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Uncommon Among the Commons? Disentangling the Sustainability of the Peruvian Anchovy Fishery

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Schreiber, Milena Arias; Halliday, Andrew
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 18
Page(s):
Date: 2013
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/8850
Sector: Fisheries
Region: South America
Subject(s): common pool resources
sustainability
design principles
Abstract: "The term 'commons' refers to collectively exploited resources and their systems of usage; a synonymous term is common pool resources. Fisheries are typical common pool resources and also one of the most conspicuous examples of unsustainable use of natural resources. We examine one of the few globally important fisheries that is held to be sustainable, the Peruvian anchovy fishery, and considers the extent to which the institutional characteristics of the fishery conform to design principles that are considered prerequisites for long-term, successful, community-based common pool resources. Results showed that greater conformity to the principles was found in the sustainable phase of the fishery, compared to its unsustainable phase. For this case study, the conditions that supported the transition towards sustainability were: clearly defined resource boundaries, monitoring of rule enforcement, and conflict resolution mechanisms among users and management authorities. On the other hand, clearly defined user boundaries, collective choice arrangements, and nested enterprises were not required to achieve sustainability. The study concludes that the design principles are a valuable tool for analysis and understanding of large-scale common pool resource systems. At the same time it suggests that the application of the principles to a wider range of systems can generate new insights into what is required for successful management of common pool resources."

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