Fikret berkes local level management and the commons problem a study of turkish coastal fisheries
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Fikret Berkes: Local-level Management and the Commons Problem A study of Turkish Coastal Fisheries. Argument: Informal “law of the sea” devised by communities of users of coastal resources is relevant to the solution of the national commons problem.

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Fikret Berkes: Local-level Management and the Commons Problem A study of Turkish Coastal Fisheries

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Fikret berkes local level management and the commons problem a study of turkish coastal fisheries

Fikret Berkes: Local-level Management and the Commons ProblemA study of Turkish Coastal Fisheries

Argument: Informal “law of the sea” devised by communities of users of coastal resources is relevant to the solution of the national commons problem.

Converting International Commons to a national one, and then to a local-level management one may reduce the scope of the problem to a manageable level.

Local arrangements constitutes a kind of informal law of the sea.

(e.g. Many freshwater/coastal marine stocks of fish are not exploited on an open access level when community regulates access to the resource.)


Fikret berkes local level management and the commons problem a study of turkish coastal fisheries

  • A) Unowned resources (Open access) versus B) Common Property

    e.g. A) => Open Ocean

    e.g. B) => Coastal Fisheries

  • Common Property means that potential resource users who are not members of a group of co-equal owners are excluded.

  • Open Access is a free-for-all, whereas Common Property represents a well defined set of institutional arrangements.

  • Question: Is this definition of “common property” the same it is generally defined?


Fikret berkes local level management and the commons problem a study of turkish coastal fisheries

5 Examples of Fishing Operation in Turkish Coastal Water

Case Study (1) : Ayvalik-Haylazli

  • Highly successful lagoon fishery (very amenable to closed access management as compared to the open ocean).

  • Fishery leased by the state, operated by private cooperatives.

  • Formal Property Right given by the state, right to fish, right to exclude others.

  • All fisherman members of a coop. Must have lived in community for 6 months to be a member.

  • Limitation of membership keeps costs of fishing low. (tow rowboats).

    Case Study (2) : Tasucu Bay

  • Right to fish not restricted to member of coop, but compelling reasons to join. ($3000 bank credit, seasonally adjusted guaranteed price of fish.

  • Fisherman make good living without fishing particularly hard.


Fikret berkes local level management and the commons problem a study of turkish coastal fisheries

Case Study (3) : Alanga

  • ½ of fisherman belong to coop. of town.

  • Limited number of spaces for net fishing sites, right to fish migratory species is restricted to members of the community of fisherman.

  • Successful, but in contrast to (1) and (2), the coop. has neither legal authority nor economic power to gather all the fisherman under its umbrella.

    Case Study (4) : Bodrum

  • Trawlers collapsed the stock in the early 1970s.

  • Characterized as having massive user-group conflicts (i.e. too many groups of conflicting fisherman, no single organization could speak for all the fisherman)

  • Examples of different groups : Small scale, charter boat, spear, tourist fisherman, semi-pros

  • Not a successful fishery


Fikret berkes local level management and the commons problem a study of turkish coastal fisheries

Case Study (5) : Bay of Izmir

  • Troubled Fishery

  • Characterized by having lucrative markets, too many user groups, too many boats and fisherman.

  • Problem is not trawlers nor lack of coops.

  • Each coop. Represents narrow interests, and none is able to tackle larger problems of managing a crowded fisher in the proximity of a large urban center, or protecting the collective interests against resource degradation.

    Evidence of effective local management in the first three case studies.

    What is the main characteristic that make these first three successful in preventing resource degradation?

    Resource in not open access, but fall under author’s definition of common property. This is most obvious in CS (1), right to fish is legally defined. Right to fish is defined in (2) and (3), but definition is fragile, and cannot be formalized.


Fikret berkes local level management and the commons problem a study of turkish coastal fisheries

Argument: Local rules seem to work well when the resource is used by one community of users. (Homogeneity of parties argument).

  • Appearance of a new group puts additional demand on scarce resource, effectively creating the open access condition

    “You must live in the community to use this resource”

    Question: How would living in the community help to create effective local management of coastal fisheries (or any commons problem).

    Famous Bumper Sticker in coastal San Diego: “If you don’t surf here, don’t build here.”


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