Incentive-based approaches to sustainable fisheries
The failures of traditional target-species management have led many to propose an ecosystem approach to fisheries to promote sustainability. The ecosystem approach is necessary, especially to account for fishery ecosystem interactions, but by itself is not sufficient to address two important factors contributing to unsustainable fisheries: inappropriate incentives bearing on fishers and the ineffective governance that frequently exists in commercial, developed fisheries managed primarily by total-harvest limits and input controls. We contend that much greater emphasis must be placed on fisher motivation when managing fisheries. Using evidence from more than a dozen natural experiments in commercial fisheries, we argue that incentive-based approaches that better specify community and individual harvest or territorial rights and price ecosystem services and that are coupled with public research, monitoring, and effective oversight promote sustainable fisheries.
This article is from Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 2006, 63(3): 699-710, doi:10.1139/f05-247.