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The Long-Term Power of Common Property Resources; Local management of the International Demand for Shellfish in Chile

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Payne, Holly E. X.
Conference: Reinventing the Commons, the Fifth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bodoe, Norway
Conf. Date: May 24-28, 1995
Date: 1995
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5567
Sector: Fisheries
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: South America
Subject(s): common pool resources
global commons
Abstract: "Of the shellfish products exported by Chile, the indigenous 'abalone' (Concholepas concholepas) claims the highest local and international price. Uncontrolled harvesting of the formerly abundant resource resulted in its dramatic decline. Since 1989, the Chilean government has banned abalone extraction to enable the resource to recuperate. In addition, common property favoring sustainable extraction by small-scale fishers is now legally recognized. Shellfish 'Management Areas' in the form of marine concessions may be obtained from the government by small-scale fishing unions. The organizational structures of four such unions, with and without Management Areas, were observed with respect to their abilities to control international demand favoring 'abalone' extraction. Under heightened political pressure, when the harvest ban was lifted and prices were more favorable, well-organized unions with Management Areas chose not to extract 'abalone'. Instead they voted to leave their resource inside of their legally recognized common property areas to accumulate value for sustained use in the future."

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