How can Fishery Comanagement Groups Enhance Economic Performance? Hints from Japanese Coastal Fisheries Management

Although comanagement is gaining increasing attention as a way to manage fisheries, few studies have attempted to understand quantitatively which factors of comanagement are critical for their success. This study investigates fishery comanagement regimes adopted by coastal fisheries in Japan. Utilizing a wide variety of examples of fishery comanagement nationwide, we search for key rules and measures that underlie traditional, cultural, and social aspects of comanagement. The study focuses on the rules of the game adopted by comanaging groups called fishery management organizations (FMOs). Upon examination of successful fishery comanagement cases, we found two distinctive measures: effort coordination and pooling arrangements. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence suggests that pooling arrangements are vital supporting measure for effective effort coordination, in which case having both of these two measures rather than only either one may be the key for successful fishery comanagement. We test this hypothesis with two sets of data. One is Japan's fishery census, which was published by the government and offers a large sample size but lacks information on effort coordination. Another is data from a survey designed and conducted by the authors to supplement the information on effort coordination and other self-imposed regulations. Our results show that (1) merely establishing comanaging groups such as FMOs has limited effect; (2) FMOs that establish pooling arrangements earn greater revenue from their fishing efforts, particularly when such pooling arrangements are combined with effort-coordination; and (3) pooling arrangements and effort coordination coupled with marketing activities result in the greatest revenue.

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Selected Paper 175126

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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