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The legal, regulatory, and institutional evolution of fishing cooperatives in Alaska and the West Coast of the United States

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  • De Alessi, Michael
  • Sullivan, Joseph M.
  • Hilborn, Ray

Abstract

Between 1997 and 2011, fishing cooperatives on the West Coast of the U.S. and Alaska grew to cover almost 60% of U.S. West Coast and Alaska commercial fisheries. In those fisheries, cooperatives now manage capacity reduction and harvest limit compliance internally, transforming the way harvest limits are met—but not how they are set. Economic and regulatory incentives, both positive and negative, explain variations in cooperative structures and functions, particularly the level of participation, number of cooperatives within a fishery, and a shift in emphasis over time from internal quota setting and trading to managing non-target prohibited species avoidance. Ecological limits, which have generally been effective at sustaining fisheries on the Pacific coast, are still exogenous to cooperative management. Cooperatives commonly share information to avoid bycatch, but only coordinate harvests of target species to a very limited degree. Whether cooperatives evolve from effectively meeting external targets to either participating in the setting of limits (co-management) or moving beyond quota management into revenue sharing and coordinated fishing will depend on whether legal institutions and political objectives also evolve to allow new contractual and institutional arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • De Alessi, Michael & Sullivan, Joseph M. & Hilborn, Ray, 2014. "The legal, regulatory, and institutional evolution of fishing cooperatives in Alaska and the West Coast of the United States," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 217-225.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:43:y:2014:i:c:p:217-225
    DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2013.06.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tracey Mangin & Christopher Costello & James Anderson & Ragnar Arnason & Matthew Elliott & Steve D Gaines & Ray Hilborn & Emily Peterson & Rashid Sumaila, 2018. "Are fishery management upgrades worth the cost?," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(9), pages 1-24, September.
    2. Wielgus, Jeffrey & Poon, Sarah & del Río, Esperanza Carballal & Muñoz, Daylin & Whittle, Daniel & Fujita, Rod, 2014. "Fishery cooperatives in Cuba: Potential benefits, legal feasibility, and governance pre-conditions," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 128-137.

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