Fisheries Catch Shares Management in Argentina: Institutional Design, Economic Efficiency, and Social Outcomes
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While property rights-based management is theoretically purported enhance economic efficiency in fisheries by reducing over-capitalization and extending fishing seasons, the social and economic empirical outcomes are less comprehensively understood. International adoption of rights-based management to manage pollution, fisheries, and water-quality increasingly modifies these management approaches to achieve a wider set of policy goals. Argentina, in particular, interjected economic, social, and ecological objectives into a fisheries individual and transferable quota (ITQ) program through a use-it-or-lose-it penalty, a unidirectional quota transfer restriction between coastal and offshore processing vessels, and a social quota reserve.
The present dissertation utilizes historical data, including legislative documents from 1998 to 2016, monthly fisheries effort and landings data from 2007-2016, and annual data on quota allocation and transfers from 2010-2016, to evaluate the process through which Argentine designed its ITQ program and its social and economic outcomes.
The first chapter is an institutional analysis of the ITQ program in Argentina and lends insight to how and why configurations of rights-based managed differ across socio-economic contexts. The next two chapters build on the results of the first chapter to evaluate to what extent it achieved social and economic objectives through two specific policy modifications: a use-it-or-lose-it penalty and a social quota reserve.
In the second chapter, I develop a two-stage empirical model to evaluate how ecological and economic uncertainties influence intra-seasonal production decisions in an ITQ fishery. The results demonstrate that fresh catch fishing vessels are disproportionately impacted by this policy, relative to offshore processing fishing vessels. This unintended consequence of a policy meant to protect small and medium sized vessel owners could be due to an interaction with the unidirectional trading restriction or the substitution of fishing effort into the more lucrative shrimp fishery.
Finally, I estimate determinants of fishing vessel exit from an ITQ-regulated fishery and evaluate to what extent additional social quota allocation extends the expected lifespan of coastal, fresh catch fishing vessels in that fishery. The results demonstrate that both social quota allocation and participation in the shrimp fishery extend a fishing vessel’s participation in the ITQ-regulated hake fishery.
Together, these results suggest that policy modifications to rights-based management regimes can influence social and economic outcomes, although whether the intended outcomes are achieved depends on the heterogeneity of the fishery, the ability of fishing vessels to substitute effort into non-regulated fisheries, and macroeconomic conditions, such as fuel and export prices.
public policy evaluation
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