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 market-based 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 of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.