Mount Desert Island Lobster Fishery

Resource System
Multispecies Coastal Fishery.
Resource Units

The lobster grounds of Mount Desert Island are located within Hancock County, Maine, some 250 miles northeast of Boston and 150 miles southwest of the U.S. - Canada border. The original case spans from 1969 to1974 and catalogues an action situation involving approximately 75 lobster fishermen; lobster is the stationary resource unit.

This case study is part of the original Common-Pool Resource (CPR) database. A summary of the original CPR coding conducted in the 1980s by Edella Schlager and Shui Yan Tang at Indiana University may be found under the CPR tab in the Institutional Analysis section below.

A 2013  update to the Mount Desert Island Lobsterfishery case extrapolates from research on changes in the greater Gulf of Maine (GOM) lobsterfishery. The original reviewers deemed the case a successful instance of common-pool reserouce management. Based on a 2013 case update, a narrow definition of success remains valid: favorable biophysical conditions have contributed to greater resource productivity, offsetting effects of increased appropriation. When assessed against broader evaluative criteria, however, the case is not as successful as it appears (please see institutional analysis for detail).