Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Second Department or Program



This thesis centers around the question of how climate change will not only affect lobstering in Maine ecologically, but also how it may create social and political tensions amongst lobstering communities. Through academic literature research and 14 original ethnographic interviews with Maine lobstermen, topics surrounding ecological changes to the Gulf of Maine; the biological effects of climatic changes on lobsters; right whales, offshore wind, and the effects on the lobster industry; and working waterfront access in Maine have been discussed. Research findings were analyzed through resilience, adaptation, and political theory frameworks to contextualize these issues within Maine lobstering communities and climate change policy. In summary, hyperlocal fishery regulation policies will be crucial moving forward to compensate for the spatially variable effects of climate change in the Gulf of Maine, along with compromise, collaboration, and innovation regarding issues such as right whale protection and offshore wind development. Lastly, government-lobstermen relationships generally suffer from decades of mistrust on the state and federal level, thus more work is intensely needed to repair these relations in order for a successful and proactive response to the threat of climate change in Maine.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

April Strickland

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.