Catch shares slow the race to fish.

Journal Article

In fisheries, the tragedy of the commons manifests as a competitive race to fish that compresses fishing seasons, resulting in ecological damage, economic waste, and occupational hazards. Catch shares are hypothesized to halt the race by securing each individual's right to a portion of the total catch, but there is evidence for this from selected examples only. Here we systematically analyse natural experiments to test whether catch shares reduce racing in 39 US fisheries. We compare each fishery treated with catch shares to an individually matched control before and after the policy change. We estimate an average policy treatment effect in a pooled model and in a meta-analysis that combines separate estimates for each treatment-control pair. Consistent with the theory that market-based management ends the race to fish, we find strong evidence that catch shares extend fishing seasons. This evidence informs the current debate over expanding the use of market-based regulation to other fisheries.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Birkenbach, AM; Kaczan, DJ; Smith, MD

Published Date

  • April 5, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 544 / 7649

Start / End Page

  • 223 - 226

PubMed ID

  • 28379945

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-4687

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-0836

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nature21728

Language

  • eng