Incentive-Based Approaches to Sustainable Fisheries


Grafton, R. Quentin; Arnason, Ragnar; Bjorndal, Trond; Campbell, David; Campbell, Harry F.; Clark, Collin W.; Connor, Robin; Dupont, Diane P.; Hannesson, Rognvaldur; Hilborn, Ray; Kirkley, James E.; Kompas, Tom; Lane, Daniel E.; Munro, Gordon R,; Pascoe, Sean; Squires, Dale; Steinshamn, Stein Ivar; Turris, Bruce R.; Weninger, Quinn

Journal or Book Title: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Keywords: incentives; sustainability; rights; fisheries management

Volume/Issue: 63/3

Page Number(s): 699-710

Year Published: 2006


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, individual harvest, or territorial rights and also price ecosystem services — coupled with public research, monitoring and effective oversight — promote sustainable fisheries.

DOI: 10.1139/F05-247

Type of Publication: Journal Article

Publisher: NRC Research Press