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Restricted Access Thesis
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The vocational identity of Maine lobstermen is sustained through generational memory, the sharing of craft and skill, and deep social and ecological ties to the Gulf of Maine. This identity is embedded into the culture of the coastal community. Like a nesting doll, culture is made up of the accumulation of factors that are relational to and encased in one another. In this thesis, I will explore how small-scale Maine lobstermen cultivate cultural and vocational resilience as they face renewed pressures from mass industrial fishing and industries motivated by renewable energy and species conservation. I will begin by exploring how small-scale lobstermen have preserved a way of life even as they have adopted changes to their boats, fishing equipment, and practices of self-governance. I will then investigate how stressors, such as efforts at animal conservation, ecologically alienate small-scale lobstermen using industrial logics like those employed by the large-scale fisheries I discuss in my first chapter. In my final chapter, I will explore how collective resilience, cultivated through generational and ecological memory, will be necessary to sustain small-scale lobstering in the context of climate change.
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