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Market-based Natural Resource Management: An Institutional Analysis of Individual Tradable Quotas in New Zealand's Commercial Fisheries

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Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Author: Yandle, Tracy
Date: 2001
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7916
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): ITQs
resource management--economics
institutional design
institutional analysis--IAD framework
property rights
Abstract: "This dissertation examines the institutional choices made in how the New Zealand government manages its fishery resources and the consequences of these choices in New Zealand's fisheries. Special attention is paid to how the changing perceptions of property rights led to changes in institutional arrangements. Specifically, the adoption of a market-based ITQ-based management regime in the late 1980s; and the later development of a co-management regime based on stakeholder groups are examined. I explore four broad questions: (1) How and why was New Zealand's Quota Management System (QMS) adopted? (2) What effect did the Quota Management System have on the structure and characteristics of the fishing industry in New Zealand? (3) What types of property rights do Individual Tradable Quotas (ITQs) represent? Has this changed over time, and what are the effects of such changes? (4) What are the characteristics and origins of New Zealand's co-management approach? How likely is this approach to succeed? These questions are examined using data from a combination of sources including: a panel survey of ITQ owners in the Auckland Region dating to the start of QMS, national surveys of large companies and stakeholder groups, quota ownership records, expert interviews, and extensive archival and published documents. "The data and information presented in this dissertation will show that ITQs are a powerful management tool, the use of which has wide-ranging institutional implications. As the Property rights change, it fundamentally changes the nature of the fishery--changing how people view the resource and how they interact with it. These changes go beyond those envisioned in the economic modeling of quota systems to change the social and institutional fabric of the fishery, and the resource management responsibilities that the fishing industry and community are willing to take on. The findings also have implications for our theoretical conception of approaches to natural resource management, showing that the simple vision of three competing approaches may be incomplete, and that a layering of approaches into various forms of co-management possible and in many cases desirable."

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