Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Amelia Moore


New England’s seafood production systems involve social relationships with food that are at odds with ecosystem health and longevity. Customers continue to demand, fishers continue to catch, and suppliers continue to sell species from increasingly threatened populations instead of abundant species that can be harvested sustainably. Harvesters and markets have been trapped, forced to depend on a narrow range of species despite opportunities to diversify marine food system markets and tastes. The aim of this study is to build a better understanding of how New England’s local seafood movement and market can foster a sustainable socio-ecological seafood system. The argument of this thesis is that, while conscientious customers and harvesters are essential to an ecologically sustainable and socially equitable food system, seafood dealers have more power to swing local and regional seafood markets in a new direction. Caring for the ecosystem and caring for fishermen can still involve wild harvested seafood, it just means passing up the mighty cod for a more diverse array of seasonal, locally abundant species. That shift does not happen without innovative middlemen: seafood dealers that are willing to gamble.



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