Catch shares in fisheries management

We assessed how catch share management (i.e. individual quotas) has impacted the status of marine populations and the ability of fisheries to meet management targets. We showed:

  • Catch shares were associated with reduced inter-annual variability of catches and exploitation rates relative to management targets, rather than changes in the mean values of these variables or in biomass.  see abstractsee layperson summary
  • The role of the fishing industry in establishing catch share systems impacts whether harvest rate targets are met, especially when exclusivity of the harvesting privilege is low.  see abstract
  • Dampened variance was strongest when the harvesting privilege was durable and secure into the future.  see abstract

Our work was funded by the Lenfest Ocean Program, with Tim Essington as the Principal Investigator. See here for a layperson summary of the overall project. I wrote a recent article for the CFOOD blog here.