Why are Fishers not Enforcing Their Marine User Rights?

Abstract

Over-fishing is a global problem that damages the marine environment and compromises the long-term sustainability of fisheries. This damage can be mitigated by restricting catch or other activities which can occur in marine areas. However, such management is only effective when restrictions are enforced to ensure compliance. We expect fishers to help enforce restrictions when they have exclusive user rights and can capture the benefits of management. In a number of such cases, however, fisher participation in the enforcement of user rights is absent. In this analysis we used central Chile as a case-study to investigate why some fishers may not participate in enforcement even when they have exclusive territorial user rights for fisheries. We used a best-worst scaling survey to assess why fishers would choose not to participate in enforcement through monitoring their TURF management areas, and what would help to increase their participation. We found that the main reason fishers may not monitor is because they consider government policing of marine areas and punishment of poachers to be ineffective. Increased and timely responsiveness by government when poachers are detected and more stringent penalisation of poachers may lead to greater involvement in enforcement by fishers.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    A reviewer raised the possibility of lower revenues creating a disincentive for monitoring rather than vice versa. However, anecdotal evidence in the region suggests that TURF areas were chosen because they were (at least initially) productive fishing grounds worthy of monitoring; productivity declined only after monitoring stopped.

  2. 2.

    Estimation of latent class models results in predicted membership of classes that is difficult to interpret on the basis of individuals’ characteristics and are not reported here; the small sample size may limit the ability to estimate robust latent classes.

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Acknowledgments

This research was conducted with support from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions. The authors would like to thank F Auzanneau, M Guerrero Gatica, and A Keim for their invaluable and expert assistance during data collection. SG thanks Financiamiento Basal FB-0002, Nucleo-Milenio RC13004, and NC-120086 from the Ministerio de Economia, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, and The Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship Program.

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Correspondence to Katrina J Davis.

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This paper has not been submitted elsewhere in identical or similar form, nor will it be during the first three months after its submission to the Publisher.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 8

Table 8 Mean values for socio-economic interaction terms used in estimation of the conditional logit model reported in Table 6

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Davis, K.J., Kragt, M.E., Gelcich, S. et al. Why are Fishers not Enforcing Their Marine User Rights?. Environ Resource Econ 67, 661–681 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-015-9992-z

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Keywords

  • Best-worst scaling
  • Chile
  • Marine management
  • Monitoring
  • Small-scale fisheries
  • TURFs