Rent-seeking in the U.S. Atlantic sea scallop fishery is described. Resource and trade disputes caused the U.S. fishing industry, including scallopers, to lobby Congress for extended federal jurisdiction in 1977. The sea scallop fishery soon overcapitalized as fishermen captured non-exclusive resource rents. Limited entry was introduced in 1994, but an asymmetric distribution of potential wealth has blocked transferability of effort quotas as a means to eliminate excess fishing capital. Rent-seeking is now focused on transferability and a formative zoning policy that grants entitlements to marine resources, including marine protected areas which are advocated by environmental organizations.
Keywords: rent-seeking, scallop fishery, property rights
Edwards, S.F. Rent-Seeking in the U.S. Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery. 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.