ENVS 400: Senior Capstone

Fall 2018 –  Spring 2019

In this course, I researched and wrote my final senior thesis, “The Powers that be in the Irish Sea: An Assessment of Fisheries Policy” under the guidance of Associate Professor of Geological Science Elizabeth Safran. I completed progress posts along the way, demonstrating the development of my research and ideas throughout the thesis process. Outcomes for the course included the progress posts, the final thesis, and a thesis poster presented at the Festival of Scholars.

Progress Posts

Final Thesis Poster

Final Thesis

Abstract: The Powers that be in the Irish Sea: An Assessment of Fisheries Policy

The oceans are facing overexploitation of 31.4 percent of global fish stocks, while 58.1 percent of global stocks are considered “fully fished.” Are the current laws and policies for managing this vital common sustainable, and will they be strong or adaptive enough to combat the impacts of climate change? This thesis seeks to assess policies governing the global commons by scrutinizing how the confluence of policies affect Irish fisheries. Ireland is currently under investigation by the European Commission auditor for its high rate of illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.  By diving into the history of the law of the sea and assessing fisheries management policy at the international, regional, and domestic levels, I will explicate how the overall body of policy governing Irish waters has strong language and stated goals but lacks accurate scientific models and monitoring, has weak and lenient enforcement capacity, and ultimately fails to sustainably manage marine fisheries.



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