Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Robert Pauly

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Tom Lansford

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Dr. JJ St. Marie

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 4

Dr. Joe Weinberg

Committee Member 4 School

Social Science and Global Studies


Fisheries Management under the best of scenarios is a complex action. It requires thoughtful consideration of resources that tend to be out of sight, widely distributed, highly variable both spatially and temporally, and present dramatic variation in life history and ecology. No one management approach has been developed which can effectively incorporate all these variables. Add to this the issue of transnational boundary movements of these resources, and one discovers that this complex issue needs to be addressed by multiple entities, agencies, and nations to have any chance of success.

This research set out to discover ways in which fisheries management could be improved across transnational boundaries. With a multi-tiered approach, using interviews, surveys, and literature review, I discovered the state of cooperative management on transnational fisheries management in the populations of Lake Trout (a success) and Atlantic Cod (a failure) that occur in the United States and Canada as case studies. Fishery management decisions were not being guided by the life histories of fish, stakeholders are generally well informed on fisheries actions that are occurring across borders, and there is a lack of commitment from governments to make sacrifices to reduce overfishing.

Ultimately, fisheries management is people management because politics, socioeconomics, public perceptions, as well as available science must all be considered. Data from this research then provides rationale for a series of recommendations for policy action which can broadly be applied to further improve transnational fisheries management into the future so that we can reliably reproduce the success of trout management and avoid the failures of cod management. The lessons learned, and policy prescriptions, should be transferable to co-management of other transnational fisheries populations across international borders.