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Changes in Fishing Practice, Fleet Capacity and Ownership of Harvesting Rights in the Fisheries of South Australia, G. Morgan

106 Barton Tce. West, North Adelaide, SA 5006, Australia
<garymorg@ozemail.com.au>

1. INTRODUCTION

For the past 25 years South Australia has managed its fisheries through a system of limited-entry with the first of these fisheries (the important rock lobster fishery) being made a limited-entry fishery in the 1970s. In addition to the limited-entry nature of the fisheries, there are three important quota-managed fisheries: those for southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii), for abalone (Haliotis laevigata and H. rubra), and for pilchards (Sardinops neopilchardis). These three fisheries, and the way in which the initial allocation of the quota was managed, have been described by Morgan (2001). Figure 1 shows the offshore area of South Australia.

Figure 1

The South Australian Rock Lobster Fishery began in the early 1870s as a hoop-net fishery. The first commercial lobster pots were used in 1889 and around the turn of the century small industries began to emerge in different parts of the state. By the late 1940s a thriving lobster-tail export market to America had been developed. Industry then developed rapidly with vessels becoming more sophisticated and catch increasing. The fishery is now a significant and expanding industry in South Australia, generating a business turnover of more than $A230 million/year and supporting of 2200 jobs (EconSearch 1999).

There are currently 254 licence-holders in the two zones of the rock lobster fishery with the numbers of licences having declined slowly over recent years as amalgamation of pot-entitlements and structural adjustment of the industry has taken place.

The abalone industry in South Australia began in the 1960s in response to the emerging market for this product in South East Asia. In 1971 the number of licences was restricted and the fishery was divided into three management zones that remain the basis of management of the fishery. The number of licences in 1971 was more than 100 but this was reduced over the years by a policy of non-transferability. There are currently 35 licences on issue. The 1999/00 total catch of abalone in South Australia was approximately 832t whole weight with the fishery being valued at approximately $A30 million/year based on producer prices. Table 3 gives the recent catch-history of the fishery.

The pilchard fishery in South Australia, like other Sardinops fisheries, exhibits large annual variations in abundance. This has been magnified in recent years by major fish-kills in 1995 and 1998 that have been linked to a herpes-like virus infection in pilchards. It has been estimated that these fish-kills resulted in the loss of up to 60% of the total adult population, although juvenile fish were not affected.

Despite these large fluctuations in abundance the pilchard fishery is managed using a total allowable catch (TAC) that is set each year in response to estimates of abundance based on annual egg - and larval-surveys. The 2001 quota of 9100t (compared with 3600t in 2000) is divided equally between the 14 licence-holders to produce an annual ITQ with daily monitoring of individual quotas taking place. There are further restrictions on areas permitted to be fished that are designed to separate the larger and smaller operators between offshore and inshore waters.

Annual TACs in the pilchard fishery have ranged from 3600t to over 11 000t during the period 1997-2001 with the vast majority of the fish being utilized locally as feed for the burgeoning tuna-aquaculture industry. The fishery, nevertheless, supplies only about 20% of the tuna-aquaculture industry’s feed needs.

The history of the introduction of ITQs in these fisheries has previously been documented as part of this case study series (Morgan 2001). This paper examines the changes that have taken place in fishing practices, fleet-capacity and ownership of harvesting-right subsequent to the introduction of those transferable individual quotas in these three fisheries. The data for this examination rely heavily on annual economic performance reports of the fisheries, which, however, were only introduced as a reporting measure in 1997. No social impact data has been collected on the subsequent effects, and hence comments on social impacts are based on ad hoc observations. Catch and fishing-effort data are a mandatory reporting requirement in all South Australian fisheries and have been collected over the history of all fisheries since the introduction of ITQs and usually for some considerable period prior to their introduction. These data have also been used in this analysis as appropriate.

2. THE NATURE OF THE HARVESTING-RIGHT

The nature of the harvesting-right varies with each of the three fisheries being considered. In the Southern Zone rock lobster fishery (the other part of the fishery, the Northern Zone, is managed by input-controls) the fishery is managed through a system of ITQs with the annual TAC being set each year by a joint industry/government management advisory body. This advisory committee (known as the Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fisheries Management Committee, or FMC) consists of rock lobster fishermen and processors, government managers, researchers, members of the Fishermen’s Industry body and recreational fisher’s representatives, and is chaired by an independent chairman. The FMC reports directly to the Minister for Primary Industry and its function (established in legislation) is to provide the minister with advice on management of the fishery, including annual quotas. Unfortunately, the government’s fisheries department also provides separate advice to the minister and this often leads to conflicts between the two advisory bodies and a diminution of the effectiveness of the FMC.

The TAC has not changed in recent years in response to steady (or slightly increasing) indices of both overall stock-abundance and breeding-stock levels. Although the Southern Zone of the rock lobster fishery has been managed by such output-controls for a number of years, various elements of input-control still remain. The industry, in fact, has been fiercely protective of its management arrangements and cites stock sustainability and socio-economic issues as reasons for not moving to greater deregulation of the fishery.

Once the TAC is established, the number of registered pots (currently 11 900) is divided into the TAC to produce an allocation per pot. This allocation is currently 144kg/pot.

The tradable entity is therefore the pot (with its catch-allocation attached) and transfers occur freely in an open market. The market, however, is restricted to those who have a rock lobster licence to fish in this limited-entry fishery and hence it is not possible for people external to the fishery to purchase pots.

The fishery has been a limited-entry fishery for some 30 years, although licences to fish are freely transferable. The value of the access-right to participate in the fishery is related to the pot-entitlement that the licence has attached to it, although there is a maximum of 100 pots per licence. The value of the access-right has increased substantially as a result of this limited-entry, the profitability of the fishery and the certainty of the management structure.

In the Southern Zone a 15% reduction in pots (1984) and an industry-funded buy-back programme, which removed 41 licences (1987), have been implemented. The system of individual transferable quotas (ITQs) was introduced in October 1994. The current management arrangements include:

i. total allowable catch of 1720t allocated at 144kgs/pot
ii. pots limited to a total of 11 900
iii. limited-entry
iv. legal minimum size of 98.5mm (carapace length)
v. closed season from 1 May to 30 September
vi. minimum mesh-diameter on pots of 50mm
vi. maximum of 100 pots per licence with 80 allowed to be worked and
vii. prohibition on taking berried (i.e. spawning) females.
The abalone fishery is also a limited-entry fishery and, like the rock lobster fishery, the transferable harvesting-right has acquired considerable value, with the most recent estimates being around $A4 million. However, no licences have changed hands for several years and hence the actual market value may be higher than this.

Quota-management has been in place since the late 1980s (the timing of the introduction of annual TAC system being slightly different for the three zones). A separate TAC is set for the two species of abalone (H. laevigata and H. rubra) in the 3 management zones, ITQs established as equal shares of these TACs. The minor exception to this is that for one part of the Western Zone fishery where a combined quota (all species) of 600kg meat-weight per diver is allocated. As with the rock lobster fishery, the TAC is set annually by a joint industry/government management advisory body (the Abalone FMC), which provides advice to the Minister for Primary Industries. However, as noted above, the minister receives separate advice from the government fisheries department and the final decision on the TAC lies with the Minister for Primary Industries.

Some input-controls remain in the fishery, particularly a size-limit that is currently 130mm for blacklip abalone (H. rubra) in the Western and Central zones, and 125mm in the Southern zone. The size limit for greenlip abalone (H. laevigata) is 145mm in the Western Zone and 130mm in the Central and Southern Zones. There is also a restriction of 2 divers per licence with only one diver being able to operate on any one day.

In order to retain local ownership and control, no more than 15% of any licence may be held by a foreign citizen or Company.

Once the TAC is set, each licence is allocated an individual quota that is an equal proportion of the TAC for blacklip and greenlip abalone for that zone of the fishery. Quota is transferable between licence-holders only within each zone in a fishing period. The fishing period is from 1 September to the following 31 August in the Southern Zone, and 1 January to 31 December in the Western and Central Zones. Quota however, may not be permanently transferred.

The tradable entity in the abalone fishery is therefore the individual, divisible quota within a fishing period but the entire licence (with quota attached) can only be transferred on a permanent basis.

The harvesting-right in the pilchard fishery is, like the abalone and Southern Zone rock lobster fisheries, an equal share of the annually established TAC. This ITQ is allocated to vessels that are licensed to fish in the limited-entry pilchard fishery. Quota may be freely traded between the 14 licence holders only. Persons external to the fishery cannot purchase and use quota unless they have purchased a licence to operate in the fishery.

As indicated above, there are also some input-control measures in the pilchard fishery which principally relate to restrictions on areas fished.

3. MEASUREMENT OF FLEET-CAPACITY

3.1 Characterising fleet-capacity

In all the limited-entry fisheries in South Australia (including the three fisheries being considered here) the primary measure of fleet-capacity has been the number of vessels licensed to fish. In the rock lobster, abalone and pilchard fisheries, these numbers have remained unchanged since the introduction of limited-entry in those fisheries, which, in all cases, preceded the introduction of ITQs.

Apart from the primary measure of number of vessels, a number of other secondary measures of fleet-capacity are used in these fisheries.

In the rock lobster fishery, the main measure of fleet-capacity has been the pot or trap. Various restrictions have been in place over the history of the fishery to limit vessel-numbers and pots-per-vessel, etc., but the primary aim of these measures was to limit the total number of pots in the fishery. The increased efficiency of pots in the fishery has, however, not been addressed although research in Western Australia (N. Hall, Fisheries Western Australia, pers. comm.) has indicated that technological improvements, such as improved echo-sounders have the capacity to increase pot-efficiency by up to 6% per annum. There are no ongoing programmes to address this issue in South Australia.

In the abalone fishery, the main measure of fleet-capacity has remained as the number of vessels or number of divers because the number of divers per vessel has remained fixed by regulation. Although there has been ongoing work on the use of the number of diver-hours as a measure of capacity, data are not collected on a regular basis and its use as a legitimate measure of capacity is still under some considerable discussion.

The pilchard fishery has used the measure of the number of vessels as a measure of fleet-capacity. There has been little change in the characteristics of the fleet over the past decade and hence this measure may be adequate. No ongoing programme for measuring changes in vessel characteristics or gear efficiency is in place.

3.2 Changes in fleet-capacity arising from the introduction of transferable property-rights

Boat numbers in the rock lobster fishery over time are an indicator of structural adjustment in the fishery (Table 1). It should be noted that for the first five years of quota management, transfers in the Southern Zone were only allowed within the fishery and this undoubtedly would have slowed the rate of adjustment.

Both Northern Zone (which is managed by input-controls) and Southern Zone also maintain upper pot-limits, which are an artificial impediment to free market adjustment in the respective fleets. The licence numbers over the last 10 years and average pots/licence are set out in Table 1 since 1992.

As Table 1 shows, licence numbers have declined by about 3.7% and 13.4% in the Southern and Northern Zones respectively over the past 10 years. Over the last five years the decline has been 2.1% and 9%, respectively.

By contrast, licence numbers in both the abalone fishery and the pilchard fishery have remained constant over the past 5 years although a recent reduction in pilchard licence numbers has occurred following a dispute over original entitlements to the fishery. This reduction was unrelated to any natural structural adjustment of the fishery.

With constant numbers of pots in each zone of the rock lobster fishery since 1992, the average pot-holding per licence has increased as licence numbers have declined.

Table 1. Licence numbers and average pot holdings in SA Rock Lobster Fisheries

Year

Southern Zone (ITQ managed)

Northern Zone (input managed)

Licence number

Av. pots/licence

Licence number

Av. pots/licence

1989

190


82


1990

192


82


1991

191


83


1992

192

62.1

80

49.4

1993

189

63.1

79

50.0

1994*

187

63.8

78

50.6

1995

186

64.1

77

51.3

1996

186

64.1

75

52.7

1997

183

65.2

73

54.1

1998

183

65.2

71

55.6

* ITQs introduced in Southern Zone rock lobster fishery in October 1994.
The small reduction in the number of vessels in the ITQ-managed Southern Zone is a result of vessels leaving the industry, and their pot-entitlements being re-distributed among the remaining vessels in the fleet. Therefore as the slow reduction in vessel numbers has occurred, the average number of pots/vessel has increased. However, it should be noted that a much larger reduction in number of vessels has occurred in the Northern Zone of the fishery which is managed by input-controls.

The abalone fishery has not seen any change in fleet-capacity (measured as number of licences or vessels) since ITQs were introduced in the late 1980s. These remain at 23 for the Western Zone of the fishery, 6 in the Central Zone and 6 in the Southern Zone.

Similarly, the number of vessels operating in the pilchard fishery has not changed since the inception of the quota managed regime in the fishery, apart from an addition and then a recent reduction of 6 temporary licences which was unrelated to any structural adjustment in the fishery.

3.3 Consequences of changes in fleet-capacity

The consequences of the changes in fleet-capacity have been minimal in all fisheries because of the negligible changes in that fleet-capacity. However, the consequences of the move both to limited-entry and to ITQ-management have been profound. Often the effects of the two management measures cannot be separated.

The most significant change in all fisheries has been the rapid appreciation in the value of the access-right. This has been evident particularly in the rock lobster fishery and the abalone fishery, although it should be noted that the appreciation of licence-value in the limited-entry Northern Zone of the rock lobster fishery has matched, or even exceeded, that of the ITQ-managed Southern Zone. This seems to indicate that the primary cause of such escalation in asset-value has been the limited-entry nature of both fisheries rather than the ITQ-management of the Southern Zone part of the fishery.

Costs of management of the fisheries have also been documented in recent years. Over the period 1997/98-1999/2000 (the only years for which data are available), the total costs of managing the rock lobster fishery for research, compliance, management and industry development have fallen. In the Southern Zone they have declined from $A2 372 000 to $A1 955 000 in aggregate or from $A1408/t to $A1137/t. In the Northern Zone the costs have declined from $A988 000 to $A706 000 or $A1049/t to $A784/t. A summary of management costs for the rock lobster fishery is shown in Table 2.

From Table 2, it is apparent that costs of management of the ITQ-managed Southern Zone portion of the fishery are more expensive than the input-managed Northern Zone. Although the cost per tonne of management, compliance, research and development, does vary over the time, it is approximately $A350 per tonne higher in the ITQ-managed Southern Zone quota-fishery than the input-managed Northern Zone fishery for 1999-2000.

These higher management costs (which are paid by industry under a cost-recovery process) may explain the slightly higher asset value of the access right to the Northern Zone fishery than to the ITQ-managed Southern Zone fishery.

Compliance is the key component impacting on licence fees: in the Southern Zone, the cost of compliance has increased over the three-year period from $A914 000 to $A1 011 000 or from $A542/t up to $A588/t. This has happened in the face of declining total licence-fees.

In the Northern Zone, the compliance cost has fallen from $A278 000 to $A236 000 or from $A295/t to $262/t. According to the budgeted fees for 1999-2000, the difference in compliance costs accounts for $A326/t of the total difference of $A353/t between the two fisheries. It should be noted that the industry is currently considering restructured compliance costs in the Southern Zone.

In 1999/2000 the cost of compliance per tonne of lobster caught was approximately twice as high in the Southern Zone than in the Northern Zone (Table 2).

Another cost associated with the ITQ management system of Southern Zone is the need for greater monitoring and management-related costs by the Industry/Government Fisheries Management Committees (FMCs), which administer the management of both Northern and Southern Zone.

Since the time of the introduction and management of the quota system in 1994, the Southern Zone Rock Lobster FMC has met on 53 occasions. The Northern Zone FMC has met on 27 occasions. The budget for the Southern Zone for the financial year 1999-2000 was $A70 000, whereas the Northern Zone budget was $A45 000.

Costs of management of the abalone fishery for the period 1996/97-1999/2000 is shown in Table 3 from which it is apparent that management-costs are substantial although they have been reduced since 1997/98 through an active process of increased efficiency of service-delivery by government service-providers in research, compliance and management. Compliance costs remain the largest single cost of management of the fishery. Management costs represented 10.4% of the gross value of production in 1999/2000.

Table 2. Cost of management in the South Australian rock lobster fisheries, 1997/98 - 1999/2000


1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

Total licence fees

SZ Management cost ($A)

2372000

2105000

1955565

SZ Catch (tonnes)

1685

1714

1720

SZ Management costs/tonne ($A)

1408

1228

1137

NZ Management costs ($A)

988000

807000

706000

NZ Catch (tonnes)

942

1016

900

NZ Management cost/tonne ($A)

1049

794

784

Total management cost diff. SZ - NZ ($A/t)

359

434

353

Compliance costs

SZ Compliance costs ($A)

914000

974000

1011000

SZ Compliance cost/tonne ($A)

542

568

588

NZ Compliance costs ($A)

278000

280000

236000

NZ Compliance cost/tonne ($A)

295

276

262

Compliance cost difference: SZ - NZ ($A/t)

247

293

326


Table 3. Costs of management of the South Australian abalone fishery, 1996/97-1999/2000

Year

No. of licence-holders

Total cost of management ($A million)

Costs/licence-holder ($A)

1996/97

35

2.217

63 339

1997/98

35

2.608

74 519

1998/99

35

1.890

53 993

1999/2000

35

1.781

50 896

Costs of management of the pilchard fishery are not available.
All quota-managed fisheries in South Australia are highly profitable, with returns on capital ranging from 10.1% for the abalone fishery to 4.4% for the Southern Zone rock lobster fishery. This rate of return includes the return to the value of not only the vessel and gear, but also the licence value that is considerable, and is the major component of capital employed. For example, the imputed value of an abalone licence in 1998/99 was $A4.02 million (although none have changed hands for several years) compared with $A0.12 million for the value of the fishing vessel and equipment. The total capital employed in this fishery was therefore $A4.15 million.

There is little difference in return to capital invested between the two zones within the rock lobster fishery. A rate of return of 4.5% was estimated in the Northern Zone and 4.4% in Southern Zone in 1997/98.

Another economic indicator that may vary with differences in management of the fishery is the economic-impact that the fishery has on the regional economy in which it is located. The economic-indicator reports (EconSearch 1999a, b) for the Northern and Southern Zone rock lobster fisheries suggest, however, that there is very little difference between the two fisheries The impacts, measured in terms of employment, household-income, business-turnover and value-added, per tonne of lobster are generally greater in the Southern Zone but not significantly so (Table 4).

4. CONCENTRATION OF OWNERSHIP

4.1 Status prior to programme

Table 1 shows the number of vessels and pots in the Southern Zone rock lobster fishery both prior to, and after, the introduction of ITQs in 1994. While the overall number of vessels has declined somewhat (not necessarily and solely in response to the ITQ-management regime), the number of pots in the fishery has remained fixed in the fishery since the introduction of ITQs. This has resulted in a small increase in the number of pots per vessel.

Table 4. Economic impacts of South Australian commercial fisheries, 1997/98


Southern Zone (Output managed)

Northern Zone (Input managed)

Turnover

Fishing (direct) ($Am)

50.9

27.7

All other sectors (indirect) ($Am)

99.5

53.0

Total ($m)

150.4

80.7

Total/direct

3.0

2.9

Total/tonne ($A)

90 000

86 000

Value Added

Fishing (direct) ($Am)

34.7

19.2

All other sectors (indirect) ($Am)

50.1

26.6

Total ($Am)

84.8

45.7

Total/direct

2.4

2.4

Total/tonne ($)

50 000

49 000

Employment

Fishing (direct) (jobs)

710

312

All other sectors (indirect) (jobs)

780

418

Total (jobs)

1 490

730

Total/direct

2.1

2.3

Total/tonne (jobs)

0.89

0.77

Household Income

Fishing (direct) ($Am)

20.0

9.6

All other sectors (indirect) ($Am)

21.8

11.5

Total ($Am)

41.8

21.1

Total/direct

2.1

2.2

Total/tonne ($A)

25 000

22 000

Source: EconSearch 1999a, b.
With the high profitability of the fishery, a number of licence-holders have acquired additional licences, often through company or other structures where the eventual beneficial owner is sometimes obscure. Some processors have also been active in seeking to acquire a portfolio of vessels to ensure supply. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that this is not currently a major issue and the maximum number of licences with beneficial ownership to a single person is probably no more than four or five.

More importantly, this trend is also evident in the Northern Zone of the fishery, which is managed by input-controls, and hence the concentration of ownership is probably unrelated to the introduction of ITQs, but relates more to the limited-entry nature of the fishery and its growth in profitability over a number of years.

A policy of owner-operator remains in place in South Australia: this has discouraged concentration of ownership in all fisheries. However, this policy has been applied in a haphazard way over several decades and, together with the more complex corporate structures being used for ownership, has not been a total impediment to the concentration of ownership of harvesting-rights.

Prior to the introduction of ITQs in the abalone fishery in the late 1980s, ownership of the licence to participate in the fishery was to a single operator as a result of the owner-operator policy. Again, like the rock lobster fishery, anecdotal evidence suggests that has been some small concentration of ownership but the prohibition on the permanent transfer of quota has significantly hindered this process.

Perhaps the most important impediment in the concentration of ownership has been the social issue of a small number of licensees living in coastal villages, and the community attitudes against such concentration, particularly from investors or fishermen from outside the region. These social restrictions have also been identified (Econosearch, 1999) as the most probable reason for the lack of re-structuring of the Southern Zone rock lobster fishery to benefit from the theoretical advantages of ITQ management.

4.2 Restrictions on transfer of ownership

A number of restrictions on transfer of ownership are currently in place in the ITQ-managed fisheries. No more than 15% of any licence may be held by a foreign citizen or company and, in the abalone fishery, permanent transfers are prohibited.

The most important restriction on transfer for all the fisheries is that transfers can only occur between licence-holders that have an access-right to these limited-entry fisheries. Because most of the fisheries are small, this has resulted in a small market for tradable access-rights unless the full licence for access to the fishery is also purchased.

4.3 Prices received

Data has been collected on prices received for abalone and rock lobsters for a number of years. The data for rock lobsters are shown in Table 5 separated in to Northern Zone and the ITQ-managed Southern Zone.

Table 5. SA rock lobster catch and value of catch, 1990/91 - 1998/99

Year

S. Zone Catch (t)

S. Zone value ($A million)

S. Zone average price ($A/kg)

N. Zone catch (t)

N. Zone value ($A million)

N. Zone average price ($A/kg)

1990/91

1562

26.7

$17.09

1104

18.2

$16.48

1991/92

1940

36.3

$18.71

1222

21.4

$17.51

1992/93

1754

34.8

$19.84

1064

20.5

$19.27

1993/94

1669

43.2

$25.88

930

23.4

$25.16

1994/95*

1720

48.6

$28.26

891

25.5

$28.62

1995/96

1684

44.6

$27.32

903

23.8

$26.36

1996/97

1635

47.0

$28.75

893

24.4

$27.32

1997/98

1680

50.9

$30.30

942

27.7

$29.40

1998/99p

1713

47.2

$27.55

1016

26.7

$26.28

* ITQ management introduced to the Southern Zone fishery
From the Table, there is no discernible change in prices received as a result of the introduction of ITQs in the Southern Zone of the fishery in 1994. Rather, both zones have experienced a steady increase in price for the past decade.

For abalone, average prices received since 1990/91 have also increased from $A16.22/kg in 1990/91 to $A33.90 in 1994/95 to $A29.15 in 1998/99. Prices received have been influenced to some extent by the development of the abalone aquaculture industry though, because the aquaculture industry produces a different size product, this competition for markets has been minimal.

Both the abalone industry and the rock lobster fishery are export-orientated fisheries and hence the prices received are influenced by currency exchange-rates and international demand. The introduction of ITQs therefore seems to have little impact on prices. The quality of the product produced has been maintained at a high level (to meet export standards) and hence price increases as a result of quality improvements have not been noticeable.

No price data is available for the pilchard fishery.

4.4 Effectiveness of regulations governing ownership of rights

A significant cost of management in all ITQ-managed fisheries in South Australia is the cost of compliance. Hence the effectiveness of regulations has been high from a compliance point of view. However, as noted above, the policy of owner-operator has been haphazardly applied and new corporate-ownership structures have allowed concentration of ownership without significant impediment. The most important impediment to such concentration seems to be both the limited entry nature of the fisheries (hence resulting in a very small market for trading of access-rights) and the social issues whereby attitudes in small coastal communities influence individual decisions to concentrate ownership.

5. DISCUSSION

5.1 Reduction in fleet-capacity

In no case in the ITQ-managed fisheries of South Australia was fleet-capacity reduced. Rather, the policy objective was to stabilize fleet-capacity and, using the measures of fleet-capacity available, this has been achieved (see Tables 1 and 2). However, a major concern is that the measures of fleet-capacity being used do not take into account efficiency-increases brought about by technological innovation, and no data collection programmes are in place to collect such information. Studies from elsewhere suggest that this may become an important issue. It is therefore likely that real capacity has increased by an unknown amount in all the ITQ fisheries of South Australia.

All of the ITQ-managed fisheries in South Australia retain significant input-controls and these are often more effective in managing capacity and fishing-effort than the ITQ-regime alone. However, the retention of these input-controls has also meant that the beneficial effects of industry restructuring, which should be available under an ITQ-management system, have not occurred. As an example, significant improvements in return on capital could be had in the rock lobster fishery, by taking quota at different times of the year than is currently the case. However, the input-control of closed seasons (promoted as much by industry as by Government) remain as an impenetrable impediment to such benefits.

A comparison of ITQ-managed and input-control managed segments of the rock lobster fishery have failed to demonstrate any convincing differences in fleet-capacity or economic benefits as a result of the move to ITQs. However, as noted above, this is almost certainly a result of the significant input-controls that remain and the impediment that these have in realizing the benefits of ITQ management.

5.2 Concentration of ownership

The limited-entry nature of the fisheries and the restrictions applying to change of ownership of access-rights has meant that concentration of ownership has been minimal in all fisheries. In fact, the opposite has occurred in the abalone fishery where change of ownership of access-rights (licences) are almost unknown, the last (half share) changing hands in 1996.

The importance of social issues, whereby small coastal community attitudes influence individual decisions to concentrate ownership, has not been well recognized or studied in South Australian fisheries. These issues have emerged as major influences of the effects of ITQ-management in South Australia.

6. LITERATURE CITED

EconSearch 1999a. Economic Indicators for the SA Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery 1997/98. Report prepared for Primary Industries and Resources South Australia, February 1999.

EconSearch 1999b. Economic Indicators for the SA Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery 1997/98. Report prepared for Primary Industries and Resources South Australia, February 1999.

Morgan, G.R. 2001. Initial allocation of harvesting in the Rock Lobster fishery of Western Australia. In: Shotton, R. (Ed.) 2001. Case studies on the allocation of Transferable Quota Rights in fisheries. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. No. 411. FAO, Rome.


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