Property Rights and Property Wrongs: Why Context Matters in Fisheries Management
Policy Sciences 34: 357-379, 2001
23 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 25, 2001
Like most wild living resources, fish present a complex management challenge. Given the failure of command and control regulatory regimes to protect fisheries, scholars and practitioners have advocated the use of property rights to rectify the fisheries crisis. This meta analysis argues that property rights can be used constructively as a regulatory measure in the sustainable management of fisheries, and perhaps in other areas of resource management. However, the use of property rights to resolve resource problems is context dependent, and no single regulatory option or policy is appropriate for the multi-faceted and highly variable world of fisheries management. This paper characterizes and contrasts three regulatory regimes in fisheries management in the United States, while drawing from lessons learned worldwide about fisheries regulation. The paper defines the conditions where property rights might be used appropriately-property 'rights' - as well as where property rights might be used inappropriately - property 'wrongs.'
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