Towards a market-oriented management model for straddling fish stocks



Trondsen T, Matthiasson T & Young J (2006) Towards a market-oriented management model for straddling fish stocks. Marine Policy, 30 (3), pp. 199-206.

Management of straddling fish stocks has been noted for its political complexity. Negotiations frequently falter as each party seeks to focus upon their own individual and shorter-term, goals than the collective interest of the sector. Entrenched positions are often only deepened as new entrants participate to establish their own claims to any emergent share of resource. Unsurprisingly, deadlocks are common and typically compromises are reached only after the real period of biological then economic crisis has passed. Examples to illustrate this tendency can be found in most of the world's oceans and is writ large within the current impasse over blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou) in the North Atlantic. The development of this fishery is discussed and it is shown that despite the scope to add value to the resource base through a pattern of exploitation focussed more upon human consumption than fish meal and oil, there seems little incentive to extricate participants from the cycle of demise that has engulfed negotiations so far. In an attempt to consider how such seemingly intractable problems might be resolved, attention is next turned to the construction of a new model for resource management specifically intended to contend with the problems thrown up by straddling stocks. Central to this is the need to ensure motivation and incentivisation of value chain members in both national economic zones and international waters. It is proposed that a Multinational Resource Cooperative (MRC) is established and would be the key element in the management model. The MRC, on behalf of the national stakeholders, would auction quota so that fish enterprises call purchase quota units defined in terms of species, quantity, catch area and the time of catch. The MRC would also be financed through a quota auction fee as explained below and arrange its own quota control and enforcement services. By auctioning rights to stakeholders the MRC will enable control and enforcement of the TAC; allocations of fair national shares of resource and critically, motivate fish enterprises to devise and implement market-oriented value adding strategies. Adoption of such a scheme should result in a more efficient use of the remaining straddling stocks whilst there is still time to do so. Importantly, the proposed rent distribution mechanism would also shift the focus of negotiations from being dominated by quotas and access rights to more evident pecuniary metrics.

Fisheries behaviour; Fisheries management; Straddling fish stocks; Market orientation; RFMO; Law of the Sea; Aquaculture; Fish populations; Fishery management

Marine Policy: Volume 30, Issue 3

Publication date31/05/2006

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Professor Jimmy Young

Professor Jimmy Young

Emeritus Professor, Marketing & Retail