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A constraint-based framework to study rationality, competition and cooperation in fisheries


  • Christian Mullon
  • Charles Mullon


In this paper, we present a simplified framework to represent competition, coordination and bargaining in fisheries when they operate under financial and technological constraints. Competition within constraints leads to a particular type of mathematical game in which the strategy choice by one player changes strategy set of the other. By studying the equilibria and bargaining space of this game when players maximize either profit or fishing capacity, we highlight that differences in financial constraints among players leads to a tougher play, with a reduced bargaining space as the least constrained player can readily exclude another from the competition. The exacerbating effects of constraints on competition are even stronger when players maximize capacity. We discuss the significance of our results for global ocean governance in a current context characterized by financialization and technological development. We suggest that in order to maximize the chances of fruitful negociations and aim towards a fair sharing of sea resources, it would be helpful to focus on leveling current differences in the constraints faced between competing fishing systems by supporting local financial systems and technological control, before implementing sophisticated economic tools.

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  • Christian Mullon & Charles Mullon, 2016. "A constraint-based framework to study rationality, competition and cooperation in fisheries," Papers 1605.08166,, revised Jan 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1605.08166

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