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Can a Buyback Program Succeed in the EPO Tuna Fishery Public Deposited

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  • While buybacks don’t have the cache of rights-based programs they are often pre-cursors to longer-term management solutions. The authors assess a proposed buyback program in Eastern Pacific (EPO) purse seine fishery that has the potential to increase post-buyback profitability, and which could also provide the means to alleviate long-standing internecine struggles among members of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. The IATTC, which determines fishery policy, and which operates on a consensus basis among of members (CPCs), is often hand-cuffed by CPC threats to hold deliberations hostage with claims for additional capacity. Closure periods (CPs), the primary tool by which the fishery is managed, increased in 2018 from 62 days to 72 days. Industry experts and manager believe that capacity in the fishery is at least 165 percent of optimal levels. As technology improves, and as financial pressures on vessel owners to increase effort intensify, reductions in capacity are seen by many as the only viable way forward, within the current regulatory and political environment. In order to reduce or eliminate CPs, a buyback program to reduce capacity has been proposed. A natural precursor to moving the proposed buyback program forward is a fishery-wide binding agreement among managers, CPCs, and vessel owners, that lays down the ground-rules for the post-buyback era. Such an agreement is seen as a necessary condition for procuring financing for the buyback program, which could cost as much as $300 million. In this assessment the analysts demonstrate the potential benefits of the buyback, and also propose an
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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