Oyster communities, Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, USA

Resource System
Coastal marine ecosystem
Resource Units

The Louisiana oyster fishing communities are located on the Gulf of Mexico with approximately 400 kilometers of coastline in a straight line from the border of Texas on the west to the border of Mississippi on the east. The case study involves historic information on the development of community based norms and institutions and a legally closed tenure structured around oyster leaseholds in Louisiana, compared to other open-access community-based oyster fisheries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The case study primarily examines the action situation involving approximately 1000 fishermen during the 1960’s through the 1980’s and assesses outcomes based on longitudinal data during this time period including annual oyster production and production per fisherman which was included in a prior study by Dyer and Leard (1994), as cited in the original case study.

This case is compared with other oyster fisheries in the U.S. in Chapter 8 (p.160-176) of the original case study by Pinkerton and Weinstein (1995). The original case study authors focus on user participation and community based management of the fisheries. The case study has also subsequently been used in comparative analyses regarding Ostrom's Design Principles (see bibliography).