• Catch rights;
  • ecosystem-based fisheries management;
  • fisheries management;
  • individual transferrable quotas;
  • quotas


Recent articles in high-profile journals advocating the widespread establishment of economic rights-based approaches for managing fisheries has re-kindled the debate over the efficacy of incentive-based vs. regulatory-based management approaches. Inspection of these works, written from the particular perspectives of economics, fisheries biology, or marine ecology, reveals that advocates of rights-based regimes such as Individual Transferrable Quotas are sometimes recommending these policy instruments for quite different reasons. Hence, the advantageous attributes of rights-based approaches from the perspective of one discipline may be quite different when seen from the perspective of another discipline. This is of concern as it exposes a tendency for particular disciplines to consider only the advantages of rights-based approaches, such as establishing a harvest cap, but to implicitly discount the disadvantages such as less attention being paid to critical ecological and ecosystem issues.