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High Seas Fisheries Governance: A Framework for the Future?

G.T. (STAN) CROTHERS and LINDIE NELSON
Marine Resource Economics
Vol. 21, No. 4 (2006), pp. 341-353
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42629520
Page Count: 13
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High Seas Fisheries Governance: A Framework for the Future?
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Abstract

This paper focuses on the importance of accountable governance arrangements to successfully manage high seas fisheries. It proposes replacing the current right of open access to high seas fisheries with defined property rights issued to nation states and managed within a governance framework designed to optimise environmental and economic outcomes from the use of high seas fisheries. We propose that the high seas freedom to fish be transformed to a right to share in the net wealth generated from sustainable harvest of high seas fisheries. Management of high seas fisheries should ensure that: (i) all nations have a right to benefit from high seas fisheries, (ii) all harvesting is environmentally sustainable, (iii) fisheries resources are used efficiently, and (iv) management agencies are accountable. Rather than relying on the cooperation of nations through regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs), we suggest the establishment of accountable management organisations of which nations are beneficial owners. The paper presents a proposal we hope will prompt discussion and further research on alternative governance arrangements to achieve sustainable management of high seas fisheries.

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