Allocating quotas and limiting access. An approach to management. The case of the Norwegian mackerel fishery
The mackerel fishery has become the most important pelagic species for export. Prior to 1994 the allocations between the three main fleet groups, the purse seine, the coastal and the trawl fleet was negotiated on an annual basis. 1994, was an important year for the fisheries industry, the price subsidies were no longer appropriate after the implementation of the EEA agreement. A stronger focus on economic efficiency and the need for stability, political and economic, called for a more stable allocation of the quotas. The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association has been instrumental in the process of finding an acceptable Allocation key. However, the processes have been turbulent and critical for the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association. The authorities followed the key more or less, the advice from the Norwegian Fisherman’s Association weights heavily in the management system. The notion that participation in the decision-making process yields legitimacy is central to understand the emphasis the authorities have laid on the compromises. However, the notion of the legitimacy of the procedure may be questionable. The representational share of the different interest groups in the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association is under debate. Furthermore, through a series of events the coastal mackerel fishery was in 2002 regulated by limited access for all vessels. The limited access must be understood most as an economical regulation, however behind this regulation strong interests have played a significant role. Co-management within the “family” will hence concentrate on a long-term allocation, which is now determined for the next 7 years. But whether this is perceived as legitimate in the wider circles of stakeholders is still open for debated. The issue of payment of resource rent is pending. Stable conditions, in particular political, may therefore be something of an illusion, even if the annual allocation battle is now history.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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