Table 2. Coding structure: major themes that were identified during the qualitative data analysis. These guidelines were used in Table 4. Not all themes were discussed in this paper.

Theme (node) Description
Politics References and comments with regard to the role of politics in the creation of the Western Gulf of Maine Area Closure (WGoMAC). The major issue was a perception that the closure was already predetermined when the process began.
Knowledge References and comments illustrating the different views of the knowledge related issues in the WGoMAC creation. Major issues were perception that fishers’ ecological knowledge (FEK) is anecdotal, that trust between the parties is lacking, that knowledge sharing among stakeholders is selective and strategic, that scientific input was lacking from the closure establishment, and that communication and information exchange between stakeholders needs to be improved.
Problems Issues that were identified by different groups as problematic for achieving stated objectives of the closure include but are not limited to recreational fishing, midwater trawling, overcapitalization, shift in fishing effort, and lack of new research activities.
Solutions Potential solutions to aforementioned problems ranged from closing the WGoMAC to all fishing, limiting entry, expanding the closure, reducing the closure, shifting the closure to some other area, to controlling the fishing methods within the closure.