This paper provides an overview of use rights, that sanction fishers, fisher groups and fishing communities to
access and use fishery resources. The paper first reviews the various forms of use rights, ranging from access rights (territorial
use rights and limited entry) to quantitative input (effort) and output (harvest) rights. It then explores the factors impacting on
the determination of a desirable portfolio of use rights within specific circumstances. Given that there is no universally
optimal arrangement, the choice will depend on such factors as (a) society’s objectives for the fishery, (b) the structure,
history and traditions of the fishery, and (c) the relevant ecological, social, cultural and economic environment. Finally, the
paper explores two major policy issues concerning use rights, concerning the choice between holding rights at the individual
versus collective/group levels, and the choice among institutional arrangements for organizing use rights, specifically marketbased
versus strategic planning mechanisms.
Charles, A.T. Use Rights in Fishery Systems. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.