Preserving Livelihoods: Challenges & Examples
Economies that rely on natural resources and small businesses can be fragile in the face of shifting ecosystems, and unpredictable alterations to policy and legislation. The diversification of income, entrepreneurial preparedness, and grants and loans are some of the tools that can be used to preserve livelihoods.
Designating Ocean Spaces
When decision makers are going through the regulatory process (e.g. the designation of ocean spaces for a particular use), it can be difficult to ensure that all stakeholders are being recognized. That means that waterfront communities and their needs are not always being addressed, and this can prove to be a problem—especially when the decision-making process is focused on regulating ocean spaces. New documents and data goldmines like the Northeast Ocean Plan and Northeast Ocean Data Portal are providing invaluable tools for waterfront communities to use to make sure their voices are heard when it matters most.
Marketing Marine Products
Revenue from fishing in Maine communities—the actual take-home pay per pound of fish or lobster—has declined in real terms. Meanwhile, species besides lobster have declined precipitously. As a result, though landings of lobster have increased dramatically, the industry has become more dependent on huge catches, which has been described by marine scientists and policymakers as a perilous position for the state to be in. Many fishermen and organizations are looking into small-scale processing and innovative marketing to balance that decline in revenue.
Preparing for Aquaculture
Maine’s seafood economy, steeped in heritage, provides the lifeblood for our rural coastal communities and lives and dies at the complex intersection of environment, policy, community, and economy. To prosper in an increasingly warm and unpredictable world, the sector must innovate. This innovation can come in the form of economic diversification of the marine sector. However, generating successful innovators is most effective when those innovators are properly trained and prepared for the challenges that arise with marine entrepreneurship.