First Advisor

Michele Gamburd

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology






Pacific herring -- Southeast Alaska, Pacific herring fisheries -- Southeast Alaska -- Management, Ethnology -- Southeast Alaska



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 212 p.) : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.)


The conflict over the herring run at Kah Shakes is complicated. In 1991, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) expanded the commercial herring sac roe fishing boundary in the Revillagigedo Channel to include Cat and Dog Islands. Native and non-Native local residents of Ketchikan protested the boundary expansion, as did managers of the neighboring Annette Island Fishery managed by the local reservation. Using cultural anthropological research methods that include ethnographic data, semi-structured, qualitative interviews gathered in southeast Alaska in 2008, and a comprehensive literature review of historic data culled from newspapers and other texts, I examine the many political factors that contribute to this conflict, including the contest between anecdotal and scientific data, the construction of fisheries management boundaries, and issues of collective memory. Using Vayda and Walters' event ecology methodology, bolstered by discourse analysis, I identify three discourses (local ecological knowledge, management and environmental). I use these discourses as comparative units to show that little coincident data can be identified between these discourses. I examine two areas of dissident data, stock definition and measures of abundance, and recommend that local ecological knowledge (LEK) be used to expand the scientific database on which current management techniques depend, to question the accuracy of current ADFG management boundaries and stock identification, and to recalibrate guideline harvest levels by exposing the effects of shifting baselines. I then outline how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) may assist in the validation and integration of LEK into the current fisheries management paradigm to create a more holistic narrative of ecological change.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Anthropology

Persistent Identifier