Government-industry co-management arrangements within the south african deep-sea hake fishery
Raakjaer Nielsen, J.
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As part of a global comparative study of user-participation in fisheries management, a neo-institutional economic framework analysis is applied to the South African Deep-sea Hake Fishery to evaluate past and present co-management arrangements. It is postulated that the comprehensive partnerships that exist will struggle to remain legitimate and functional during major changes in the access-rights regime. The government is redistributing quota to new entrants and previously-disadvantaged South Africans, resulting in competition between the established demersal trawl fleet and a new longline sector for access rights. The established industry is currently undertaking restructuring via investment schemes, joint ventures and share agreements. The relationship between rights to fish a resource and user-participation in management is one where, due to uncertainty, the participants are investing in negotiating security of tenure rather than in co-management arrangements. The current restructuring and institutional changes are thus impacting on the extensive interaction that existed in the past between the industry and the government. Over the last two decades, extensive government-industry commitments to rebuilding has reversed the declining trends in CPUE (tons landed per standard vessel day) observed in the 1960s and 1970s, and the hake stock off the west coast of South Africa is now managed at sustainable levels. The challenge in the future is for the government to engage in co-management arrangements, which replicate the successful agreements of the past with all the stakeholders; that is, both the established industry and the new participants
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