PhD student Emma Bean successfully defends thesis

Congratulations to Emma Bean, who successfully defended her PhD thesis with a recommendation of only minor corrections in November 2020. Her PhD was co-funded by the International Water Security Network and the University of the West of England.

Emma’s thesis – The public trust as a route to ecosystem-based fisheries management: A legal geography analysis of the role of the public right to fish in English coastal waters – utilised a combined ‘doctrinal’ and ‘socio-legal studies’ methodology to first identify how the public fishery is owned, and then explore what duties (if any) are attendant upon such ownership.

This research was then taken out to a community involved in fishing through a case study drawing on empirical evidence, which focused on the district of the Devon & Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, to understand how the public fishery is understood and experienced in practice. Through synthesising the legal and social analyses, the legal geography of the public fishery was elucidated. This thesis shows that a coherent legal argument can be made that the public fishery is owned by the Crown, on trust for the public as a whole.

Emma’s supervisory team included Director of Studies Prof. Chad Staddon (IWSN Director, and Professor of Resource Economics & Policy, UWE Bristol) and Dr Thomas Appleby (IWSN researcher, and Associate Professor in Property Law, UWE Bristol). She is currently working as a Lecturer in Property and Construction Law at UWE Bristol.