Regional management of multi-species fisheries on the basis of shared stocks and property rights: a Mediterranean case
Keywords:fishery management, shared stocks, property rights, Adriatic Sea, small pelagic, production function
Fishery management is a complicated task that often results in overfishing, overcapacity, and low profits for the industry. The management of shared fish stocks is particularly problematic, especially if national authorities pursue different objectives. Multi-species fisheries add further complexity to the problem. It is no accident that management tools frequently used in Northern Europe, such as total allowable catches and individual quotas, are not applied in the Mediterranean Sea, where more target species are caught simultaneously. However, the European Commission intends to introduce a market-based driver for a strong, profitable fishing industry by phasing in transferable fishing concessions. This management approach is new for the Mediterranean, and it requires in-depth examination at institutional, legal, and economic levels. In this paper, after a review of the institutional setting, the economic perspective was analyzed by estimating the production function for the Italian small pelagic fishery in the Adriatic Sea. With the addition of Croatia to the European Union, the Adriatic Sea can become a Mediterranean communal exclusive fishing area. The results indicate that output measures such as total allowable catches and individual quotas should not cause serious discarding problems for this multi-species fishery.
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