Evolution of the Commons: Governing Common Pool, Semi-Open Access Fisheries in the Greek Seas A Blend of Modern Theories and Application for Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries
52 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2014
Date Written: Revised April 20, 2014
Fish stock depletion in the world’s oceans and seas is one of the world’s most serious environmental problems. In the Greek seas, the problem of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing has devastating effects on island and coastal artisanal fishing villages, members of which have been fishing the seas and supporting their families and communities with their trade for generations.
A member of the European Union, Greece is obligated to abide by the regulations and directives of the EU Council, including those pertaining to conservation and management of ocean fisheries. Greece is also a State Party to several international conventions having the same purpose. Despite these binding obligations, the Greek Government has been routinely negligent about implementing these provisions in its marine and fishery ministries, in addition to lax enforcement of existing regulations.
For years, implementation of lobbying and policy initiatives regarding the Government’s neglect of its fiduciary duty met with limited success. In the meantime, the seas continued to die, as have the artisanal fishing villages so closely linked to them. While these initiatives continue, so does the exploration of alternative approaches. One such approach is the community co-managed Fishery Protected Area (FPA).
Within the environ of the Greek seas’ semi open access property and their transient, common pool resources “owned” by the sovereign, this paper explores the alternative of self-governance and community action considered within a property-rights scheme. This approach starts from a theory based on stakeholders’ shared values as opposed to conflicting interests as recommended by Gerhart, and draws on key best practices from Ostrom’s groundbreaking research on governing common-pool resources. Increased utilization of the Greek national courts, European Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea as vehicles for conflict resolution, enforcement compliance, compensatory damage relief and punitive sanctions is also considered. Finally contemplated is application of key principles from these blended concepts for the small-scale coastal artisanal fisheries of the Greek seas.
Keywords: Greek artisanal fisheries, Governance of the Commons, Greek Sea fisheries, Law of the Sea, Marine Conservation and Protection, Fishery Protected Areas, Marine Protected Areas, Fishery Compliance in the European Union, Self-Governing Fishery Mechanisms, Property and Social Morality
JEL Classification: A13, D70, H10, H41, K11, K32, K33, K42, O13, Q22, Q25, Q38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation