When ideas conspire with circumstances: Introducing individual transferable quotas in fisheries

Rannsóknarafurð: Framlag til fræðitímaritsGreinritrýni


Two important questions are rarely asked about the possible introduction of ITQs in fisheries: Why are there only two countries in the world, Iceland and New Zealand, which have introduced a comprehensive ITQ system into their fisheries? and: Who cares whether the commons is privatized? The experience in Iceland may provide some answers. In Part 1, the evolution of the ITQ system in Iceland in 1975-2000 is described as a difficult process of bargaining. Costs of bargaining were lowered by the widespread fear of the collapse of the fish stocks, and by the relative homogeneity in the pelagic fisheries. Those costs were increased, on the other hand, by the heterogeneity in the demersal fisheries, with vast differences between owners of small boats and large trawlers, and also between regions. In Part II, the nature of the ITQ system is described: while those who hold ITQs enjoy rights of extraction rather than property, the introduction of the ITQ system amounts to the partial enclosure of the fish stocks in Icelandic waters, solving most of the problems associated with the “tragedy of the commons”. The system has performed quite well although some problems remain, in particular the uncertain legal status of the ITQs and highgrading. In Part III, current controversies about the ITQ system are described. It is argued that the only way to make the introduction of the system acceptable to owners of fishing capital was to allocate quotas on the basis of catch history, and that a special resource rent tax would be unjust, since it would hit those who chose to remain in the fisheries, not those who were bought out.

Upprunalegt tungumálEnska
Síður (frá-til)1-30
FræðitímaritJournal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines
Númer tölublaðs2
ÚtgáfustaðaÚtgefið - 2000


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