Renegotiating Property Rights in the Florida Golden Crab Fishery

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Date
2013
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Abstract
"The golden crab (Chaceon fenneri) supports a small, economically healthy fishery in south Florida. Crabbers in the fishery have successfully protected themselves against larger outside fishing interests in the past, and management has been stable for over 15 years. Why, then, did a portion of the fleet propose shifting to individual transferable quotas (ITQs)? Our findings suggest that proponents sought ITQ management because they believed it would further limit the ability of other crabbers to enter the fishery and act as a mechanism to legally preserve the informal and formal property rights that they have previously negotiated among themselves. Opponents believed that a shift to an ITQ regime would destroy those same property rights. We explore the implications of these findings to a broader understanding of property rights and natural resource management institutions, noting that the currently existing system closely resembles a territorial use rights fishery (TURF)."
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co-management, fisheries, property rights, ITQs, TURFs
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