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Regulation of fishing, which is made necessary by the limited nature of fishery resources, also implies a control of the participation in fisheries and the distribution of the riches produced by their exploitation. There are those who dispute this statement in the name of free enterprise or the shared nature of fish stocks. They are especially opposed to the concept of limited entry1 and the regulation of fishery by the issuing of a limited number of fishing licences, arguing that its application might create a monopoly situation for the fishermen to whom a licence is assigned. Stated without any other explanation, this assertion perpetuates a confusion between a right in principle - for example, that every citizen could eventually take part in the national fisheries - and certain quite real contingencies, i.e., that the number of fishermen for whom a national fishery resource can provide a livelihood is limited, and that fulfilment of national fisheries development and management objectives depends on the establishment and application of provisions fixing the conditions of access and distribution of profits between the operators as well as between them and society. In the preceding chapters we have given several examples of the often harmful effects on the economic condition of fisheries, employment, individual income of fishermen or the transfers of income between different groups of fishermen, caused by a lack of explicit decisions in the management field. It would be preferable, to have effects deriving from explicit well-reasoned choices rather than implicit consequences. The situation is not peculiar to fisheries. In agriculture, for example, the increase of the number of farmers, if they do not have the necessary mobility, can result in excessive reduction of the individual planted area and can require the intervention of the authorities. Thus the term “limited entry” lends itself to confusion, i.e., it is not the access of one or another particular potential operator which should be prohibited, but the number of fishermen who would benefit by being controlled. Only, in fisheries the shared nature of the resource makes the need for intervention of the central authorities greater if one wishes to fully realize the possibilities offered by this sector of the economy.

1 “Limited entry” in the English language literature

4.1 National Fisheries

4.1.1 Resource distribution within the same fishery

The problem raised by allocation of resources is both political and technical. In the end, it is a question of deciding how the net profits derived from fishery are to be distributed between present and potential operators, between capital (vessels) and labour (crews), between the producers and the consumers, and lastly, between the fishery sector and the national economy as a whole. At the technical level, mechanisms must be developed which will allow the application of the distribution schemes selected; if what matters ultimately is the distribution of the net profits, it will be necessary to determine whether this can be done better by dividing the resource itself, the means of fishing, the catch itself or even, directly, the added value, and the implications of the choice of one or another of these mechanisms for the sharing of the net profits.

The distinction between the political and the administrative function of management is fundamental, even though it is not always fully appreciated, since decision-making is frequently identified with the administrative function. The two tasks can only be merged operationally when decisions can be adopted by reference to at least an implicit consensus on the assignment of the resources and the present or potential profits of their fishing. Whenever a reference frame for the decisions to be adopted does not exist, or the equilibrium accepted until then by the parties concerned is challenged, recourse to political mechanisms and political authorities becomes necessary. For example, the decision adopted during the summer of 1980 by the shipbuilders of Boulogne, France, to reduce the number of crew members to compensate for the increase of gas oil prices resulted in a strike, a conflict which could only be solved by recourse to the political process. This observation applies both at the national level (division among various fishermen's or socio-professional groups) and the international level (shared stocks).

Ideally, the policies to be established and gradually perfected should meet three conditions; i.e., they should:

Furthermore, these sharing and management schemes should neither delay technological improvements that could lead to gains of efficiency nor inhibit individual initiative.

Finally, they should reduce the danger of arbitrary action or collusion when rights of access are assigned to fisheries. The mechanisms for allocation of resources which respond to these criteria are built around two fundamental choices.

The first acknowledges that the fishery resource, as well as the public land that can be allocated to aquaculture enterprises, belongs to society. In that case the State assigns temporary exploitation licences to fishermen in order to allow a periodic review of allocation schemes and eventual replacement through the entry of new participants. These schemes may acknowledge preferential rights to certain socio-professional categories. Thus, to compensate the frequently lesser mobility of manpower and investments in artisanal fishery, or to take account of the need to launch development programmes which can directly benefit the most deprived population sectors when redistribution of wealth is inadequate, one could recognize that fishermen should have priority of access to fisheries as well as in the development plans for extensive aquaculture in littoral areas. Likewise, to preserve and fully utilize the better knowledge and understanding of the natural area which provides their livelihood, one could recognize that, where offers are equal, the fishermen already participating in the fishery or exploiting aquaculture concessions should have preference over new candidates. In that case the licences will be issued for long enough periods to enable the investments granted to become profitable. The duration of these periods will be determined according to the mobility of the investments and labour, i.e., they will be long (e.g., a decade) in the case of national fisheries, and decidedly shorter (e.g., one year) in that of long-range foreign fleets allowed to operate in the zone of jurisdiction of a coastal country.

The second option consists of acknowledging that the resource belongs to the fishermen participating in the fishery. In that case, the licences correspond somewhat to shares in the resource; they can therefore, be transferred or traded on the basis of the commercial value they acquire as progress is made in its management.

In fact, the value of fishing licences will tend to become similar to that of the income created by control of the fishing. If it is accepted that the resource is owned by the State, but if the latter grants the fishing rights free of charge, the authority responsible for management will be subject to considerable pressure when assigning them. That is why it is better to depend on market mechanisms, supplemented when necessary by clauses designed to protect those rights, historical or otherwise, and to reduce the main handicaps in some communities or socio-professional groups. Thus one can have recourse to a system of bidding for their allocation, provide for their free transfer so that the fishermen can resell them freely to one another and, eventually, have a certain number of them repurchased by the administration to compensate for gains in efficiency or to eliminate excess capacities in fisheries that are initially over-exploited. These transactions will be conducted on the basis of the sales value of the licences determined by the market.

To prevent undesirable transfers in the distribution of wealth, or concentrations or monopolies because the market mechanisms might not operate satisfactorily, it might prove desirable for the central administration to preserve some right of intervention. This will be the case, for example, when local populations do not enjoy the same capacity to mobilize capital and the new technologies necessary for full development of the coastal resources which they traditionally exploit. In that case, emergence of new methods of exploiting the resources (industrial fishery in the developing countries, new forms of extensive aquaculture, etc.) could attract new operators having the advantage of higher efficiency and therefore, partly exclude the traditional fishermen who are handicapped at the outset by insufficient mobility and reduced alternatives.

In practice, the question of ownership of a resource and the value attaching to it is seldom clearly recognized. This is due partly to the fact that plans for control are often applied at first to already overexploited fisheries in which the value of the yield is practically zero. The licences are then granted, without any time limit, to all or almost all the fishermen present in the fishery at the time. This practice is equivalent to making the fishermen present when participation is restricted to the owners of the resource, and assigning most of the economic yield to them, since their successors have to buy the right to fish from them at a value corresponding to that yield.

This practice does not expressly foresee the periodic renewal of the licences, a measure which greatly facilitates the State's collection of the income produced each year by a national natural asset, the periodic adjustment of catch capacity to the productivity of the stock, and the eventual replacement of some operators by new ones who might improve the profitability of its exploitation. When licences are granted for long periods, the plans should provide for the yearly renewal of the rights of a part of the fleet that will be equal to all of it divided by the number of years for which the licences are valid, so that the administration may regulate the total catch capacity by successive small adjustments without any delay.

Finally, it will be noted that the payment of the income by the State through recourse to market mechanisms, or even making ownership of the resource private, and transfer of the rights of ownership by the same mechanisms, will not in principle directly improve the average individual income of the fishermen. This can be acceptable when fishermen enjoy mobility to leave the fishery comparable to that available to the other economic sectors which could receive them. That is seldom the case in the traditional fisheries, especially in the artisanal fisheries of developing countries (Panayotou, 1982). In a fishery in bioeconomic equilibrium where the extraction of the earnings will be added to the costs borne by the operator, the average individual income of the fishermen will not depend on regulation of effort but mainly on the measures adopted to increase his mobility (creation of new activities) or on the assignment to the operators of part of the earnings. State intervention will be needed to attain this. Since the fishermen's support for the application of management schemes will depend on the benefits they can derive from those schemes, the progress of management could depend on the preparation of schemes enabling them to receive part of the earnings produced by the improvement of the fisheries. The improvement of their income should in turn increase their mobility.

4.1.2 Competition amongst different fleets for the same stocks

There are many examples of conflicts of this type. They can arise between different socio-economic groups (artisanal fishery and industrial fishery, commercial and sport fishing, etc.), different methods (seine net and pelagic trawl, for example), or different utilizations of the resource and the environment (shellfish farming and pollution). These conflicts are not confined to catching the resource. They can be expressed in terms of fishing operations, e.g., fixed gear-fishing (long-lines, driftnets, traps, etc.) is physically incompatible with trawling. This kind of conflict can be settled by allocating different sectors of the fishery to each fishing method. Very often a coastal strip of varying width is reserved for artisanal fishery in order to allow for its small range of action and scarce mobility. Such measures influence schemes for sharing the resources between different groups of fishermen, and their development. They increase the cost of fishing for fishermen whose more efficient fishing operations are restricted and cause the administrative authorities expenses and difficulties of application which may simply make them not worthwhile. But these costs may be completely justified in social terms, at least temporarily, in order to protect certain social groups which are at a disadvantage in regard to mobility, access to resources or markets (Section 2.2.1), or to maintain the employment level in certain sectors where there are few alternatives.

Conflicts among fisheries can also be expressed in the competition for markets. Thus, the development of commercial fishery and recourse to imports have had harmful effects on the development and the economic condition of artisanal fisheries in several countries of the Gulf of Guinea (Longhurst, 1969) which have been unable to produce at the same prices.

We shall see in Section 4.2.2 that under the new regime of the Law of the Sea the competition between countries jointly owning the same stocks is set in comparable terms. In view of the segregation now imposed on operations of national fleets by the establishment of exclusive economic zones, the patterns of distribution, mix of individuals within each stock, and migration with age directly affect the terms of this competition.

However the problem will arise more frequently and with more complexity at the national level, first because the number of shared stocks will increase in inverse proportion to the range of operation of the different fleets concerned, and secondly because conflicts within the national fisheries will involve a larger number of factors. The grave conflicts now opposing artisanal and industrial fisheries in many countries, in particular in Southeast Asia (Panayotou, 1982), demonstrate this. Contrary to the philosophy of free competition which formerly prevailed in international fisheries where access and the location of fishing operations remained free, these present or potential conflicts can no longer be ignored by the national administrations. In fact, in this competition the parties are not on an equal footing. As the example of Ivory Coast shrimp fishery (Section 2.2.1) has shown, lagoon fishery enjoys a dominant strategic position because it exerts activity on a juvenile phase. On the other hand, while the efficiency of artisanal fisheries in terms of catch per unit of investment or through the quantity of fuel consumed is generally higher, they are often handicapped by less labour mobility, poor capacity to mobilize capital and technological innovations, wide dispersion of landing points and their consequences for the placement and marketing of the output (Panayotou, 1982). The national administrations cannot ignore these disparities.

The final decisions will continue to be of a basically political character, since they determine the way certain national assets will be divided between different socioprofessional groups. The authority conferred on States to administer the fisheries in their own exclusive economic zones has at the same time increased their responsibilities. Such authority concerns not only the activities of foreign fleets liable to operate in their exclusive economic zones, but also extends to the national fleets. The possibility of controlling the operations of foreign fleets, as well as their effects on the performances of the national fisheries, eliminates an argument that in the past was sometimes advanced by various national administrations (and not always justifiably) to excuse the insufficient attention paid to the management of their national fisheries and to effective application of the appropriate regulations to them.

4.2 The Particular Case of Shared Stocks

The legal regime of the seas which is currently being established constitutes the first partly successful attempt to reduce competition between countries for exploitation of shared fishery stocks. The existence of an agreement on the international sharing of resources and the distribution of the authority necessary for their sound exploitation may now enable the coastal countries to regulate fishing and thereby to realize the economic and social benefits which until now were only latent in most fisheries.

However, there is a group of stocks whose size varies depending on the regions, for which the whole problem of rationalizing their exploitation remains to be solved. These are stocks which are spread over more than one exclusive economic zone, as well as beyond the 200 mi limit in the open seas. The chances of being able to apply the different plans and mechanisms described in the preceding chapters to these stocks will continue to be slight as long as the countries concerned have not agreed on principles for long-term distribution of the potential benefits which can be produced by the fishing of these stocks, and, hence, for sharing the authority needed for their management.

The new law of the sea has two consequences for the management of these multinational stocks:

4.2.1 Base data which may be useful in drawing up of concerted schemes for exploitation and management of shared stocks

Under the old regime when the countries agreed on the need to set quotas on their catches, the jointly adopted division of the total catch was usually based on the national catches obtained previously. Distribution formulas were adopted giving different weights to the recent and earlier catches; these formulas were eventually corrected to take into account the specific needs and recognized rights of certain categories of countries or fleets, i.e., those which had recently entered the fishery, coastal states and short-range fleets, developing countries, etc.

For countries linked by particular affinities, common interests or history, past performances can always supply relevant elements of information for the negotiation of their agreements. For example, during the Fourteenth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (FAO, 1981a), Norway mentioned this fact as one of those which had been considered during its negotiations with the USSR. However, this outlook is far from being the general rule. Past performances have little chance of constituting a basis for negotiation when the countries are separated by disparities of development. The new regime partly reflects the less developed countries' rejection of advantages acquired in the course of history by a minority of economically and technologically more advanced countries. These gaps are very likely to influence the management objectives of countries. For example, Mexico sees the share of the anchovy stock assigned to it in front of the California peninsula as the basis of an industry intended to provide it with revenues, new jobs and considerable related economic advantages; but to obtain all of these it must bring its annual catch to quite a high level. On the other hand, the State of California (USA) has so far viewed its share of the same resource as the food base of a stock (bonito, swordfish, barracuda, mackerel, etc.) mainly of interest to its sport (of major economic importance) and commercial fisheries. Until now therefore, its management has been based on the adoption of catch quotas representing only a small proportion of the maximum anchovy stock catch potential.

Whatever importance the countries will decide to attach to these considerations and to the aspects outside of fishery when negotiating their cooperation, these questions lie outside the framework of the present study whose purpose is to analyse the constraints imposed by the characteristics of the resources and their fishing on the application of the new regime and the kinds of information needed to serve as a basis for the preparation of agreements. Because of the new conditions which the new Law of the Sea imposes on the geographic location of the fishing operations of different national fleets, the distribution, mix and migration patterns of jointly owned stocks are bound to have a marked influence on:

4.2.2 Patterns of distribution and migration, and management of shared stocks

Three aspects of distribution and migration patterns are likely to affect the requirements and procedures in matters of cooperation between coastal countries concerned by the exploitation and management of the same stocks (Gulland, 1980; Caddy, 1982). These are:

Table 2 gives examples of stocks classified according to these three factors.

The geographic distribution of stocks will determine those which are shared and the countries jointly concerned by their exploitation and management. Among the former we shall distinguish the multinational stocks confined within several EEZs from those which are also fished freely on the high seas, i.e., adjacent stocks (demersal stocks on the Flemish Cap and the southwest front of the Grand Bane, Northwestern Atlantic) and the deep sea migratory stocks (whales, tuna). In doing so we must bear in mind that the boundary of the stocks is not clearly defined, with some densities which are too low to be exploited extending well beyond the fishing grounds. Likewise it must be remembered that stocks are not stable either in time, nor in their absolute abundance or geographic distribution (Section 2.1.1), Furthermore the list of countries concerned and the share of catches which could go to each of them will have to be reviewed at regular intervals. For example, with the increase and extension southward of the Moroccan sardine stock, Mauritania has become the recipient country in the management of this stock. The changes in the species composition of ecosystems generally affect much larger geographic areas. Thus, the sharp increase of the trigger fish (Balistes capriscus) stock in the Gulf of Guinea affects all the coastal countries from Angola to Mauritania (Troadec and Garcia, 1980).

Table 2
Main distribution, internal mix and migration patterns classified according to their effect on the needs for sub-regional cooperation and the possible forms of sharing (see Section 4.2.2)
Displacement patterns Distribution Patterns
 A. NationalB. MultinationalC. Multi/International
countrycoastline 200 milesXYZXYZXYZ
high sea
1. Stock consisting of sessile or sedentary indi- viduals (exploitation phase) A.1 - Seaweed, bivalves and other molluscs, some crus- taceans (spiny lobster, crabs), reef fish, etc.B.1 - Seaweed, bivalves and other molluscs, some crustaceans (spiny lobster, crayfish), reef fish, etc. 
2. Random individual movements along the coast (across the borders of inter EEZ) A.2 - A few tropical demer- sal species with uneven distribution, e.g., West African croaker (Pseudo- tolithus elongatus) attached to river mouthsB.2 - Various tropical demersal stocks, e.g., West African bass (Pseudo- tolithus senegalensis); anchovy off the coasts of Chile and Peru (see Fig. 9)C.2 - Skipjack tuna (Katsu- wonus pelamis)
3. Movement with ageNurseryA.3 - Tropical penaeid shrimpB.3 - Tropical penaeid shrimpC.3 - Salmon, various species of tuna (yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna)
area         area (see Fig. 9)
4. Seasonal migrations (adults)NurseryA.4 - West African bonga (E. fimbriata), etc.B.4 - West African bonga, round sardinella, horse mackerel, West African mackerel, etc.C.4 - Whales, Northern blue in tuna, striped marlin
area   area (see Fig. 10)
5. Long-term fluctuations
- stock distribution and abundance
- specific composition of the ecosystem
  B.5 - Most coastal pelagic stocks (Japan, Namibia, Peru), etc.
- Moroccan sardine West African triggerfish (Balistes capriscus)
C.5 - Horse mackerel

The mix rate within the stock will determine the potential value of the operation and the benefits which the countries can expect to derive from their cooperation. For example, the advantage of getting together to work out and apply joint management schemes will be zero for stocks whose fished phase is sedentary or scarcely mobile (seaweed, many molluscs probably including several demersal cephalopod stocks, certain shellfish, spiny lobsters and lobsters, reef fish; displacement pattern 1 in Table 2), unless it appears necessary to preserve recruitment. This could be the case of certain spiny lobster stocks whose larva phase takes place at sea and whose recruitment in an exclusive economic zone could be affected by the fishing and the size of the resulting adult stock in other economic zones.

For stocks whose fished individuals only make undirected displacements from one exclusive economic zone to another, so that their exchanges from one zone to another remains slight (anchovy stock of Chile and Peru; pattern 2, Table 2, Figure 9), there is little need for cooperation. The existence of sizeable bathymetric displacements with age (i.e., perpendicular to the coast) does not necessarily alter this observation. It is enough that the migrations parallel to them remain moderate so that each exclusive economic zone contains a complete section, in terms of age classes, of the population, which continues to be practically independent of the exploited sections in the adjacent economic zones. In the present state of information, this pattern seems to be frequent in tropical demersal fish species. For example, Troadec (1971) considers that the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea can apply unilaterally formulated regulations to their coastal trawl fisheries with the hope of obtaining substantial results.

This observation is important because it is always easier to decide and act alone, especially when the decisions adopted jointly and their observance could affect the performances of national fisheries. This does not mean, in this as in the preceding case, that there is no advantage in cooperation. The countries fishing the same stocks often have to face similar problems of research, development and management. The organization of periodic exchanges of information and experiences, as well as the harmonization of programmes for study and experiment, are most likely to be of mutual benefit.

Finally, the type of displacement of stocks as well as our knowledge of it1 will influence the procedures for sharing the resources. When we are dealing with stocks in which the individuals only make or seem to make random displacements, i.e., when the individuals seem to be uniformly distributed, whatever their age, over the whole distribution area, the negotiation of the forms of sharing could be based on maps of average density of the stock (over the year) and of its whole distribution area. Recourse to this type of information comes down to recognizing that schemes for sharing the resource can be based on the geographic distribution of the average production of the stock among the various zones of national jurisdiction. The average biomass whether absolute or relative will then provide an index of stock production and the maps for this index will serve to determine its geographic distribution. The catches per unit of effort derived from biomass prospecting campaigns (by trawling, for example) or commercial fishery statistics such as measurements of absolute biomass (by quantitive acoustic prospecting, in particular) could be used to draw up such maps. Tagging campaigns, if their cost and the complexity of conducting them do not exceed the gains expected from better sharing agreements, could also supply data of fundamental importance, particularly on the extent and rates of mix between adjacent economic zones. At a meeting held in Dakar in June 1979, the countries of the CECAF2 North Sector (Cape Verde, Spain, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone) recognized the usefulness of such types of information for an initial analysis of possible formulas for sharing the production of coastal pelagic stocks (sardine, sardinella, mackerel, horse mackerel) which they control jointly (FAO, 1979), and some of them based their positions on these elements of information when negotiations were later conducted on this subject (Sub-Regional Conference on the Preservation, Conservation and Exploitation of Fishery Resources, Nouakchott, Mauritania, May 1980). Norway also took these principles as a basis to prepare the points of negotiation of a resource-sharing agreement with the European Economic Community.

1 In the absence of information on the quantitative aspects of distributions and migrations, we could accept the hypothesis of a homogeneously distributed biomass. Later on we shall change the formulas for sharing calculated on the basis of this hypothesis as data are acquired on the distribution and migrations of these stocks

2 Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic, FAO

The complications arise when the stock migrates, since then the stock's production in the different parts of its distribution area will depend not only on the average biomass present but also on the average age of the individuals composing it. Unfortunately, the respective contribution of the different components of the stock (breeders, juveniles, eggs and larva) to the production of the stock as a whole cannot be established objectively.

Patterns 3 and 4 of Table 2 correspond to situations in which as the stocks grow older they make clearly defined migrations, whether across exclusive economic zones or not (Figure 10). In the first case, individuals only make one migration cycle (nursery - feeding area - spawning ground) during their lifetime; they generally die after spawning, which in that case occurs only once (penaeid shrimp, cephalopods, salmon, etc.). In the second case the situation becomes complicated, i.e., an annual seasonal migration cycle between trophic and spawning areas, is superimposed on the preceding pattern. The latter pattern is very frequent in fish; examples where these migrations can be of greater or lesser scope are provided by the anadromous stocks like West African bonga (Ethmalosa fimbriata), coastal pelagic stocks like the round sardinella in West Africa (Figure 11) and, for ocean species, striped marlin (Figure 12).

In these circumstances, one way to envisage the preparation of possible sharing schemes is to see how and to what point the countries can harm one another by increasing their catches in their own exclusive economic zones, and only in those. In short, a country is liable to injure the production of a neighbouring country fishing the same stock in two ways:

  1. If it has the opportunity to intensify the fishing of cohorts before the latter are accessible to vessels of the second country, its fishery will then reduce the recruitment of a section of the stock exploited by the latter country. This situation corresponds quite closely to the Soviet-Norwegian cod fishery in the Northeastern Atlantic. The young age classes are most abundant in the Soviet zone where recruitment takes place after the eggs and larva have floated from the Norwegian coast where spawning occurs. This situation can be compared, although without seasonal migrations, to that describing tropical penaeid, shrimp (see Section 2.2.1) when their nurseries are in the lagoons of one country and the concentration of adults occurs off the coasts of a second country.

    When a country is thus able to exploit the cohorts before its neighbour, it is in a position of strength since it can reduce the yields of its neighbour without the latter being able to use the same method to damage it. Faced with this situation, Norway invited the USSR to come to Norway's own exclusive zone to capture part of its catch quota which had been established by common agreement. Norway expected to ensure in this way that the Soviet quota should be composed of individuals older on the average, which would have made it possible, with the same catch quota, to decrease the fishing mortality inflicted on the whole stock in general and the section accessible to the Norwegian fleet in particular. If we consider only the damage which competitors can theoretically do one another by intensifying their fishing of already recruited cohorts (i.e., apart from any possible retaliation through a reduction of the general recruitment of the stock), one can suppose that Norway would thus be inclined to offer the USSR compensation that could approach the amount of the damages, the latter is in a position to inflict on it due to the strategically favourable location of the Soviet fishing operations.

  2. By reducing the overall recruitment of the stock through overfishing of adults as well as juveniles, so that the breeding section of the stock may be reduced to a level where its average recruitment may be affected negatively. In this situation, the fisheries of all the countries exploiting the same stock (including those of the country or countries which would be responsible for excessive fishing) will be affected by that overfishing. In this case the possibilities of reprisal are shared better, whether the overfishing is exerted early or late in the life of the cohorts.

Figure 9

Figure 9 Southeast Pacific anchovy: area of distribution and migration as can be deduced from tagging experiments; a cut-off in distribution and internal mixing seems to appear at the level of latitude 15° S (according to FAO, 1981d). This observation and the small area of the displacement of individuals will make it possible to plan independent management schemes of separate sectors of the distribution area of the species, i.e., North and South of latitude 15°S

While in the first situation the effects of an intensification of the fishing will be felt immediately and directly on all the older fisheries, the effects of the second phenomenon will be deferred and much more diffuse and difficult to identify. In any case, it is in the interest of each country to determine what sections of the stocks it exploits are concentrated in its exclusive economic zone as well as in those of its neighbours, and in what way and up to what point each of them can injure the others.

Figure 10

Figure 10 Simplified pattern of fish migration: two cases must be considered:

  1. that in which the adults make seasonal migrations between the feeding area and the spawning ground
  2. that where the specie dies after first spawning (salmon, penaeid shrimp) or do not make any clearly defined seasonal migrations (see text) (from FAO, 1981d)

These are not the only factors that are likely to influence cooperation schemes. The geographical and seasonal changes in the availability, as well as in the quality, of the fish may directly influence both the cost and value of the catches. This is important, since the distribution among the operators of the net profits produced by the fishery is ultimately more important than that of the mere weight of the catches.

Seasonal migrations in particular, can cause marked variations in the availability of fish. Thus preliminary estimates suggest that pelagic trawl fishery of coastal pelagic stocks (sardinella, horse mackerel, mackerel) would cease to be profitable at the present exploitation rate if the trawlers had to limit their operations to the Mauritanian exclusive economic zone, without being able to follow these stocks in their winter migration to the south or turn to other types of fishing during the dead season (Doucet, Pearse and Troadec, 1981). The signing of reciprocal fishing agreements, under the terms of which the countries sharing the same stocks would open their frontiers to allow their respective national fleets to fish the share assigned to them in the more favourable sectors of the stock distribution area, constitutes another promising field of regional and sub-regional cooperation. It has received little attention so far, probably because the countries are anxious to first assert their authority over the resources which they control and not to adopt hasty decisions concerning the procedures for exploitation of the stocks they share. Besides encouraging the full utilization of investments and substantial economies, such reciprocal fishing agreements, through the direct contacts they involve between national fleets, enable each country to judge better to what extent its partners are adhering to the jointly accepted regulations.

Figure 11

Figure 11 West African sardinellas: hypothetical patterns of distribution and migration inside the exclusive economic zones of the coastal countries. The existence of clear, long range seasonal migrations complicates the problem of sharing the resource between the countries that are the joint proprietors (from FAO, 1973)

The reduction of the number of parties concerned by the exploitation and management of each shared stock and, especially, the specific restrictions now imposed on the location of the operations of each national fleet therefore upset the terms of the competition for the fishing of shared stocks. The much more specific consequences, regarding the nature and extent of the damages which the countries can now inflict on one another, could ultimately accelerate the signing of mutually acceptable agreements, although possibly only after each competitor, in the course of a period of fairly intense competition, could become convinced of his real possibilities of increasing the part which could be assigned to him, as well as his partner's possibilities of opposing it. Insofar as the necessary data are available, it should be possible to simulate the consequences of the different scenarios of foreseeable competition and thereby to give the interested parties estimates of the damages they could inflict on themselves. These analyses could help to bring the points of view closer and to encourage the conclusion of negotiations on schemes for sharing and cooperation, so that costly competition could be cut down.

To conclude this chapter, it will be recalled that these considerations concerning the influence of distribution, mix and migration patterns on management of shared stocks apply directly to problems of competition and conflict between different fleets or groups of national fishermen (parallel zoning of the coast to protect artisanal fishery from damages caused by the encroachment of trawl fishing or strips perpendicular to the coast assigned to the villages located on it). The fact that in principle the national administrations have acquired new authority would also suggest that they can take more interest in the management of national shared stocks than they did in the past. It can be imagined that as they acquire experience the countries will have a better perception of the formulas which could facilitate the management of the stocks they share.

Figure 12

Figure 12 Striped marlin of the Pacific (from FAO, 1981d). Case of an international stock making transoceanic migrations whose migration and distribution pattern makes the problem of sharing the resource between potential operators extremely complex

4.2.3 Fisheries management and regional cooperation

Through its influences on sharing of world fishery resources, the new Law of the Sea should profoundly alter the schemes for regional and sub-regional cooperation employed so far to deal with common problems of fishery exploitation and management. These changes are summarized in Appendix 1, stage by stage, from gathering raw data on fisheries to application of regulations and monitoring. To prepare this table we have chosen, as the most probable assumptions, the solutions which differ least from those most commonly accepted under the old system. Obviously the arrangements which could be adopted may differ, more or less markedly according to cases, from these general guidelines.

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