Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Sciences (MSS)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Committee Chair(s)

Douglas Jackson-Smith


Jon R. Morris


Peggy Petrzelka


Randy Simmons


Latin American small-scale fishery production is crucial to local communities that count on fish as a key source of protein in daily consumption and for supplying the increasing demand for exported high-value species in the first world. Many small-scale fishing communities have exhibited various forms of informal institutions that serve to manage rights to the fishery, a common-pool resource (CPR). An emerging theme in the CPR management literature is that there are certain types of institutions that exist in successful informal management contexts. Seven case studies from small-scale fishing communities in Latin America are analyzed in order to determine if these model management institutions are supported. These case studies are then analyzed to determine what accounts for resilient informal management institutions in the face of commercial and outsider encroachment. The thesis is that robust shoreline activities promote reciprocity that allows for rapid collective action in the face of external threats.

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Sociology Commons