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Ragnar Arnason: A Review of International Experiences with ITQs. Background information United States is the 5 th largest fishing nation. Basic fisheries management law in US is Magnuson – Stevens Fishery and management act. (8 regional mgt. councils).

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ragnar arnason a review of international experiences with itqs
Ragnar Arnason: A Review of International Experiences with ITQs

Background information

  • United States is the 5th largest fishing nation.
  • Basic fisheries management law in US is Magnuson – Stevens Fishery and management act. (8 regional mgt. councils).
  • ITQs established in 4 fisheries in 1990s with some degree of success, two more proposed in late 1990s, blocked by congress
  • Currently only three ITQ managed fisheries in USA.

Three fisheries are (1) Ocean quahog and surf clams fisheries

(2) Atlantic wreckfish fishery

(3) North Pacific Halibut/Sablefish fisheries

slide2
Discussion of (1) Ocean quahog and surf clams fisheries.
  • Initial allocation based on historical catch record
  • Ownership of a vessel is not a requirement for holding a quota
  • ITQs are freely tradable, anyone can hold ITQ, no upper limits on size of ownership except to the extent it may violate US Antitrust Laws.
  • Substantial trade in quotas => in first two years number of vessels reduced from 128 to 59, and then in next few years down to 35.
  • Following intro of ITQ, enforcement costs plummeted. A lot of detailed conservation regulations became redundant, could be scrapped.
slide3
Discussion of (2) Atlantic Wreckfish fishery.
  • ½ of initial allocation based on vessel owner catch record
  • ½ divided equally to all that had a history of participation in fishery.
  • ITQs are freely tradable
  • Substantial trade in quotas => vessels reduced from 90 to 40 in first two years, and in next few years down to 9.
  • Cost of enforcement reduced under ITQ. Coupons followed the landed fish through purchasing chain, thus making it possible to verify landing receipts.

Question: What about the fact that only 1/10 the vessels remain? Author did not mention this.

slide4
Discussion of (3) North Pacific Halibut/Sablefish fisheries.
  • Initial allocation only to vessel owners and lessors that had landings in at least one of the years 88-90.
  • Quota associated with a vessel. Owner has to be on vessel when quota is caught. Transferability restricted to the same vessel class.

Question: When above restrictions diminish value of quotas, who’s interest do they serve?

  • ITQ trade/holdings subject to a number of restrictions that are constantly evolving.
  • Cost of enforcement decreased. Everyone gets a debit card.
slide5
Summary: Anecdotal evidence of increased compliance and increased resource stewardship under the three ITQ systems.

e.g. Fisherman voluntarily removed bottom longlines known to damage corals from their arsenal.

Question: Why does the US only have three ITQ managed fisheries?

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