A new approach to determine the distributional effects of quota management in fisheries

Quota allocation mechanisms have distributional effects that are highly relevant to the economic organization of fisheries. In France, where fishing allocations are non-transferable, quotas are shared among Producer Organizations (POs) based on the historical landings of their members. Each PO is then responsible for implementing their own internal rules that provide individual or collective allocations to their members. This study investigates the distributional effects of the various quota management systems adopted by POs on quotas and production for the Bay of Biscay sole fishery. A comparison between initial allocations by vessel based on historical landings and actual observed landings is presented. Inequality metrics are used to quantify distributional effects, and a new method that is based on the decomposability property of the Theil index is introduced. Results show that the French management system successfully avoided concentration of production while reducing the fishing capacity through decommissioning schemes. The non-transferability of fishing allocations is a critical element that favored this outcome by allowing POs to control the distribution of catch shares in the fishery. Besides, it appears that the allocation strategies developed by POs were notably influenced by their local roots and their fishing fleet profiles. The various quota allocation systems among POs had contrasting effects on vessels’ production, including greater equity within particular subfleets, benefits to vessels most dependent on sole in most POs, and benefits to the small-scale fisheries in a few POs.


Distribution, Inequality, Producer organizations, Catch shares, Common-pool resources, Fishery management

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Appendix A. Supplementary data Allocation criteria used by POs
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How to cite
Bellanger Manuel, Macher Claire, Guyader Olivier (2016). A new approach to determine the distributional effects of quota management in fisheries. Fisheries Research. 181. 116-126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2016.04.002, https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00332/44359/

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