The evolution of management institutions for the British Columbia salmon fishery is examined, focussing on the period from 1900 to 1930. Various property rights allocations, including exclusive fishing rights, limited fishing licences, and limited processing licences were tried and abandoned, usually because of social and political pressures and lack of full appreciation of the common property character of the fishery. Opportunities for appropriating rent were surrendered. By 1930 management evolved to open access with various restrictions on effort. Jurisdictional disputes hindered and complicated management. After a flawed assignment of jurisdiction at the creation of Canada both the Canadian and British Columbia governments claimed fisheries management authority. Jurisdiction over fisheries had been assigned to the federal government. But, with jurisdiction over property assigned to the provincial governments and legally established property rights in fisheries, the stage was set for a series of conflicts and court cases before management responsibilities were clarified. Internationally, Canadians and Americans both claimed the right to exploit certain salmon stocks. By 1930 the essential elements of a treaty were negotiated, but not finally ratified by both countries until 1937.
Keywords: Salmon, Canada, British Columbia, Jurisdiction
Millerd, F. The Evolution of Management Institutions for the British Columbia Salmon Fishery, 1900 to 1930. 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.