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Sharmane Allen

Sharmane Allen


Department of Geography
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL
A1B 3X9

Office: Science Building 1018
Telephone: (709) 864-8190
Mobile: (709) 725-2730
Fax: (709) 864- 3119



Dr. Charles Mather
Dr. Dean Bavington

Thesis Title

Mapping the Conceptual, Performative, and Performed Nature of Property Rights in the Commercial Fisheries of the Coast of Bays Region of Newfoundland

Research Description

My research project will provide a comprehensive narrative of the implementation and practice related to rights-based fisheries management (RBFM) in Newfoundland and Labrador, with a specific focus on the Coast of Bays Region (COBR) on the Province’s south coast. Property rights are central to this narrative and the focus of this research. How property rights are defined, understood and performed has far-reaching consequences for the future of the province’s commercial fisheries, and the people and places that depend on them. Indeed, property rights are fundamentally relevant to (a) the economic and property theories that inform RBFM; (b) the current and historical formal and informal legal systems that co-exist in the fishing industry; (c) the spatialization of access to ocean spaces and the resources contained within it; (d) the social, economic and cultural fabric of fishing communities; and (e) the manner in which a particular fishery is framed, managed, and practiced. Yet, despite their relevance property rights are understudied in the Province’s fisheries. Therefore, as a fundamental part of this narrative, my research will critically examine the conceptual, performative, and performed nature of property rights over time and space. While critical legal geography and historical geography will guide the process of documenting the trajectory of RBFM implementation and deciphering its conceptual nature, economic geography’s perspective of performativity will be used to explore the performative and performed qualities of property rights. In addition to the novelty of combining these perspectives, it is anticipated that this approach will demonstrate the importance of recognizing and understanding the contextualized and complex orthopraxy (i.e. practices) of RBFM regimes in contrast to the simplistic orthodoxy (i.e. beliefs) of the neo-classical and neoliberal economic theories that informed the implementation of RBFM regimes worldwide.

Research Interests

  • Property Rights
  • Rights Based Management
  • Fisheries Management
  • North Atlantic Fisheries Policy
  • Coastal Settlements
  • Performativity
  • Governance Theory
  • Justice

Public Presentations

  • Understanding the Vulnerabilities and Future of Fisheries Communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University Faculty of Medicine (October 2014)
  • Co-managing Small-Scale Fisheries – A Promising but Missed Opportunity in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian Association of Geographers (August 2013)
  • Multiple and Shifting Images within Fishery Management Institutions – Exploring the Implications for Fisheries Governance, 7th People and the Sea Conference: Maritime Futures Amsterdam (June 2013)
  • The Results of Newfoundland and Labrador's 2004 and 2006 Costs and Earnings (C&E) Surveys, Community - University Research for Recovery Alliance, May 2010 []

Blogs and News Stories


  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship (2013-2016)
  • Dalhousie University’s Guy Henson Gold Medal for academic achievement, social justice, personal integrity and professionalism in public administration (May 2000)

Professional Associations

  • Canadian Association of Geographers
  • Atlantic Council for International Cooperation