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Journal Article

Equity and Access to Fishing Rights: Exploring the Community Quota Program in the Gulf of Alaska

Courtney Carothers
Human Organization
Vol. 70, No. 3 (Fall 2011), pp. 213-223
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/44150995
Page Count: 11
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Equity and Access to Fishing Rights: Exploring the Community Quota Program in the Gulf of Alaska
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Abstract

The right to fish has been privatized for most commercial fisheries in Alaska. Policies that limit and commodify fishing rights have had disproportionately negative effects on certain communities and certain groups of participants. For a complex set of reasons, small, remote, primarily indigenous fishing communities in Alaska tend to be disadvantaged by the switch to privatized fishing rights. The Community Quota Program implemented in the Gulf of Alaska in 2005 was designed to provide a mechanism to redistribute wealth in two privatized-access fisheries. In this article, I explore the political history of this program and the concept of equity implicit in its formation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the Kodiak Archipelago, I examine the participation possibilities and challenges experienced in three eligible fishing villages. I conclude with a discussion of the repoliticization of fisheries privatization and emerging social movements that are opening up more fertile spaces for creating new visions of equity for fisheries in the North Pacific and beyond.

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