Greater compliance with regulations is possible with fishery cooperatives

Fishery cooperatives are groups of harvesters that band together to jointly fish a pooled quota. They can be set up in a variety of ways, but generally are governed by agreements among members, as well as agreements with regulators that affect all members of the cooperative. One form this may take is to have the participants be “jointly and severally liable” for staying within the catch quota limits for that cooperative; in other words, the regulator can halt the fishing of all members within a cooperative if the catches for that cooperative exceed quota limits, even if the overage was the fault of just a single member. A new review of 13 cooperatives from 6 countries examines the effect of these kinds of rules on compliance with regulations, finding that compliance should be better for a given cost, but that regulators still need to ensure that cooperatives are incentivized to properly monitor catches and sanction members that flout the rules. The new work appears in the journal Fish and Fisheries and was authored by Manuel Bellanger and Olivier Guyader of IFREMER, Daniel Holland of NOAA, and SAFS professor Chris Anderson.

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