The Worldwide Crisis in Fisheries - Economic Models and Human Behavior
Friday Seminar by Colin Clark.
Many commercial fisheries throughout the world are in trouble, the result of overfishing and overcapacity of fishing fleets. Traditional management programs were based on purely biological criteria, particularly the rubric of MSY – maximum sustained yield. Although MSY-based management has sometimes, if not always, been successful in protecting resource stocks, it has frequently led to excess fishing capacity, often by an order of magnitude. I argue that this is the result of an N-person competitive economic game – the tragedy of the managed commons in everyday parlance. Recent experience, however, indicates that a system of individual (or small group) allocated catch quotas, in combination with a central management agency that specifies the total annual quotas, may be necessary and sufficient to resolve these difficulties, namely by altering fishers’ incentives. Such an allocated quota system need not imply private ownership of the fish resource.
The CEES seminar room has a coffee-machine – it is therefore recommended that you come a bit earlier and get yourself a good cup of coffee (for the price of 3 NOK).