4. Fleets, Sites, and Conservation Goals

Game Theoretic Insights on Management Options for Multinational Tuna Fisheries

  1. Rosemary E. Ommer4,
  2. R. Ian Perry5,
  3. Kevern Cochrane6 and
  4. Philippe Cury7
  1. Kathleen Miller1,
  2. Peter Golubtsov2 and
  3. Robert McKelvey3

Published Online: 17 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444392241.ch4

World Fisheries: A Social-Ecological Analysis

World Fisheries: A Social-Ecological Analysis

How to Cite

Miller, K., Golubtsov, P. and McKelvey, R. (2011) Fleets, Sites, and Conservation Goals, in World Fisheries: A Social-Ecological Analysis (eds R. E. Ommer, R. I. Perry, K. Cochrane and P. Cury), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444392241.ch4

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Department of History, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria BC V8W 2Y2, Canada

  2. 5

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, 3190 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, BC, V9T 6N7, Canada

  3. 6

    Fisheries and Aquaculture, Department Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, via delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome 00153, Italy

  4. 7

    IRD UMR EME-212 (Ecosystème Marins Exploités-Exploited Marine Ecosystems), CRH (Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale IDR, Ifremer & Université Montpellier II, Avenue Jean Monnet, BP 171 34203, Sète Cedex France

Author Information

  1. 1

    Climate Science and Applications Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research, PO Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA

  2. 2

    Physics Department Lomonosov Moscow State University Leninskiye Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russia

  3. 3

    University of Montana, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 11 MAR 2011

Book Series:

  1. Fish and Aquatic Resources Series

Book Series Editors:

  1. Tony J. Pitcher

Series Editor Information

  1. Fisheries Centre, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Canada

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334678

Online ISBN: 9781444392241



  • Tuna;
  • Western and Central Pacific;
  • regional fisheries management organization;
  • fisheries policy;
  • distant-water fishing;
  • management


The management of tropical tuna fisheries is complicated by the highly migratory nature of the fish stocks, by the nature of the fisheries exploiting them, and by the effects of climate- driven variability in the location and productivity of the stocks. In addition to the management problems introduced by stock migrations across EEZ boundaries and into the high seas, particular challenges are presented by the fact that there are two distinct types of players who seek to derive benefits from these resources. Much of the harvesting is carried out by industrial fleets owned by citizens of distant-water fishing nations (DWFNs) who harvest tuna in the waters of a number of small-island and coastal nations, as well as on the high seas. Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) have been established to control harvesting pressure and promote a fair division of fishery benefits in these fisheries. The outcomes of the policies pursued by these RFMOs will depend on the interactions among the fleets, the fishing sites, and the RFMO itself - an interplay that can be formally modeled as a multi-party harvesting and management game. This chapter describes such a model, and uses it to explore the consequences of alternative policies for:

a) the total returns to the fishery;

b) the condition of the fish stocks; and

c) the division of benefits between the fleets and the sites.

Model results suggest that policy consequences will vary considerably depending on the design of the policy and the biological and physical details of the situation. In particular, climate-related shifts in the distribution of the stocks between EEZs and the high seas can affect the biological and economic consequences of the RFMO policy choices. The implications of these results are discussed in light of current RFMO policy processes in the Western and Central Pacific.