Assessing catch shares’ effects evidence from Federal United States and associated British Columbian fisheries

Marine Policy (Impact Factor: 2.62). 05/2012; 36(3). DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2011.10.014


What are the effects of transitioning traditionally managed fisheries to incentive-based catch shares fisheries? In a study of all major United States federal catch share fisheries and associated shared stock fisheries in British Columbia, catch shares result in environmental improvements, economic improvements, and a mixture of changes in social performance, relative to the race for fish under traditional management. Environmentally, compliance with total allowable catch increases and discards decrease. Economically, vessel yields rise, total revenues grow, and long-term stock increases are encouraged. Socially, safety increases, some port areas modestly consolidate, needed processing capacity often reduces, and labor markets shift from part time jobs to full time jobs with similar total employment. Newer catch shares address many social concerns through careful design.

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    • "In these types of management programs initial recipients receive quota shares, a percentage of an overall total allowable catch (TAC) in the fishery, which are translated into annual IFQ allocations (fishable pounds). Although numerous researchers have documented the success of these management regimes at increasing economic efficiency, profitability, and product quality, improving safety, managing the harvest within the TAC, and overall working conditions in the fisheries (Arnason 2005, Brinson and Thunberg 2013, Campbell et al. 2000, Costello et al. 2008, Dupont 2000, Grafton 1995, Grimm et al. 2012, Hilborn et al. 2005, Hughes and Woodley 2007, Newell et al. 2005a), others have shown that these types of management programs can have adverse impacts on some stakeholders and coastal communities due to consolidation and associated employment losses, changes in processing needs, and shifts in regional distribution of fishing privileges (Carothers 2008, 2013, Carothers et al. 2010, Copes and Charles 2004, McCay 2004, Olson 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although numerous IFQ programs include active participation measures intended to retain or transition fishing privileges to active fishermen, there has been limited research on the efficacy of these measures. This study addresses this gap by examining the impacts of active participation measures in the Alaska halibut and sablefish IFQ program, which were intended to provide for an ultimate transition of the catcher vessel fleets in these fisheries to becoming fully individual-owned and owner-operated. This paper shows that the effectiveness of these measures has been mixed and constrained by apparently strong incentives for many initial recipients of quota shares to effectively lease their annual IFQ allocations (through the use of hired skippers) rather than to sell their quota shares. Perhaps most problematic is the emergence of a class of wholly absentee quota shareholders, who hold only nominal interest in the vessel upon which their IFQ is fished, do not share in the risk of fishing, and continue to profit from the fishery while residing far away from the actual fishing grounds. There is also anecdotal evidence of differing cultural contexts for hired skipper use and second-generation entry between the Seattle and Alaska-based fleets in the Alaska halibut and sablefish fisheries. Wherein acting as a hired skipper may be analogous to an apprenticeship that facilitates quota share acquisition in the Seattle fleet, Alaskan hired skippers may be more analogous to strict lessees, who ultimately compete for quota shares in a market that includes initial recipients and second-generation shareholders both of whom were gifted quota shares.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Maritime Studies
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    • "The reduced profit margin caused by leasing quota in the TSRL fishery has created a business structure orientated towards fishing more days at sea, catching larger quantities of fish, using smaller vessels, and targeting times of higher expected revenue, often with less regard to the physical risk caused by hazardous weather conditions . This is in contrast to the expectation that ITQ management lowers fishing intensity and improves safety at sea through the removal of " race to fish " incentives (National Research Council, 1999; Grimm et al., 2012). This is because the incentive structure generated by ITQ management, theoretically regulating the behaviour of quota owners, does not apply to lease quota fishers (Bradshaw, 2004; Gibbs, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Fishing for revenue: how leasing quota can be hazardous to your health. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi.10.1093/icesjms/fsu019. Fisheries management decisions have the potential to influence the safety of fishers by affecting how and when they fish. This implies a responsibility of government agencies to consider how fishers may behave under different policies and regulations in order to reduce the incidence of undesirable operational health and safety outcomes. In the Tasmanian southern rock lobster fishery, Australia, the expan-sion of the quota lease market under individual transferable quota (ITQ) management coincided with a rise in the number of commercial fishing fatalities, with five between 2008 and 2012. A discrete choice model of daily participation was fitted to compare whether physical risk tolerance varied between fishers who owned the majority of their quota units (quota owners) and those who mainly leased (lease quota fishers). In general, fishers were averse to physical risk (wave height), however this was offset by increases in expected revenue. Lease quota fishers were more responsive to changes in expected revenue than quota owners, which contributed to risk tolerance levels that were sig-nificantly higher than those of quota owners in some areas. This pattern in behaviour appeared to be related to the cost of leasing quota. Although ITQs have often been considered to reduce the incentive for fishers to operate in hazardous weather conditions, this assumes fishing by quota owners. This analysis indicated that this doesn't hold true for lease quota fishers in an ITQ system, where in some instances there remains an economic incentive to fish in conditions with high levels of physical risk.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · ICES Journal of Marine Science
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    • "This ability rests on the assumption that setting an appropriate total allowable catch (TAC) and allocating defined shares of the catch to individual operators will replace wasteful incentives to race and overcapitalize, with incentives to reduce costs, increase value, and act in a less myopic manner. If there is heterogeneity within the fleet, the ability to transfer quota between operators can further increase efficiency gains by creating the incentive for less efficient operators to sell out or lease their quota to those who are more efficient and for whom the quota has a higher marginal value (Arnason 1993, Herrmann 1996, Knapp 1997, Grafton et al. 2000, Hartley and Fina 2001, Grimm et al. 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: In fisheries managed using individual transferable quotas (ITQs) it is generally assumed that quota markets are well-functioning, allowing quota to flow on either a temporary or permanent basis to those able to make best use of it. However, despite an increasing number of fisheries being managed under ITQs, empirical assessments of the quota markets that have actually evolved in these fisheries remain scarce. The Queensland Coral Reef Fin-Fish Fishery (CRFFF) on the Great Barrier Reef has been managed under a system of ITQs since 2004. Data on individual quota holdings and trades for the period 2004-2012 were used to assess the CRFFF quota market and its evolution through time. Network analysis was applied to assess market structure and the nature of lease-trading relationships. An assessment of market participants’ abilities to balance their quota accounts, i.e., gap analysis, provided insights into market functionality and how this may have changed in the period observed. Trends in ownership and trade were determined, and market participants were identified as belonging to one out of a set of seven generalized types. The emergence of groups such as investors and lease-dependent fishers is clear. In 2011-2012, 41% of coral trout quota was owned by participants that did not fish it, and 64% of total coral trout landings were made by fishers that owned only 10% of the quota. Quota brokers emerged whose influence on the market varied with the bioeconomic conditions of the fishery. Throughout the study period some quota was found to remain inactive, implying potential market inefficiencies. Contribution to this inactivity appeared asymmetrical, with most residing in the hands of smaller quota holders. The importance of transaction costs in the operation of the quota market and the inequalities that may result are discussed in light of these findings.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY
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