Nick Lymer


Office: SN 2005
Telephone: (709) 864-8998
Fax: (709) 864- 3119


Dr. Charles Mather



Thesis Title

Responses to Restructuring: The Transition from Cod to Shrimp in Port Union, Newfoundland

Research Description

Coastal communities are extremely important to Newfoundland because of their deeply rooted heritage and economic potential. While there is a long tradition of research examining responses to restructuring, the impacts of recent changes are understudied. I will analyze macro processes of industry rationalization and the establishment of new markets in inshore shrimp fishery as it shifted from cod to shellfish. My research will improve our understanding of local processes for this resource that is often regarded as the solution to the cod moratorium in rural and coastal Newfoundland.
This study explores the responses of Port Union residents to ecological and socio-political restructuring since 1992. It is crucial that this research is done now because Port Union represents a potential insight into the future of other coastal communities in Newfoundland. The community experienced drastic changes to their local system in 1992 when their processing plant closed due to the groundfish moratoria; similar impacts reverberated throughout other coastal communities throughout the province. The plant reopened in 1998 for a short term to process shellfish, but the plant closed permanently in 2011.

This research investigates the impact of plant closure and resource change on labour and community dynamics through the themes of mobility, income assistance, the informal economy and gender. The effects of this shift from ground to shellfish and now to a post-resource economy offer researchers and policy makers a window into to what might happen to other coastal communities in Newfoundland and Labrador in the future.

Research Interests

• Political ecology
• Community economies
• Planning
• Regime shifts
• Fisheries and aquaculture


Lymer, N. (2015). Economy – Atlantic Canada; Location, Size, Terrain, Climate – Atlantic Canada. In: Assessment of Climate Risks and Adaptation Practises for the Canadian Transportation Sector. Natural Resource Canada. (In progress)

Lymer, N. (2013). “Development Potential for Vacant Lots in the Municipality of Dysart et al, Ontario.” Haliburon County Collection.


Lymer, N. (2014). “Responses to Restructuring in Port Union, Newfoundland.” Atlantic Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers 26th Annual Meeting. St. John’s Newfoundland.

Lymer, N. (2013). “Development Potential for Vacant Lots in the Municipality of Dysart et al, Ontario.” Poster presented at the U-Links Celebration of Research: Haliburton County, Ontario.


Alan, G. Macpherson Graduate Research Award in Historical and Cultural Geography. Department of Geography, Memorial University. St. John’s, NL. (2014).



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