Recently our staff was in touch with Dr. Courtney Carothers, who does anthropological research on fisheries and communities. She gave us a heads-up on a research project currently underway in Kodiak. It sounds like an interesting project.

Social Transitions in Kodiak Fisheries

Courtney Carothers
Assistant Professor
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Cat Chambers
Ph.D. Student
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Project Funder:
National Science Foundation

Project Summary: This two-year study is designed to provide a better understanding of the social transitions linked to fishing in the diverse community of Kodiak, Alaska.  By interviewing a broad range of fishery participants and community members, we will document experiences of change in fishing and how these changes are related to individual and community well-being.


1. To explore the relative importance of different kinds of changes in fishing (policy, economic, technological, social changes)

2. To understand how different groups in the fishing community experience regulatory changes, such as limited entry and individual fishing quotas

3. To assess the relationship between these social changes and well-being

Data Collection: In-depth interviews will be conducted with a wide range of fishery participants, including: crew members, skippers, boat owners, processing and marketing managers and employees, support service businesses, tourism operators, and other active members of the community. Data gathered from these interviews will then inform the development of a survey questionnaire. This survey will gather data from a larger sample of fishery participants in the Kodiak community. Survey data will be analyzed to examine patterns among various groups on their perceptions of social and cultural shifts in Kodiak.

Importance: This study will provide an important source of data for fishery managers and community leaders who want to understand fisheries from multiple perspectives.  The social aspects of fishing are sometimes overlooked, but fisheries managers are increasingly called to include measures of fishing community health and well-being. By assessing and documenting changes in fishing in Kodiak, we will contribute insights into how those changes are linked to the well-being of individuals, families, and the community as a whole.


Conduct interviews                 Feb-Dec 2011

Hand out survey                     Spring 2012

Present results in Kodiak        Fall 2012

Be Sociable, Share!