This article considers how remoteness, rurality, and local initiatives combine to enable community responses to the threat of fisheries enclosure. Centred on two case studies from a wider portfolio of six cases in Northern Jutland, Denmark and New England, USA, the article presents a narrative of these places based on semi-structured interviews and participant observation. Thorupstrand, Denmark and Cutler, Maine, USA exemplify communities fighting to retain access to fisheries under enclosure and recognition of this threat. Lacking alternatives due to their geographic and infrastructural isolation, the two cases typify existential fisheries dependence, indicating that they would not be on the map without fishing to sustain them.Their precarious positions compelled many in the communities to act and preserve the fishing industry and culture. Although Thorupstrand and Cutler diverge in their approaches to maintaining fishing access, they collectively speak to the overlooked connection between fisheries management and rural places.