79: Fisheries catch shares and indigenous governance with Courtney Carothers

In this episode, Michael spoke with Courtney Carothers, a professor in the college of Fisheries and Oceans at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. They discussed Courtney’s work on “catch share”, or individual transferable quota policies in fisheries, indigenous fisheries management systems, and the negative impacts that catch shares have often had on indigenous fishers. Catch shares are a dominant panacea being employed by the U.S. government to manage our shared fisheries resources, and a important critique of them discussed during the interview is the ways in which they prioritize efficiency and profit, lead to rights consolidation, and alienate local users from their traditional livelihoods. Courtney framed this process as being a symptomatic component of the broader processes of forced integration and colonization that has occurred in the U.S. and Canada. They also talked about how collaborative relationships can be built for transdisciplinary work.


Carothers, Courtney, and Catherine Chambers. 2012. “Fisheries Privatization and the Remaking of Fishery Systems.” Environment and Society 3 (1). https://doi.org/10.3167/ares.2012.030104.

Donkersloot, Rachel, and Courtney Carothers. 2017. “Chapter 12 – Beyond Privatization: Rethinking Fisheries Stewardship and Conservation in the North Pacific.” In Conservation for the Anthropocene Ocean, edited by Phillip S. Levin and Melissa R. Poe, 253–70. Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-805375-1.00012-X.

Voo, Lee van der. 2016. The Fish Market: Inside the Big-Money Battle for the Ocean and Your Dinner Plate. St. Martin’s Publishing Group.


Talk by Dr. Leroy Little Bear on Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJSJ28eEUjI

Talks and videos posted by Dr. Seth Macinko: http://sethmacinko.com/videos

Talk by Courtney that provides more depth on some of her ITQ research: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_2qlfDngO4

Talk by Jessica Black, Courtney Carothers, and Janessa Esquible on Indigenizing Fisheries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=448tr90KUWQ

Planet Money episode that Michael mentions: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/11/04/454698093/episode-661-the-less-deadly-catch

Other links:

Survival denied report that Courtney mentions: http://allianceforajustsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Survival-Denied2.pdf