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Management issues in the fisheries commons McWhinnie, Stephanie F.

Abstract

This dissertation addresses three issues in managing the fisheries commons: international sharing; international agreements; and property rights management. The overall purpose is to move towards providing consistent and broadly applicable analysis of fisheries management issues by conducting studies at an internationally comparable level. The first issue examined is whether fish stocks that are internationally shared are systematically more exploited than solely owned stocks. With the use of a newly compiled database that includes economic and biological characteristics along with the exploitation status of nearly two hundred fish stocks from around the globe, it is found that sharing is indeed a detrimental force in determining stock status. - The second issue is the natural next question of what effect international agreements have on shared fish stocks. Incorporating information on international cooperative and access agreements into the exploitation status database allows a first-pass analysis of the average effect of cooperative and access agreements on fish stocks. The final issue considered is the impact on productivity of the introduction of property rights management regimes. A parallel analysis of a traditional productivity approach and an index number decomposition to establish the source of productivity changes is conducted on a unique vessel-level dataset of the Norwegian coastal cod fishery and finds that the introduction of individual vessel quotas raised productivity.

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