Sharmane Allen


Office: IIC 3063
Telephone: (709) 864-8019
Fax: (709) 864- 3119



Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee
Dr. Dean Bavington
Dr. Svein Jentoft



Thesis Title

Understanding the Viability and Future of Small-Scale Fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador

Research Description

I am planning to conduct a holistic and systematic examination of small-scale fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador in order to understand their viability and future prospects. My primary research questions include:

  1. What are the key issues threatening the viability of the inshore fishery in the COBR? Are these issues considered ‘tame’ or ‘wicked’? Is there agreement on these issues?
  2. What are the key properties of the Systems-to-be-Governed and Governing System? How do these properties inhibit or contribute to the viability of the inshore fishery in the COBR?
  3. To what extent does the Governing System ‘fit’ the System- to- be-Governed? Is the Governing System responsive to the needs of the System-to- be-Governed in the COBR?
  4. What are the properties of the Governing Interactions? What are the key mechanisms for interaction? To what extent are the interactions inclusive, transparent, and consistent? Are there opportunities for improvement?

I am conducting my study in the Coast of Bays Region (COBR) – a maritime area on the south coast of Newfoundland where small-scale fisheries have existed for 400 years but, similar to other regions in the province, currently face an array of challenges that threaten its future. The Interactive Governance Theory will primarily inform my research. The theory offers a holistic approach to studying maritime and fisheries systems and posits that factors affecting the ‘governability’ of small-scale fisheries may be found along the fish chain and in all three components, namely the natural and socio-economic systems-to-be-governed, the governing system, and the governing interactions. Accordingly, a comprehensive examination of these systems can help define problems and challenges in a fishery system, as well as open up opportunities for improving governance, and thus the system’s viability.

Research Interests

  • Fisheries Governance
  • Small-Scale Fisheries
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Commercial Fisheries
  • Capture Fishery – Aquaculture Interactions
  • North Atlantic Fisheries Policy
  • Rights Based Management
  • Interactive Governance Approach
  • Rural Communities

Conference Presentations

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)

Blogs and News Stories

Research Affiliations

Too Big Too Ignore (TBTI) –Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research

Professional Associations

Canadian Association of Geographers


Department of Geography

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000