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Climate, Competition and The Management of Shared Fish Stocks Public Deposited

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  • Long-term climate regime shifts have profound and persistent impacts on ocean temperature and circulation patterns, and on the dynamics of marine fish populations -- affecting abundance, growth and migratory behavior. Such shifts are a particularly important source of uncertainty for marine fisheries. Here, we argue that climate regime shifts can disrupt otherwise satisfactory international fishery management agreements. Game theory provides a powerful analytic perspective on the difficulty of maintaining effective, cooperative management of shared fishery resources in the face of such natural environmental changes. This paper draws upon two case studies of shared fishery management -- Pacific salmon and Norwegian spring-spawning herring -- to demonstrate that a climate regime shift can alter the distribution and productivity of fish stocks in ways that change the comparative advantages of the competing fleets. When that happens, the optimal cooperative solution to the fishery game will change. If the fishery agreement in place is not sufficiently flexible to adjust to the changed opportunities and incentives, it will likely break down. Fishery agreements can be made more resilient to such environmental changes by explicitly building in flexibility - for example, by allowing the use of side payments. In addition, pre-agreements on procedures to be followed in the event of sustained changes in fish stock productivity or migration patterns, and cooperation on developing common scientific understandings can help to prevent destructive conflicts.
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  • Miller, Kathleen, Gordon R. Munro, Trond Bjorndal. 2004. Climate, Competition and The Management of Shared Fish Stocks. Peer Review: No. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 20-30, 2004, Tokyo, Japan: What are Responsible Fisheries? Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2004. CD ROM. ISBN 0-9763432-0-7
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