Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4251
Title: Social Capital and the Success of Harvest Cooperatives in the New England Groundfish Fishery
Author: Daniel S. Holland, Andrew Kitts, Patrica Pinto da Silva, Wiersma Joshua
Publication Year: 2013
Journal: Marine Resource Economics
Volume: 28
Issue: 2
Pages: 133-153
Keywords: social capital,cooperatives,co-management,fisheries

In May of 2010 a new management system based on harvest cooperatives called sectors was implemented in the U.S. Northeast Multispecies Groundfish Fishery. Sectors are self-organized, self-managed groups of fishermen that receive allocations of catch rights. We hypothesize that the success and longevity of these sectors is likely to depend in part on the relationships amongst the members including their degree of trust and ability to collaborate. The value of these relationships and the ability to cooperate is commonly referred to as social capital. Prior to the implementation of the new sector system we conducted a survey to derive baseline measures of social capital for individual groundfish permit holders and sectors. We construct indices of bonding, bridging and linking social capital, information sharing and trust. We evaluate whether and how these social capital indices correlate with various measures of economic performance of sectors after their first year of operation.


article describes social capital in New England sectors and relationship with economic performance