This research provides a systematic assessment of fishermen involvement, by first disaggregating fisheries management into its various components, allowing for a more nuanced understanding of the realities of co-management, from the perspectives of organized fishermen associations in Nova Scotia (NS), Canada. Fishermen association representatives were interviewed to: 1) Examine the perceived nature and extent of fishermen involvement, both current and desired, in fisheries management overall and across six management categories; and 2) Determine what factors and conditions are perceived to constrain the achievement of their desired involvement. Results show that perceived levels of both current and desired involvement vary across fisheries management components. A range of barriers are identified that are felt to be preventing the achievement of desired involvement. This research offers insight into the realities of co-management as well as the willingness and capacity on the part of fishermen associations to take on various management tasks.