Community Fishing Rights: Some Basic Principles Public Deposited

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  • It is now widely recognized that property rights based fisheries management regimes are well suited for generating efficiency in fisheries. Apart from access licences, which are very low quality property rights, individual quotas (IQs) and individual transferable quotas (ITQs) are the most widely applicable and, indeed, the most commonly applied fisheries property rights around the world. These systems, in particular, ITQs have shown themselves capable of generating very substantial economic rents. Unfortunately, ITQs, just as sole ownership and TURFs, do not seem applicable to all fisheries. In many fisheries, the cost of enforcing ITQ constraint is simply prohibitively high. This applies not the least to the numerous artisanal fisheries around the world. In many societies, moreover, there is a high degree of antagonism to the market focus and economic rationalization that ITQs entail. This often translates into political opposition that makes it impossible to adopt ITQs. The fact that ITQs are well-suited to all fisheries has drawn attention to the possibility of allocating not individual but collective rights to groups of harvesters. While noting that the type of rights conferred as well as the group receiving them may be quite varied, it is customary to refer to this type of arrangements generally as community fishing rights. Community fishing rights, of course, do not constitute a fisheries management regime. They merely endow the community with the formal powers and opportunity to install an efficient fisheries management regime. Obviously, there is no guarantee that this opportunity will be used. This paper is concerned with identifying conditions under which community fishing rights are likely to enhance the economic efficiency of fishing. Due to the complexity of the community bargaining game, it appears that not many powerful results may be available in this area. The paper, nevertheless, attempts to delineate a collection of conditions or principles under which the probability of successful fisheries management is increased. These principles may be used to guide fishing authorities around the world interested in establishing community fishing rights.
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  • Arnason, Ragnar. 2006. Community Fishing Rights: Some Basic Principles. In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 11-14, 2006, Portsmouth, UK: Rebuilding Fisheries in an Uncertain Environment. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2006. CD ROM. ISBN 0-9763432-3-1
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