Avoidance Strategies and Governmental Rigidity: The Case of the Small-Scale Shrimp Fishery in Two Mexican Communities

"Hardin's 'tragedy of the commons' has been one of the most popular theories used in explaining the problems of fisheries resources. Basically, the problem of overcapitalization, overexploitation and overexpansion that typify many of the world's fisheries today are blamed on their status as common property resources. The most accepted recommendation by fishery managers to deal with these problems has been to specify property rights to the resource in such a way as to limit the level of fishing effort. Governmental inteivention has been perceived as crucial to 'impartially' define those rights by regulating access to resources and the behavior of individuals. Accordingly, states have spent enormous efforts at devising regulations to limit access in the belief that such efforts will lead to greater conservation. All over the world, however, we find that regulatory strategies developed by governments have failed. One of the critical issues in explaining such results concerns the high enforcement costs and intrinsic difficulties involved in supervising the exploitation of marine resources."
IASC, common pool resources, shrimp, fisheries, compliance, rules, local knowledge