Sustainable Aquaculture Development: The Role of Finance Institutions in Common Property Resource Management


"In this paper I shall use the troubled marine aquaculture on the North-Norwegian coast as a background for a discussion of the need for new - and workable - paradigms for environmental management. Open marine aquaculture is extremely valuable as an 'indicator organism' of fundamental flaws in the working of an economic system and its institutional framework. The major reason for this is that sea-water flows freely between one aquaculturalist's fish pond and another aquaculturalist's fish pond, as well as between these fish ponds and the 'wild,' natural environment. Sea-water has properties which are very different from those of the atmospheric air surrounding the terrestrial ecosystems. Sea-water carries pollutants and pathogenic agents quite freely - so that any externalities imposed by one aquaculturalist on others - or on the commons, are likely to flow back to the first aquaculturalist within a short period of time. What is deposited in the sea, travels fast and far and stays there for a long time, either in chemical compounds or in complex food chains, before it is deposited on the sea bed. Effects of this kind of modern human activity therefore tend to be rapidly cumulative, producing dramatic - and highly stochastic biological processes. Examples of such are modern algae blooms due to fertilization of the North Sea and accelerate Volterra-Lotka oscillations in wild fish stocks due to heavy single-species fishing strategies (Allan & McGlade 1987). There is no equilibrium in the oceans and economic activities that take as their basis equilibrium solutions (e.g. long term maximum sustainable yield) are likely to fail."



IASC, fisheries, resource management, aquaculture, marine ecology, coastal regions