Game Theory and Fisheries

Posted: 16 Sep 2011

See all articles by Rognvaldur Hannesson

Rognvaldur Hannesson

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH); Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2011


The literature on game theory and fisheries is reviewed, beginning with the initial papers from the late 1970s on cooperative and noncooperative games. Later developments considered repeated games and trigger strategies as well as the stability of coalitions. It is argued that the latter literature is overly pessimistic in that it does not pursue breakdown of successive coalitions to its ultimate end, which may provide a worse outcome than an apparently unstable coalition. The choice of strategic variable is considered at some length, but in the existing literature this choice is seldom explicitly motivated. Similarly, the spatial distribution of fish is seldom analyzed in the existing literature, but it could make a difference. This article looks at fishing in a common pool, fishing in separate pools with interacting substocks, and sequential fishing. Fishing on the high seas is discussed and the enforcement issue identified as an underresearched problem. Imperfect information on fish stocks and their migrations is also underresearched.

Suggested Citation

Hannesson, Rognvaldur, Game Theory and Fisheries (October 2011). Annual Review of Resource Economics, Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 181-202, 2011, Available at SSRN: or

Rognvaldur Hannesson (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
+47 55 959 260 (Phone)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen

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