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The Fisheries Co-management Experience in the Sultanate of Oman: Challenges and Prospects . Hamed Al-Oufi & Younis Al-Akhzami* Department of Marine Science and Fisheries Sultan Qaboos University *Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Oman.

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the fisheries co management experience in the sultanate of oman challenges and prospects

The Fisheries Co-management Experience in the Sultanate of Oman: Challenges and Prospects

Hamed Al-Oufi & Younis Al-Akhzami*

Department of Marine Science and Fisheries

Sultan Qaboos University

*Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Oman

slide2

Most centralized management systems are not sustainable especially in developing countries

  • Why?
  • High transaction costs
  • Lack of incentive
slide3

Transaction costs

  • Transaction costs are grouped on the basis of the sequence of fishery management decision -4 stages (Hanna, 2003):
  • 2 ex ante stages
        • Information gathering and management program design
  • 2 ex post stages
        • Implementation and enforcement
slide4

The cost of generating information on stocks do not vary with management structure

Other costs will vary with the management structure and with the relative position of users and government in making decisions

When regulations are legitimate, compliance is likely to be high, thus enforcement costs decrease

slide5

Incentives

Most centralized management systems place limit on output, creating an incentives for fishermen to compete.

Competitive race for fish has led to rising cost of fishing effort and dissipation of rent

Fisherman 2

Fisherman 1

* Nash

equilibrium

slide6

Incentives

There is more incentive for user-groups to achieve optimal exploitation when they can control access to the fishing grounds and when their tenure to the fishery is ensured

slide7

What is Co-management?

  • Co-management
  • is a collaborative and participatory process of regulatory decision-making between:
  • Representatives of user-groups
  • Government
  • Research institutions
  • Other stakeholders
slide8

As a concept is new in fisheries (25 -30 years only)

  • As a practice it has existed in fisheries for decades and in some fisheries for centuries
  • Lofoten Islands, Norway. Functioning successfully for 100 years
  • Senate Al-Bahar (Oman) a local fisheries management institution based on traditional conventions and informal social sanctions that existed for 100 years
slide9

Examples of co-management in practice around the world

Lake kariba, Zambia implemented for the Zambian gill-net fishery in 1994

San Migual bay, Philippines implemented in 1991 to address overfishing and conflicts

Lofoten Islands, Norway. Functioning successfully for 100 years

Coastal fisheries, Japan

Coastal fisheries, Turkey

slide10

Oman Fisheries

  • Characteristics:
  • small scale
  • 30,000 fishermen
  • 12,000 vessels (5-10 m LOA)
  • ranked second after oil
  • landings 120 MT/years
  • Management system:
  • State control CPR
slide11

FisheriesManagement System

  • 1. Before 1970 Community based management (Senate Al- Bahar)
  • 2. 1970 -1997 State control CPR
  • 3. 1997-present State control CPR & Government-sponsored co-management institutions
slide12

1. Management system before 1970 Community based management (Senate Al- Bahar)

  • Coastal fisheries in Oman were managed by an indigenous management institution known as Senate Al-Bahar (code of the sea)
  • Senate Al-Bahar wasevolved several hundred years by fishermen to:
  • Manage and restrain the take of fish from the resources
  • Control the activities of fishermen on land and at sea
slide13

1. Management system before 1970 Community based management (Senate Al- Bahar)

  • Senate Al-Bahar is chaired by a charismatic leader with good credibility and experience
  • Responsibilities of the institution:
  • devised local accords to address common problems
  • address technological externalities and assignment problems
  • devised rules to conserve important fishery from depletion.
slide14

1. Management system before 1970 Community based management (Senate Al- Bahar)

Under this management system, coastal fisheries exploitation was sustainable because:

1. Boundaries were identified

2. Access to the fishery was controlled by users

3. The institution’s role and rights were recognized by the political and the legal systems

(the institution comply with Ostrom, E. (1990) design principles)

slide15

2. 1970-1997(State control CPR)

  • In 1970s, a Fisheries Development Program was initiated to develop the sector
  • Royal Decree RD53/1981 and Ministerial Decision, MD3/1982 which is known as the Fisheries Act of 1981
  • Fisheries management was the responsibility of the government both national and regional
slide16

2. 1970-1997(State control CPR)

  • Local management institutions were steadily eroded with community authority and rights were superseded by the government control
  • Management measures (regulatory instruments) have been ineffective to promote sustainable development and management
slide17

2. 1970-1997(State control CPR)

  • By early 1990s, inshore resources of the Sultanate have witnessed the symptoms of overfishing, e.g.,
  • Kingfish fishery
  • Lobster fishery
  • Abalone fishery
  • Other demersal species
  • During late 1990s, the problem of the fishery continue to worsen and alternative methods of resource use and management were explored
slide18

3. 1997-present

State control CPR & Government-sponsored co-managementinstitutions

Since 1997, 25 local management institutions were established in each town with support from the Government

Co-management implemented to promote the tradition of Senate Al-Bahar in fisheries management

slide19

3. 1997-present(State control& co-management)

  • These committees are responsible to:
  • monitor compliance
  • review fisheries regulations
  • resolve conflicts
  • work toward needed fishery management decisions
  • The government retains final authority for decisions, but consults with Senate committees
slide20

3. 1997-present(State control& co-management)

Structure of management committees in each coastal town:

Chair : Wali (local governor)

Members :

Shura counsel member (1)

fishermen’s representative (500:1)

Ministry representative (1)

slide21

3. 1997-present(State control& co-management)

Local committees meet 4 times a year

Since its establishment in 1997, a number of fisheries regulations were reviewed

Managers hoped that fisheries regulations would be considered legitimate by fishermen to promote higher compliance

slide22

3. 1997-present(State control& co-management)

Government-sponsored institutions – officially recognized but ineffective since it does not represent fishermen

Challenges

Little progress has been achieved in the way coastal fisheries are managed

Timeframe for the institutions to evolve is from 5 to 10 years (early to make a decision)

slide23

Local management committees are facing some difficulties because:

  • Chaired by a Wali (governor) who is, in most cases, has no interest in fisheries
  • Members are selected by local political elites
  • Fishermen representation is limited
  • Lack of power
  • Irregular meetings
  • Some are not functioning