Table 4. Major themes identified in participants’ comments in the surveys related to the establishment of Western Gulf of Maine Area Closure (WGoMAC) and the use of fishers’ ecological knowledge (FEK). Themes (capitalized, bold letters) were divided into a number of different subthemes (lower case letters) that appeared most frequently. For example, 12 out of 13 fishers identified politics as being an important factor in the process of WGoMAC creation. Out of those 12 fishers, seven had a specific comment that the closure boundaries were “already a done deal.” Columns represent four surveyed groups.


GROUPS/THEMES NEFMC AP PDT Fishers Total
(and subthemes) n=9 in % n=7 in % n=14 in % n=13 in % n=43 in %
GAME OF POLITICS: 7 77.8 3 42.9 8 57.1 12 92.3 30 69.8
Closure already a done deal 1 11.1 0 0.0 0 0.0 7 53.8 8 18.6
OBSTACLES TO KNOWLEDGE SHARING: 9 100.0 7 100.0 12 85.7 13 100.0 41 95.3
FEK considered anecdotal 5 55.6 4 57.1 2 14.3 3 23.1 14 32.6
Lack of trust / sharing false information 4 44.4 1 14.3 2 14.3 4 30.8 11 25.6
Knowledge sharing selective/strategic 1 11.1 0 0.0 2 14.3 1 7.7 4 9.3
OTHER ISSUES: 9 100 7 100 14 100 13 100 43 100
Science not used in WGoMAC establishment 1 11.1 1 14.3 1 7.1 2 15.4 5 11.6
Collaborative research as a way to improve communication 1 11.1 3 42.9 2 14.3 2 15.4 8 18.6
NEFMC = New England Fishery Management Council; AP = Advisory Panel; PDT = Plan Development Team