Is fisheries governance possible?


  • Jahn P Johnsen

    Corresponding author
    1. Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
    • Correspondence:

      Jahn P Johnsen, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway

      Tel.: +47 77646784

      Fax: + 47 77646020


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Are there limits to the governability of a fishery? The establishment of a 200 nautical mile economic zone in Norway in 1977 made it possible to change from an open-access regime to a more closed one. In this process, the former self-regulating Norwegian fishing industry, to a large extent, accepted and adapted an explicit, hierarchical form of state-run governance. However, the process of change did not stop there. Since the turn of the millennium, we have seen the creation of a cybernetically organized fishing industry, where control, regulation and governance have become re-embedded in the industry. This article explores this radical new development and perspective on fisheries governance and governability based on lessons learned from technological and organizational changes in the Norwegian fishing industry.