Designing ITQ programs for commercial recreational fishing
This paper discusses the potential for implementing individual transferable quota (ITQ) schemes in commercial recreational fisheries, focusing particularly on charter and headboat fisheries. After a brief discussion of ITQs in commercial fisheries, the paper discusses the manner in which rents get dissipated in commercial recreational fisheries. Fishing mortality in recreational fisheries is determined as a joint outcome of angler behavior and trip supply. In the recreational sector under open access conditions, there are likely to be too many vessels providing too many trips at prices that are too low. Vessel input configurations are likely to be distorted in a manner that generates excessive fishing mortality. Designing ITQs for recreational fisheries requires consideration of issues not prominent in the design of commercial fisheries. Among the most important is the manner in which angler preferences and types affect overall mortality from both landings and discards. While catch and release fisheries and pure food fish recreational fisheries are relatively easy to manage with recreational ITQs, fisheries with both angler types present difficult monitoring problems that add complexities to ITQ design. Various ways to design programs that account for both landings and discard mortalities and that generate incentives for anglers and vessel owners to reduce discard mortality are discussed.