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Fisheries Economics & Policy: Individual and Transferable Quotas


Individual Transfer Quotas (ITQs)

This video discusses Individual Transfer Quotas (ITQs). ITQs are quotas that limit the number of fish a fisherman can catch and are intended to prevent overfishing. Absent regulation, each fisherman has an incentive to continue catching fish beyond the quantity which is socially efficient (each fisherman who adds an additional boat creates a negative externality, because his or her new boat with catch some fish that would have been caught by other people's boats anyway). To prevent depleted fish stocks ITQs limit the quantity of fish caught to the socially efficient level. ITQs can be bought and sold on markets and are initially given out by auction or based on historical catch. ITQs can create issues when they incentivize fishermen to throw back fish caught accidentally (bycatch and high-grading). These issues can be addressed by allowing fishermen to purchase temporary overages when they return with their catch.

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Hugo Salgado: Individual Transferable Quotas in Chilean Fisheries

A Community Colloquium presents Hugo Salgado, Professor of Universidad be Concepcion, Chile: Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQ) in Chilean Fisheries: A tale of economic success and social disconformity. ITQs in Chile have led to economic success by creating more secure jobs, products of higher value, and more exports with reduced catches. Nevertheless, this has generated industry concentration, unemployment, entry of new fishermen into the artisanal sector, and entry barriers in the processing industry. Wages in the harvesting and processing industry have decreased. The highly concentrated industry now has more political power to influence regulators and the quota-setting process. As this process is now controlled by the industry, quotas have been set much higher than biological recommendations, and harvests have been lower than the quotas set during the past few years. Fish stocks do not seem to recover, indicating overexploitation. All of this has generated intense debate between those who are benefitting and those who are being negatively affected by the ITQ system. Understanding this process is crucial to designing ITQ systems that could contribute to more sustainable fisheries in developing countries, not only from an economic perspective, but also from a biological and social perspective, too.

Ted Talk (fishing quotas, and fisheries)

Individual Quotas in Fisheries: Research Project 2013

I am a student at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (SFOS), at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), in Juneau, Alaska, USA. This film describes my dissertation research.


Import QUOTAS in Economics

Another form of protection is the IMPORT QUOTA. Here, the government RESTRICTS the volume of imports that are allowed in.

And it involves a kind of counter intuitive logic: the higher the quota, the LOWER the level of protection.

Watch on!

NOTE: there are a couple of different options for drawing quota graphs. This is a simple introduction to show you the principles behind a quota diagram.

Quota graph: 0:30 to 5:12
Economic effects of a quota: 5:12 to 7:48

Tutorial 2 - The Common Fisheries Policy

Discover the set of rules established to manage European fisheries and how LIFE can make your voice heard! Download the official guide on

Fishing Quotas and Regulations

Economics of fisheries lecture

Lecture covers biological relationship between fish population and growth rate, economically efficient level of harvesting, and an overview of policies to manage fisheries.

Fishing Quotas in the Gulf

Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico use individual fishing quotas to manage red snapper catches sustainably and with far less risk.

Individual fishing quota | Wikipedia audio article

This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article:
Individual fishing quota

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This video uses Google TTS en-US-Standard-D voice.

Individual fishing quotas (IFQs) also known as individual transferable quotas (ITQs) are one kind of catch share, a means by which many governments regulate fishing. The regulator sets a species-specific total allowable catch (TAC), typically by weight and for a given time period. A dedicated portion of the TAC, called quota shares, is then allocated to individuals. Quotas can typically be bought, sold and leased, a feature called transferability. As of 2008, 148 major fisheries (generally, a single species in a single fishing ground) around the world had adopted some variant of this approach, along with approximately 100 smaller fisheries in individual countries. Approximately 10% of the marine harvest was managed by ITQs as of 2008. The first countries to adopt individual fishing quotas were the Netherlands, Iceland and Canada in the late 1970s, and the most recent is the United States Scallop General Category IFQ Program in 2010. The first country to adopt individual transferable quotas as a national policy was New Zealand in 1986.

The Economics of Fisheries

Update: This lecture replaces the video with John Reynolds, who worried that his lecture on fisheries science (he's a biologist) and policy might offend some people.

I gave this guest lecture to a class on fisheries *science* so they'd have an idea about the economics affecting their topic. Sorry for off-camera (and bad sound) discussion and questions

AGEC 350 - Fisheries

The simple economics of an open-access fishery.

Fisheries Economics

Dr. Jon Grabowski, associate professor at Northeastern University, explains some valuation techniques used to research the economic effect of fisheries on coastal communities and beyond.

Commercial Fisheries Business Adjustment Program assistance measures

War veteran members disadvantaged from applying for fishing quotas-NNLVA-NBC


Developing Useful Sketches Text and Graphs Open Access Fisheries 5 21 2018

Economics Tutoring Series - Fisheries and the Gordon Model

In this video, we introduce using a logarithmic growth function to model a fishery and determine maximum sustainable yield and bioeconomic equilibrium. We then use the Gordon Model to determine effort levels in group optimum/monopoly, maximum sustainable yield, and open access situations.

OceanMOOC | 8.2 | Fisheries Economics and Management

"A Fisherman's Perspective of the Individual Fishing Quota System in Alaska" 10/12/12

Author Dean Adams presented A Fisherman's Perspective of the Individual Fishing Quota System in Alaska - Before, During, and After Implementation as part of Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 in Communications Facility Room 125 on the Western campus.

The initiation of the Individual Fishing Quota system in 1995 marked the end of the derby fisheries for the halibut and sablefish longline fisheries in Alaska. Adams' career in commercial longline fishing spanned the derby years and extended into the IFQ fishery. The IFQ system, a radical departure from traditional fishery management, has resulted in extended fishing seasons, minimized waste and bycatch of target and nontarget species, improved safety for the fishing industry, and improved food quality.

As a consequence, the economic value of the resource has increase substantially.
Adams participated in the federal fisheries management process leading up to the implementation of the IFQ system both individually and as a representative for the Fishing Vessel Owners Association, a Seattle-based group of owner/operators in the Alaska longline fishery. He will tell the story from his perspective, which will include discussion of problems associated with the IFQ system -- some anticipated, and some, not.

The speaker series is held by Western's Huxley College of the Environment to bring together the environmentally minded community and other interested members of the WWU and Bellingham communities. Speakers address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and the world.

For more information, please contact the main office of Huxley College of the Environment, at (360) 650-3520.

Western's Huxley College of the Environment is one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation and a recognized national leader in producing the next generation of environmental stewards. The College's academic programs reflect a broad view of the physical, biological, social and cultural world. This innovative and interdisciplinary approach makes Huxley unique. The College has earned international recognition for the quality of its programs.

Talk at ISER: Iceland’s Fisheries: An Overview and Description of Management

Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson and Hörður Sævaldsson are both assistant professors in the School of Business and Science at the University of Akureyri in Iceland. At ISER, they each talk about aspects of Iceland’s fisheries, which have for centuries been the main pillar of the Icelandic economy.

Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson gives an overview of the current status of the stocks around Iceland and speculates on the main drivers of change in those stocks. He also describes the tools used to manage the fisheries, so as to minimize discards and protect juvenile fish. Hörður Sævaldsson describes the history of fisheries management in Iceland, including precursors of the current system and today's ITQ (individual transferable quota) system—as well as the effects of consolidation and changes within the system.



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