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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2005 Jan 29;360(1453):47-57.

Institutions, incentives and the future of fisheries.

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  • 1School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Fisheries around the world are managed with a broad range of institutional structures. Some of these have been quite disastrous, whereas others have proven both biologically and economically successful. Unsuccessful systems have generally involved either open access, attempts at top-down control with poor ability to monitor and implement regulations, or reliance on consensus. Successful systems range from local cooperatives to strong governmental control, to various forms of property rights, but usually involve institutional systems that provide incentives to individual operators that lead to behaviour consistent with conservation.

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