Human Ecology

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 183–207

The lobster fiefs: Economic and ecological effects of territoriality in the maine lobster industry

  • James M. Acheson

DOI: 10.1007/BF01531640

Cite this article as:
Acheson, J.M. Hum Ecol (1975) 3: 183. doi:10.1007/BF01531640


Lobstermen from each community along the coast of central Maine claim inshore fishing rights in particular areas. Although their claims are unrecognized by the state, they are well established and backed by surreptitious violence. Two kinds of lobstering territories exist, here termed “nucleated” and “perimeterdefended,” which differ essentially in the extent to which exclusive fishing rights are maintained. These differences in territorial organization affect the fishing effort of lobstermen, which in turn has a strong biological and economic impact.

Key words

lobster fishingterritorialitycommon property resourcesMaine

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Acheson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MaineOrono