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Adverse Impacts of Individual Quota Systems on Conservation and Fish Harvest Productivity

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Copes, Parzival
Date: 1996
Agency: Institute of Fisheries Analysis, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC
Series: Discussion Paper Series, 96-1
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/4357
Sector: Fisheries
Subject(s): ITQs--economics
Abstract: "Promoters of individual transferable quota (ITQ) management regimes have often held out the prospect that such regimes generally will offer superior performance over alternative fisheries management systems. Anthony Scott, an eminent spokesman for this view, affirmed in 1986: 'I have become convinced that quotas are what most fisheries should have.' Indeed, over the past two decades, the claim of ITQ superiority appears to have achieved the status of 'conventional wisdom.' Thus Arnason (1995) observes that '... there has now emerged a fair consensus among fishery economists that this [ITQ] management system offers the most promising general approach to managing ocean fisheries.' I am among the minority that is not party to the consensus--even though I continue to acknowledge the usefulness of ITQs in certain instances. My purpose in this paper is to challenge the notion of ITQ superiority in an important area of particular current interest, namely that of resource conservation. My a priori arguments will focus on innate characteristics of ITQ regimes that appear likely to lead to generally sub-optimal performance in respect of biological conservation and/or the related efficient sustainable use of fish stocks as expressed in harvest productivity."

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