The Lobster Gangs of Maine

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UPNE, 1988 - Business & Economics - 181 pages
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James Acheson’s detailed account of lobstering in Maine quickly dispels notions that the lobstermen is the eastern version of the cowboy, struggling alone for survival against the elements. In reality, he writes, “the lobster fisherman is caught up in a thick and complex web of social relationships. Survival in the industry depends as much on the ability to manipulate social relationships as on technical skills.” Acheson replaces our romantic image of the lobsterman with descriptions of the highly territorial and hierarchical “harbor gangs,” daily and annual cycles of lobstering, intricacies of marketing the catch, and the challenge of managing a communal resource.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Cycles
7
2 Kinship and Community
23
3 Harbor Gangs
48
4 Territories
71
5 Tricks of the Trade
84
6 Markets
115
7 Any Port in a Storm
133
8 Theory and Conclusion
142
Appendix Economic and Biological Benefitsof Territoriality
153
Notes
161
Glossary
165
References
169
Index
177
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About the author (1988)

JAMES M. ACHESON has spent many years living and working with the lobstermen of Maine s central coast. Professor of Anthropology and Marine Sciences at the University of Maine at Orono, he is author of Capturing the Commons.

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