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Fisheries management policy in South Africa : an evaluation of alternative management strategies for the Hake and Linefish fisheries Hutton, Trevor Patrick

Abstract

Recent political changes in South Africa provide an opportunity to explore alternative fisheries management policies. An analysis of common-pool resource management arrangements indicates that the rules governing participation and the allocation of costs and benefits need to be well defined. A multi-disciplinary policy analysis has to consider institutions because they form the basis of rules and rights. My analysis is developed from the integration of two approaches: (1) a framework analysis based on neo-institutional economics (NIE), which qualitatively predicts whether there are incentives for cooperative strategies, and (2) bio-economic game theoretic methodology that is used to quantify the incentives. The integration of these approaches relies on them being congruent in their predictions, and, as a test, my analysis is applied to two case studies. For the linefishery, the NIE framework predicts that cooperative management is problematic (as controversy exists over the size limits of fish such as geelbek), despite the interest of fishing communities in becoming involved in management. A bio-economic analysis for this species reveals that a difference of R1.2 million could be obtained under non-cooperative strategies versus cooperative strategies over the next five years. For the west coast deep-sea hake fishery, the NIE analysis reveals a history of user participation in management by the trawl sector, a partnership that is struggling to remain legitimate while the government is re-distributing quota to new entrants from a longline sector. The bio-economic game theoretic analysis suggests that a difference of R368 million may accrue to longliners over the next thirty years if they engage in non-cooperative strategies versus cooperative strategies. A cooperative strategy by the trawl sector results in an additional benefit to both sectors of R605 million, assuming security of tenure that is not assured under the re-structuring. The government will find it hard to replicate the successful agreements of the past with all stakeholders, as it is now economically beneficial for them to behave non-cooperatively. The results indicate that management policies could fail unless policies are 'incentive adjusting'; positive outcomes will prevail when the rules governing participation and the allocation of benefits for shared stocks are well defined and constrained.

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