Stoll, J. S., Risley, S. C., & Henriques, P. R. (2023). A review of small-scale marine fisheries in the United States: Definitions, scale, drivers of change, and policy gapsMarine Policy148, 105409.
Small-scale fisheries make important socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental contributions to society, yet are often poorly characterized. In the United States, there is not a formal definition of the term “small-scale” in fisheries, making it difficult to monitor the status of the sector, discern drivers of change, or design and implement targeted policies that ensure its long-term viability. In this paper, we aim to bring attention to the sector by: (1) developing a set of preliminary definitions of small-scale fisheries; (2) describing the diversity, catch composition, and economic value of landings harvested by the sector; and (3) summarizing key drivers of change. We identify 1019 small-scale fishing “units” in the United States, which can be understood as semi-discrete fisheries based on five characteristics. Those who participate in these fisheries collectively harvest 350 commercially reported taxa. We estimate that these fisheries represented between 1 % and 25 % of the total commercial landings in the United States by weight and as much as 68 % of total value. Climate change and loss of social capital are viewed as key threats to small-scale fisheries, as is the decline of working waterfront infrastructure, nearshore habitat loss and degradation, and the privatization of access privileges. We identify a range of impediments to studying the sector in the United States and offer recommendations for improving data collection, monitoring, evaluation long-term. To support small-scale fisheries through improved decision-making, systematic changes to the ways in which data are collected and archived are critically needed.
Murray, G. D., Fail, R., Fairbanks, L., Campbell, L. M., D’Anna, L., & Stoll, J. (2023). Seafood consumption and the management of shellfish aquacultureMarine Policy150, 105534.
As aquaculture has expanded, researchers and governing authorities have increasingly considered the nature and distribution of the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the industry. Much of that consideration, however, has focused primarily on areas where seafood is produced. This article draws on a case study of the North Carolina oyster aquaculture industry to explore how the preferences and behaviors associated with consuming aquaculture products as well as the management relevant priorities of state residents outside of producing areas might also be important considerations for governing authorities. The study draws on an analysis of North Carolina’s management objectives for the shellfish aquaculture industry and compares those objectives to findings from a survey (n = 1040) of seafood consumers (who are also residents) in the state. Results show that consumers tended to prioritize ‘consumer-facing’ product attributes such as taste, health benefits and price over ‘production-facing’ attributes such as local origin, sustainability, economic or cultural benefits to local areas, and whether the product was farm-raised or wild-caught. Consumers also consistently stated a preference for wild-caught products and reported that oysters are consumed infrequently as compared to tuna, shrimp, and salmon (the ‘big three’). Response patterns varied geographically and across other respondent characteristics, highlighting the importance of both place and culture in shaping both seafood preferences and management objectives. The article concludes with a comparison of these patterns with the objectives of the State, revealing areas of alignment as well as areas of apparent disconnection. The article concludes with a discussion of management implications of the findings, suggesting that attention to seafood consumption patterns should be an important area of management attention in addition to issues associated with production.
Love, D. C., Asche, F., Gephart, J. A., Zhu, J., Garlock, T., Stoll, J. S., … & Bloem, M. W. (2023). Identifying opportunities for aligning production and consumption in the US fisheries by considering seasonality. Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture31(2), 259-273.

Seasonality is a natural feature of wild caught fisheries that introduces variation in food supply, and which often is amplified by fisheries management systems. Seasonal timing of landings patterns and linkages to consumption patterns can have a potentially strong impact on income for coastal communities as well as import patterns. This study characterizes the relationship between seasonality in seafood production and consumption in the United States by analyzing monthly domestic fisheries landings and imports and retail sales of farmed and wild seafood from 2017 to 2019. Analyses were conducted for total seafood sales, by product form, by species group, and by region of the United States. The data reveal strong seasonal increases in consumption around December and March. Seasonal increases in consumption in Spring and Summer occurred in parallel with domestic fishing production. Domestic landings vary by region, but most regions have peak fishing seasons between May and October. Alaska has the largest commercial fishery in the United States and seasonal peaks in Alaska (July/August, February/March) strongly influence seasonality in national landings. Misalignment between domestic production and consumption in some seasons and species groups creates opportunities for imports to supplement demand and lost opportunities for domestic producers.

Silver, J. J., Okamoto, D. K., Armitage, D., Alexander, S. M., Atleo, C., Burt, J. M., … & Stoll, J. S. (2022). Fish, people, and systems of power: understanding and disrupting feedback between colonialism and fisheries science. (2022) American Naturalist

This essay explores shifting scientific understandings of fish and the evolution of fisheries science, and it grapples with colonialism as a system of power. We trace the rise of fisheries science to a time when Western nation-states were industrializing fishing fleets and competing for access to distant fishing grounds. A theory of fishing called “maximum sustainable yield” (MSY) that understands fish species in aggregate was espoused. Although alternatives to MSY have been developed, decision-making continues to be informed by statistical models developed within fisheries science. A challenge for structured management systems now rests in attending to different systems of knowledge and addressing local objectives, values, and circumstances. To deepen and illustrate key points, we examine Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) and the expansion of commercial herring fisheries and state-led management in British Columbia, Canada. A feedback between colonialism and fisheries science is evident: colonialism generated the initial conditions for expansion and has been reinforced through the implementation of approaches and tools from fisheries science that define and quantify conservation in particular ways. Some features may be unique to the herring illustration, but important aspects of the feedback are more broadly generalizable. We propose three interconnected goals: (a) transform the siloed institutions and practices of Western science, (b) reimagine and rebuild pathways between information (including diverse values and perspectives) and decision-making, and (c) devolve governance authority and broaden governance processes such that multiple ways of knowing share equal footing.

Love, D., et al. “An overview of retail sales of seafood in the USA, 2017–2019.” Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture 30.2 (2022): 259-270.

While a large number of studies have investigated seafood consumption in various markets, surprisingly little is known about the types of seafood sold in retail outlets or their product forms in the USA. This is particularly true for fresh seafood, which is generally regarded as the most valuable product form of seafood. In this article, a unique dataset on retail in-store seafood sales that includes information about three main product forms (fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable products) was analyzed. Fresh seafood is important, as it makes up 43% of sales revenue. Moreover, some species are almost exclusively sold fresh, with trout and lobster as prime examples. Fresh also includes the greatest diversity of species and, as such, is the most likely product form for new producers to succeed. National sales are dominated by a few species, with salmon and shrimp accounting for a large portion of the fresh (27%) and frozen categories (43%), respectively, and tuna dominating the shelf-stable category (75%). There are also a large number of species with mostly small market shares. There are few differences in regional sales patterns for the main species, with notable exceptions such as whitefish in New England and crawfish in Louisiana and Texas. The degree of urbanization and income level appears as the important drivers for seafood sales.

Stoll, J. S., Oldach, E. J., Witkin, T., Reardon, K., Love, D. C., & Pinto da Silva, P. (2021). Rapid adaptation to crisis events: Insights from the bait crisis in the Maine lobster fisheryAmbio, 1-17.
Abstract: Climate change, overfishing, and other anthropogenic drivers are forcing marine resource users and decision makers to adapt—often rapidly. In this article we introduce the concept of pathways to rapid adaptation to crisis events to bring attention to the double-edged role that institutions play in simultaneously enabling and constraining swift responses to emerging crises. To develop this concept, we draw on empirical evidence from a case study of the iconic Maine lobster (Homarus americanus) industry. In the Gulf of Maine, the availability of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) stock, a key source of bait in the Maine lobster industry, declined sharply. We investigate the patterns of bait use in the fishery over an 18-year period (2002–2019) and how the lobster industry was able to abruptly adapt to the decline of locally-sourced herring in 2019 that came to be called the bait crisis. We found that adaptation strategies to the crisis were diverse, largely uncoordinated, and imperfectly aligned, but ultimately led to a system-level shift towards a more diverse and globalized bait supply. This shift was enabled by existing institutions and hastened an evolution in the bait system that was already underway, as opposed to leading to system transformation. We suggest that further attention to raceways may be useful in understanding how and, in particular, why marine resource users and coastal communities adapt in particular ways in the face of shocks and crises.
Britsch, M. L., Leslie, H. M., & Stoll, J. S. (2021). Diverse perspectives on aquaculture development in MaineMarine Policy131, 104697.
Love, D. C., et al. “An Overview of Retail Sales of Seafood in the USA, 2017–2019.” Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture (2021): 1-12.
Cucuzza, M., Stoll, J. S., & Leslie, H. M. (2021). Evaluating the theoretical and practical linkages between ecosystem-based fisheries management and fisheries co-managementMarine Policy126, 104390.
Stoll, J. S., et al. “Alternative seafood networks during COVID-19: Implications for resilience and sustainability.” Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 5 (2021): 97.
Campbell, L. L. Fairbanks, G. Murray, J. Stoll, L. D’Anna, J. Bingham. (2021). From Blue Economy to Blue Communities: reorienting aquaculture expansion for community wellbeing. Marine Policy.
Love, D., et al. (2021). Risks Shift Along Seafood Supply Chains. Global Food Security.
Stoll, J., M. Bailey, M. Jonell. (2020). Alternative pathways to sustainable seafood. Conservation Letters.
Silver, J., J. Stoll. (2020). How do commercial fishing licences relate to access? Fish and Fisheries.
Runnebaum, J., E. Maxwell, J. Stoll, K. Pianka, N. Oppenheim. (2019) Communication, Relationships, and Relatability Influence Stakeholder Perceptions of Credible Science. Fisheries.
Farr, E., J. Stoll, and C. Beitl. (2018). Effects of fisheries management on local ecological knowledge. Ecology and Society.
Stoll, J., Crona, B., Fabinyi, M., & Farr, E. (2018). Seafood trade routes for lobster obscure teleconnected vulnerabilities. Frontiers in Marine Science.
Fuller, E., J. Samhouri, J. Stoll, S. Levin, J. Watson. (2018) Characterizing fisheries connectivity in marine social-ecological systems. ICES Journal of Marine Science.

Stoll, J., E. Fuller, B. Crona. (2017). Uneven adaptive capacity among fishers in a sea of change. PloS One.

Stoll, J. (2017). Fishing for leadership: the role diversification plays in facilitating change agents. Journal of Environmental Management.

Witter, A. and J. Stoll. (2017) Participation and resistance: alternative seafood marketing in a neoliberal era. Marine Policy.

Otto, S., S. Simon, J. Stoll, P. Lawson. (2016). Making progress on bycatch avoidance in the ocean salmon fishery using a transdisciplinary approach. ICES Journal of Marine Science 73: 2380-2394.

Stoll, J., C. Beitl, and J. Wilson. (2016). How access to Maine’s fisheries has changed over a quarter century: the cumulative effects of licensing on resilience. Global Environmental Change 37: 79-91.

Bolton, A., B. Dubik, J. Stoll, and X. Basurto. (2016). Describing the diversity of community supported fisheries in North America. Marine Policy 66: 21-29.

Stoll, J., P. Pinto da Silva, J. Olson, and S. Benjamin. (2015). Expanding the geography of resilience in fisheries: Seafood distribution in the Atlantic herring and spiny dogfish fisheries in New England. Ocean and Coastal Management 116: 185-192.

Stoll, J., B. Dubik and L. Campbell. (2015). Local seafood: rethinking the direct marketing paradigm. Ecology and Society. 20.

Stoll, J., and T. Johnson. (2015). Under the banner of sustainability: The politics and prose of an emerging US federal seafood certification. Marine Policy 51: 415-422.

Campbell, L. N. Boucquey, J. Stoll, H. Coppola, and M. Smith. (2014). From vegetable box to seafood cooler: applying the Community Supported Agriculture model to fisheries. Society and Natural Resources 27: 88-106.

Boucquey, N., L. Campbell, G. Cumming, Z. Meletis, C. Norwood, and J. Stoll. (2012). Interpreting amenities, envisioning the future: common ground and conflict in North Carolina’s rural coastal communities. GeoJournal. 77: 83-101.

Other publications

Stoll, J. “A New Take on Working Waterfront in Coastal North Carolina.” A Sustainability Plan for the Walking Fish Cooperative. (2015).

Stoll, J., and M. Holliday. “The Design and Use of Fishing Communities and Regional Fishery Associations in Limited Access Privilege Programs.” Technical Guidance. U.S. Department of Commerce. NMFS-F/SPO-138. (2014).

Showalter, S., J. Stoll, et al. “Starting and Maintaining Community Supported Fishery Programs: A Resource Guide for Fishermen and Fishing Communities.” National Sea Grant Law Center. NSGLC-12-04-03. (2012).

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