The question arises for fishery managers as to whether or not there are observable and measurable attributes of the skipper or vessel that fishery managers can monitor and possibly regulate to control expansions in fishing capacity from this source. This paper addresses this neglected issue of resource management through a case study of the trawler fishery in the state of Kedah in Peninsular Malaysia. In the Kedah trawl fishery, skipper characteristics other than ethnicity did not significantly affect technical efficiency and skipper skill. Hence, there does not appear to be any readily observable characteristics pertaining to skipper skill to monitor and regulate. This finding militates against regulating skipper skill to control expansions in fishing capacity that can happen under license limitation. The results indicate that a skipper training program for the least efficient skippers may be called for to meet the objectives of equity and fairness as expressed in the New Economic Policy and its successor, the New Development Plan. Such a training program would also be consistent with one of the initial aims of the license limitation program, which was to promote equity among all ethnic groups in Malaysian society.
Viswanathan, K.K., et al. Technical Efficiency and Fishing Skill in Developing Country Fisheries: The Kedah, Malaysia Trawl 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.