at sea, the new system manages the industry by the amount of fish they actually catch. This system allocates a portion of the total annual harvest of cod, haddock, pollock, flounder, and other bottom-dwelling species to harvesting cooperatives called sectors.

The switch to sectors mandated changes in every aspect of the groundfish industry – requiring new data collecting and reporting systems, monitoring protocols, fiscal and legal bonds among fishermen, and fishing strategies. Throughout the transition we worked closely with sector fishermen to build individual, organizational, and structural resilience within the new management framework. Today, we are focused on helping the industry as it continues to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the sector system.

The Development of Catch Shares (PDF)
An outline of the process leading to development of sectors in New England.


Sector Management in New England (PDF)
A retrospective report summarizing the first year of sector management.