A problem with the existing governance structure in the Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) fishery is the scant opportunity for communities and regional economic development groups to have input into policy and development initiatives (Jentoft & McCay, 1995). Research shows that status quo governance does not appear to be working. The current fisheries governance structure favours key stakeholders: the harvesters (as represented by the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW)) and the processing industry (processors and associations), and does not provide a formal avenue for local innovation and knowledge input. As a result, fisheries policy and fishing industry development continue to evolve, disconnected from long-term regional economic development planning. The purpose of this paper is to analyze and review the historical development and current formal governance structure of NL's fishing industry, its current state, and regional dimensions.
Looking to the future, the governance process shows signs of movement toward more of a co-management approach; however, movement is slow and not widely embraced by industry players. Examining two current regional (multi-community) fisheries models from elsewhere (Quebec and Faeroe Islands of Denmark) may reveal governance options for the fishery in this province. This examination may show why co-management approach has been slow to take in Newfoundland and Labrador. Due to the fact there is little history of collaboration at the local/community/regional/provincial/federal governance levels, there is no desire to support such partnerships.