Thesis subject

Trust in fisheries governance in the Golf of Maine

The aim of this thesis is to understand the role of trust in relation to control mechanisms in interaction for sustainable fisheries governance in the Golf of Maine (Canada/USA).


Governing sustainable fisheries is a real challenge, especially when it involves transboundary collaboration. This MSc thesis topic is part of the project: Understanding trust, risk and control dynamics as the ‘Architecture of Collaboration’ within Canadian and US transboundary fisheries governance networks. This project is led by McGill University (Montreal, Canada) in collaboration with the University of Texas Rio Grande (USA), and Wageningen University. This exploratory multi-jurisdictional research will provide novel insights to how and why diverse actors in Canadian and US transboundary fisheries policy networks collaborate to sustainably manage shared fishery resources (or fail to) in contexts of high inter-dependence and relatively shared levels of information deficit. In this context we specifically focus on the role of trust, control and risk.

For this MSc thesis project different potential focal points have been developed:

  • Operationalizing and studying trust in interaction for sustainable fisheries in the Golf of Maine.
  • Develop and test conceptual indicators around control and trust in sustainable fisheries in the Golf of Maine.
  • Compare control mechanisms that are used in the Salish Sea and Gulf of Maine contexts and their effect on trust (a comparative study).

Type of research activities

The research entails a qualitative research approach. The exact methods can be discussed during the first stages of the study.

Student we're looking for

We are looking for one or more students with an interest in environmental governance/ natural resource management and communication processes. Important skills are knowledge about qualitative research methods, interest/knowledge about environmental issues and flexibility to work as part of an international team (e.g. dealing with different time zones).