The Old(er) Men of the Sea: Graying of the fishing industry and its impact on local community resiliency (2014-16)

Lori Cramer
Oregon State University
College of Liberal Arts
307 Fairbanks Hall
Corvallis, Oregon 97331
Phone: 541-737-5382

Co-PI: Flaxen Conway, OSU

When Oregon's coastal fishing communities face shifting demographic, economic, and policy changes, they rely on various strategies and tools to help them adapt. Yet the fleet appears to be "graying" and it is unclear what effect this "graying of the fleet" might have on fishing family businesses, and community dynamics. Lori Cramer and Flaxen Conway combine expertise in social science with community engagement to understand and document strategies and tools needed to build or enhance community resilience and adaptive capacity.

Through lenses of "community of place" and "community of interest", Cramer's team focuses on two rural, fishing dependent communities in Oregon: Port Orford and Newport. A combination of methods including oral history interviews and participant observations will be used to examine the connection between management decisions and other external drivers of change with intergenerational family business practices.

An enhanced understanding of individual, family, business, and community resilience and adaptation strategies can be beneficial for decision makers within and outside of the commercial fishing community. This small case study approach also sets the stage for additional research on impacts for other rural coastal commercial fishing communities wishing to develop effective adaptation strategies to address social systems' diversity and build a community's resilience to change.

Strategic Plan Focus Area: Resilient Communities and Economies

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