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Regulating the production function

Dynamics of overfishing and inefficient allocation of the resource

For production to be efficient, inputs have to be used in proportion to their relative scarcity. In commercial fisheries, private producers turn to market mechanisms for allocating capital and manpower. This is not the case, however, for the resource as long as access is open and free. Under such conditions, the resource value is not taken into account in allocating production factors. Resources are used as though they were inexhaustible.

As long as resources were considered not constraining, the need for rationing their use was less critical. Crises caused by local over-capacities could be overcome by redeploying boats and people. Since extensification contributed to economic growth and social stability, national administrations supported it through the provision of subsidies, even though guarantees of access would have often been as effective and cheaper.

If access is not regulated, the value taken by a resource that becomes scarce - for instance, as in agriculture, the resource rent - accrues initially to producers. This surplus comes, after salaries and capital costs are covered, over and above the ordinary profit of enterprises. The normal profit corresponds to risk coverage and to gains in productivity derived from managerial skill, assimilation of technological innovations, and adoption of new marketing policies. Producers can only increase or maintain their share of the surplus by increasing their fishing capacities.

Unfortunately, the limited nature of the resource makes the process perverse. Sooner or later, fishing capacities become excessive relatively to resource productivity. First, the rent is dissipated, then the resource is overfished, finally negative interactions and conflicts become pervasive. In the long run, the state and performances of fisheries tend to deteriorate even further since rise in fish price, technological innovations, and improved knowledge on fish distribution all combine in their effect to enhance the rent value.

It is, therefore, not the limited nature of the resources that causes the deterioration of fisheries. Vineyards producing vintage wines are also scarce. This does not prevent them from being well-managed, nor their exploitation from being efficient. In fisheries, it is the institutions that regulate access which are deficient. Their shortcomings were revealed by the emergence of scarcity on a global scale. Because of the interrelationships between the institutional, economic, and biological factors of overfishing, approaches limited to resource conservation - i.e., those which neglect to develop the institutions required for regulating the economic forces and enhancing the economic performances of fisheries - have the best chances of remaining ineffective. Today, progress in fisheries depends essentially on the adoption of institutional innovations for management. Increasing gross output is not the unique way to generate wealth.

Under the property regimes in force in fisheries, the current deficiencies of allocation mechanisms can schematically be outlined as follows: In customary, pre-merchant systems, both resource allocation and wealth distribution were effected through the social structure of the groups. Everywhere, such systems have fallen, or are falling, into disuse as rural groups are penetrated by the exchange economy. With the search for economic growth, a rationality of horizontal integration based on exchange between individuals aiming at maximizing their own profit is gradually substituted to the rationality of vertical integration within self-sufficient, unspecialized groups, whose economy gave priority to reproduction rather than to individual accumulation. As their economy changed, the social organization that structured the groups disintegrates.

Though customary systems can help in understanding the conditions for optimizing extensive uses of ecosystems, with proper adaptations and consolidations - notably the formal recognition of collective use rights - they could provide transitory solutions indispensable for mitigating social distresses, but their compatibility with the market economy is doubtful.

Everything remains outside of the market has only a use value; everything which crosses its narrow threshold acquires an exchange value. Depending on whether he is on one side or another of the elementary market, the individual, the 'agent', is or is not in the exchange, in what I called the economic life to oppose it to the material life. (Braudel 1976)

The exhaustion of extensification opportunities has also affected the capability of administrations to manage fisheries effectively. They no longer have to distribute subsidies, but do have to halt expansion and to cut down fishing capacities. For that task, administrative mechanisms are seriously ineffective. Because they do not integrate the economic forces that generate overfishing, they cannot make the short-term, individual allocation decisions that are needed, even when they succeed, at considerable costs, in preventing biological overfishing. On the basis of biological and economic information collected for that purpose, governments are well capable of elaborating coherent plans for rational resources utilization. But planning does not say how to distribute fixed amounts of exclusive use rights to best performing producers.

To be operative, economic (market) systems also require adequate property regimes. When access is free, the value of the resource, i.e., the resource rent, is not used together with wages and interest, to balance manpower and capital inputs with resource productivity. In the absence of adequate property regimes, the resource rent cannot be assimilated to a mere producer's surplus, nor the resource to a capital. The resource rent is not a monopoly rent, it is not generated by property but by natural scarcity. It exists, at least potentially, and exerts its effects independently of the identity and status - public or private - of the owner. In addition to enabling the use of the resource rent in the economic mechanism of allocation, the property regime determines who gets it. More generally, property enables the reduction in spillovers that affect the costs or benefits of producers or consumers, either individually or jointly. Compared to occupation and possession, property enables one to dispose of resources, goods, or services as one pleases, that is, at the exclusion of the others - and in a lawful fashion, according to rules that are accepted and enforced by the group.

Under a functional property regime, the resource rent is separated from the ordinary profit of the enterprises. Performances of fishermen become independent of the number and activity of other producers engaged in the same fisheries, or from the natural, productivity of different fish stocks. Producers' rate of profit is equalized, and balancing inputs and resource productivity is made easier, also the resource rent can materialize. Mobility of people and capital, both within and between fisheries, as well as among competing uses of the resources, or with other sectors of the economy, is improved. Since efficient producers can make better offers for acquiring fishing rights, assimilation of technological innovations that lead to effective economic gains is stimulated.

This functional relationship between property and allocation is not specific to market mechanisms. It applies to other allocation schemes as well. Traditional management systems cannot function effectively without the formal recognition of collective exclusive rights over the resources. A system based on command also requires that duties and powers of decision are clearly distributed within the hierarchical structure, as well as between units in charge of promoting development and those responsible for management. The new ocean regime gives an illustration of this point. It was only when the extension of national jurisdictions was accepted that controlling the amount of (foreign) fishing and negotiating fishing agreements became feasible.

This conclusion does not imply, however, that operative property regimes can actually develop in domestic fisheries. This will depend on the applicability, to the sector, of the proper institutions, as well as of the cost and benefit of their adoption. "Property rights develop when gains for internalizing externalities exceeds the costs of internalization." (Demsetz 1967)

Resource jointness and variability

When revising institutions, proper consideration must be given to the constraint imposed by resource jointness. Resource jointness has four origins:

- the mobility of organisms within populations (even sessile species have mobile stages in their life history, and consume organisms that are also mobile);

- the geographic extension of exploited populations, which is such that most are exploited simultaneously by several fishing companies or fisher groups; some extend even across the boundaries of competence of management bodies at provincial, national, or regional level;

- the occurrence of many species in the same area, of which several are, owing to the limited selectivity of gear and fishing operations, simultaneously harvested;

- the trophic relationships among species making up ecosystems.

Because of resource jointness, performances of individual fishermen are directly affected by the number and activity of other fishermen and users of the same resources. To regulate the production function, interventions at scales higher than the fishing company or the fisher group - that is encompassing sets of resources and fleets sufficiently large to control the fishing regime effectively - are therefore needed. For that purpose, boundaries of management units have to match loci of minimal interactions among fisheries. This is usually possible since resources are structured into discrete species and populations, and fleets can be distinguished by their target species, gear, operating range, and fishing strategies. The objective being operational, the delimitation of fisheries or management units has to be pragmatic. It needs to match the structure and economic importance of the fisheries, as well as the administrative and research capacities that are available.

Other processes of higher scales may justify interventions at higher levels e.g., for sharing the production of stocks jointly exploited in two, or more, unit fisheries, or for controlling pollution and other interactions among different uses of ecosystems. The larger the number of uses to be managed simultaneously, the more space remains - the only dimension through which controls can be effected.

Resource jointness has another important consequence. The resource can seldom be allocated directly among fishermen. But quantitative fishing rights can be attributed through controls on harvests (quotas) or means of production (licences). The use of one or the other (or of both) surrogate(s) will depend on the biological and technical features, and the economic and social structure of particular fisheries, as well as on the available administrative and research capacities. Where they can be implemented, catch quotas may facilitate a separate control of capital and manpower inputs, and of resource use, that is, the distinction between resource exploitation and management (see below).

Resource variability also affects institutions. For highly fluctuating stocks, the future value of the resource rent may be difficult to forecast, and the resulting uncertainty may reduce the effectiveness of economic mechanisms of allocation. Governments are expected to intervene when stocks collapse. The allotment, for undetermined periods of time, of fixed catch quotas may not be feasible, unless part of the overall annual yield is kept in reserve and allocated through other means in years of above-average recruitment.4 Fine tuning the fishing rate to offset short-term resource fluctuations through the manipulation of a tax on vessels or catches is not operationally feasible, nor politically acceptable as taxes have to be raised in years when fishermen's revenues are dwindling.

Matching resource management and exploitation

The difference of scale between the harvesting and management processes have critical implications on property regimes and allocation mechanisms. Workable arrangements can be classified under two broad categories:

- schemes in which fishing units are regrouped into sets, at the level of which resource management can be effected;

- schemes where resource harvesting and management are administered separately at two different levels by different entities, and then articulated through the allocation mechanism.

Traditional fisher communities, state-owned fishing companies, and cartels are examples falling under the first category. With sets of adequate dimensions, overall fishing inputs can, in theory, be matched to resource productivity. In practice, these solutions present limitations. Usually, coastal communities exploit jointly a variety of stocks. When exploitation has to be rationed, interventions at a higher level become necessary to harmonize the fishing activities of neighbouring groups.

In theory, a single state-owned company could enable input and output to be balanced at the level of a fishery. Still, this solution suffers from another drawback: when not pressed by competition in production and distribution, state fishing companies have, on average, poor records of efficiency. For similar reasons and equity considerations regarding access, cartels are not common in fisheries despite the merits they may have when proper conditions are met. (Gates 1989)5

Under the second category, the management and exploitation functions are conducted separately. Space and time-scales of resource management are strong technical arguments in favour of a regime of state property of the resources. They are not the only ones. Because of interactions between unit fisheries as well as among ecosystems uses, and because several fishery resources can be exploited by groups which cannot always compete, immediately at least, under the same regime (small-scale and large-scale fishermen, domestic and foreign fleets), administrations frequently have to make allocation decisions between major fishery units and fisher groups.6 Also, the classic economic argument put forward in agriculture, which states that public ownership of land can facilitate the investment of the resource rent in activities contributing directly to the development of national economies - rather than its immediate consumption or hoarding - and stimulate technological innovations and efficiency in harvesting activities, is also valid in fisheries, especially in developing countries with large resources at their disposal. Since their economies are less diversified, resource rents, which can be considerable,7 are the major source of investment they use to develop their infrastructures, human resources and new industries.

A regime of private property by the State recognizes that harvesting is generally a private - even if collective - activity whose economic performances depends on the capacity to ration, i.e. on exclusion. Such a regime distinguishes fisheries from pure public property resources, goods or services (e.g., justice, or defence) where exclusion of nationals is not acceptable, or from resources where rationing is not necessary, for example, urban lighting.

Resource ownership entails five major duties:

1. resource conservation;

2. determining exploitation regimes for discrete fisheries;

3. making resource allocation decisions among interrelated fisheries or user groups;

4. negotiating harvesting contracts with fishermen; and

5. monitoring that harvesting is conducted according to contracts.

This distinction between resource management and harvesting implies that rights attributed to fishing companies or fisher groups are only temporary rights of use (tenancy), and not property rights. Governments can allocate such rights through economic (market) mechanisms. To determine their price, they can rely on the market (public auction), or use criteria of their own to fix the level of royalties. In the latter case, however, they will encounter serious difficulties in adjusting the amount of rights to the optimum level. If the price is low, they will have to use discretionary decisions whose political limitations have already been underlined. However, when extracting a substantial part of the rent, royalty schemes (on catches or fishing capacities) can reduce overinvestment significantly and, thus, improve the state of resources and the economic performances of fisheries, while providing funds to cover management costs.

Thus, a private property regime of the resources by the State is compatible with an economic mechanism (market) for allocating use rights to private producers. Under such a regime, access remains open but not free, while with an administrative rationing of entry, access is free but not open. Governments can allocate collective concessions to fisher groups, notably those handicapped by history (lower geographic and professional mobility), or enjoying anteriority privileges over certain resources. Usually, large-scale and small-scale fisheries will require different institutional setups to reflect differences in their economic and social organization.

Effects on wealth distribution

It is especially when changes in property regime are envisaged, that a demonstration of their general interest will seldom suffice to make institutional reforms acceptable. Certain groups, losing in the change or fearing to do so, will strongly oppose changes. Fishermen are likely to show little enthusiasm for a clarification of the property regime, even though a distinction between a state property of the resources and private tenancy rights would not depart significantly from regimes encountered in pre-merchant rural communities.

... the household ... is usually not the exclusive owner of its resources: farmlands, pastures, hunting or fishing territories. But across the ownership of greater groups or higher authorities, even by means of such ownership, the household retains the primary relation to productive resources. When these resources are undivided, the domestic group has unimpeded access: where the land is allotted, it has claim to an appropriate share.... The family enjoys the usufruct, the use right...." (Marshall Sahlins 1974)

Under current institutions, fisheries administrations and industry have strong incentives to maintain the status quo.

However, compensations can make institutional changes more acceptable, accepting that anteriority in the participation to fisheries entails certain privileges. Most countries that started to regulate access in their domestic fisheries allotted initial fishing rights on the basis of fishermen's past historical performances. Effects of new institutions on wealth distribution have to be anticipated. Special dispositions may have to be taken for underprivileged groups. But the fact that risk of inequity is always latent is no justification for no action. Jurisdictions in force are not necessarily equitable. If law is not justice, there is no justice without law.

Under a regime of private property by the State and a market mechanism for allocation, fishermen's major gain will consist in a reduction of uncertainty.8 As overfishing lowers, resource variability, risk of stock collapse, and conflicts will go down. By abating competition for the resource, guarantee of access matched to amortization time of investments and manpower mobility would enable fishermen and the industry to plan their activities more efficiently. They would be in a better position to defend their rights against other uses of marine resources. But their average revenues will remain determined by their opportunity costs - that is, by the state of other sectors of national economy - and the normal profit of enterprises. The resource rent would accrue to the State which could use it, first to cover the management costs, then for the development of national economy. The net gainers, that is tax payers, should consider fisheries management more positively. The task of the fishery administration will be facilitated as resource allocation will be easier, the rate of fishing lower, and conflicts the exception rather than the rule. Enforcement will be easier and cheaper, and environmentalists' assessment of fisheries may improve, also research could devote its scarce resources to more innovative kinds of investigations. The demand for it will be enhanced since the normal profit of fishing companies can be temporarily increased by better information on the resources and technological innovations.

Implications for management structures

The mandate, membership, and rules and regulations of management structures depend on the property regime and allocation mechanism that are adopted. Since the latter change with the fisheries, no standard model can be proposed, however, general principles can be put forward.

National level

1. The progress of fisheries depends essentially on interventions on resource management at the level of fishery units. Typologies of fisheries are needed to delineate management units.

2. Since world fishery resources are heavily concentrated within the areas of national jurisdiction and management units are, on average, smaller than the EEZs, coastal countries and, within them national administrations, have a direct and major responsibility for the revision of management institutions.

3. Depending on the extent to which the management and harvesting functions can be separated, the mandate, membership, and internal rules of management bodies are likely to vary around three basic models:

a. Clear distinction: public management by an administrative structure responsible for assessing and monitoring the state of fisheries, and relying on market mechanisms to determine rental rates and allocating temporary, quantitative fishing rights to private producers. Such a scheme is more likely to be adopted, initially, in large-scale, capitalistic fisheries.

b. Partial distinction: concerted (or co-) management by structures in which fisheries administrations and elected representatives of fishermen would collaborate. Such structures are likely to encounter difficulties, and to show inefficiencies, similar to those experienced in agricultural cooperatives when the social and economic principles on which they are run are not properly clarified. Such a scheme may represent a transitory, but unavoidable, stage in the development of management institutions.

c. Low distinction: collective (private) management by groups of fishermen, or companies, to whom exclusive collective rights of use are granted over a given resource, for a fixed but renewable period of time (traditional groups, cartels).

4. By dissociating wealth distribution aspects from participation in harvesting, economic mechanisms - with adequate property regimes promote efficiency in exploitation and effectiveness in management. They further technological innovations that lead to efficiency, and could provide substantial rents for the development of South economies. They would reduce the political burden of administrations.

5. With the reduction of international dimensions of fisheries management that came with the extension of national jurisdictions, a partial transfer of management duties to lower administrative levels (e.g., province) can be envisaged. At lower levels, the importance of fisheries relative to other economic sectors is better appreciated, and communication among parties concerned by management facilitated.9 More generally, all fisheries units need not be administered at the same level (local, provincial, national, or regional). The essential requirement is that the level matches the geographic extension of unit fisheries. Different levels are compatible.

Regional level

1. Where stocks are entirely distributed within areas of national jurisdiction, there is no need to maintain or create international structures for their management. Where two, or more, coastal States share the same stocks, where stocks extend over EEZs and the high seas, and for highly migratory species (United Nations 1991), the need for regional cooperation in management remains largely unchanged.

2. Participation in the management of shared, straddling, and high-seas stocks depends on the property regime of the resources. For shared stocks totally circumscribed within a set of EEZs, resource property and management responsibility coincide; participation in management is closed and determined by ownership (exclusion). This is not the case for straddling and high-seas stocks; property is common; exclusion in harvesting is not acceptable, only reduction of catches; responsibility for management falls primarily on fishing nations and coastal countries in the area of jurisdiction of which such stocks occur.

3. For all such stocks, economic mechanisms of allocation may also facilitate management by distinguishing between property, management responsibility, and distribution of wealth on the one hand, and participation in harvesting on the other hand. Then, rationing and exclusion in harvesting will be possible. The condition is that owners agree on the long-term sharing of output (resource rent), but not necessarily on input (vessels or jobs). Agreements of that kind is very difficult to reach where the number of parties is high. The adoption of economic mechanisms of allocation will be easier in fisheries where a small number of coowners share common traditions and belong to the same regional economic (and political) organization. In that perspective, the experience gained from the management of the Pribiloff/North Pacific fur seal fishery may deserve fresh attention. It is practically the only international stock which has been managed with some efficiency, under a scheme where resource ownership and harvesting were separated.10

4. Progress in the management of straddling stocks extending marginally in the high seas depends also on the clarification of their property regime, or on a distinction between ownership and harvesting. The property issue is essentially a political one. Its technical aspects do not differ significantly from those on which the principles of the UN 1982 Convention were developed.

5. In the absence of exclusion in the harvesting of high-seas stocks, changes in the mandate, and improvement in the performances of regional management bodies are unlikely. The need for rationing harvesting is less urgent for stocks, e.g., several stocks of oceanic tunas, whose exploitation is still constrained by demand rather than by supply.

6. Progress in resource conservation is possible through political processes that lead to the banning of a particular fishing activity (e.g., moratorium on whaling, or of pelagic netting). Such an approach can be justified as a temporary measure until the conditions and tools for rational exploitation are developed. However, by itself it cannot provide long-term solutions and should not, therefore, be generalized. Man cannot stop using natural resources, but needs to develop institutions and practices for their wise and efficient utilization.

7. As uses of aquatic ecosystems intensify and diversify, the development of methods and the conduct of analyses integrating the effects of fishing, sea-ranching programmes, harvesting of juveniles from wild populations for aquaculture purposes, pollution of various origins, and climatic variability, on the structure, abundance, and productivity of exploited or altered ecosystems, become urgent. The ability to manage effectively exploited fish populations and to conserve aquatic ecosystems depends on the capacity to discriminate and quantify the different causes of variation - including the natural ones. Regional bodies with competence over the various uses of aquatic ecosystems - but separately for analysis and action - are needed, especially for closed or semi-closed seas surrounded by densely populated and highly industrialized areas such as the Mediterranean.


The origin of the poor performances of fisheries - including the in efficiency of resource conservation - has been located in the deficiencies of the conventional institutions regulating access. It is not economics that has to be reconciled with ecology, but institutions that need to be adjusted to the new conditions of resource scarcity. There is no objective reason to oppose exploitation and conservation. Since the latter conditions the former, objectives of economic efficiency and resource preservation are compatible. Man needs to use and preserve the biosphere equally.

The new ocean regime represents an important step towards the adjustment of institutions to the new conditions. If it has had little effect so far, on the management of high-seas fisheries, the clarification of the international property regime of neritic resources has created new opportunities for the management of domestic fisheries. But, this step alone is insufficient, it has to be completed by new national property regimes, allocation mechanisms, and management structures. Wherever applicable, economic mechanisms of allocation can improve considerably performances of resource harvesting and management.

The space and time scales of processes that can be regulated have a great significance for the design of the new institutions. They are critical for determining the levels of intervention and, for that reason, have direct implications on the functional sharing of duties between the private and the public sectors. They are equally critical for determining the nature and contents of the property regimes, the kinds of allocation mechanisms, and the mandate, membership, and rules and regulations of management bodies. A large number of combinations of property regimes, allocation mechanisms, management structures, supports for fishing rights, and economic organization of fisheries can be envisaged. But the choice for particular fisheries is low. Furthermore, the development of institutions has to go step by step, following sequences that can be assimilated by, and are acceptable in, specific fisheries.

From a technical viewpoint, the mandate, membership, and internal rules of fisheries management bodies should optimally be determined after considering:

i. the structure and dynamics of the production function;

ii. the smallest sets of resources and fleets that can effectively be managed separately;

iii. the specific features of unit fisheries; and

iv. the management institutions that match their specific features.

Of the various levels of intervention in the production function today, the fishery unit is the most critical. Progress in economic performances and effective conservation depends primarily on the regulation of unit fisheries or their equivalent. Because the scales of resource management and harvesting differ, they will have to be regulated separately in a majority of fisheries. Property regimes and allocation mechanisms can articulate these two functions in an effective and efficient manner.

For several reasons, the responsibility of adjusting management institutions to the new conditions rests primarily with national administrations:

1. the largest part of the world fishery potential is located within areas of national jurisdiction;

2. the spatial scale of unit fisheries is on average smaller than that of EEZs;

3. the spatial, time, social, and political dimensions of resource management require interventions at higher levels than the fishing company, or even the unit fishery;

4. the task of revising legislations regulating an economic activity falls under the responsibility of national governments.

One should not infer, however, from the emphasis put on national and public levels that potentially useful interventions are restricted to such levels. On the one hand, private producers are generally in a better position to optimize harvesting in commercial fisheries. On the other hand, there would be benefit in managing certain fisheries at provincial or even lower levels, whereas others, extending beyond national boundaries, have to be regulated at regional level.

The emphasis put on institutions for economic and social development is not fisheries-specific. Today, the most serious issues that puzzle our society, e.g., the conservation of the biosphere, the state of traditional groups in rural areas, the underdevelopment of countries in the South, coincide with sectors of activity and groups in their first contacts with technologically and economically advanced sectors of activity. Traditional societies and sectors are actually damaged by such contacts as long as they have not themselves developed the institutions which they need in order to benefit from the market economy. As communication and exchange intensify, such societies and sectors have less and less time to adjust to a faster and faster changing environment.

The fishery system can provide a useful model for analysing the broader issue of environmental conservation or protection. Even though ecosystems and the regulation of their uses are markedly more complex, and interventions at higher scales justified by the space and time extension of certain processes (e.g., acid rains, global warming), the natural and institutional constraints affecting environmental conservation and fisheries management are similar: resource scarcity, jointness, variability and geographic extension; interference of man-made effects and natural variability; deficiencies of institutions for regulating access whence natural capacities are saturated. Because the fisheries production function is simpler and better known, and because commercial fisheries are a source of quantitative information with hardly any parallel in other uses of ecosystems, the potential value of the fishery model goes beyond the conservation of fish stocks and the economic optimization of their harvesting. It can contribute to the development of general principles and strategies of broader applicability for the wiser and more efficient use of the biosphere.


1. This paper has been written by the author in his personal capacity. Therefore, the ideas it contains are not necessarily those of FAO, UNDP, or the Moroccan Ministry of Fisheries, and cannot commit those administrations.

2. i.e., the fishing rate - and the fishing capacities which generate it - and its distribution relative to that of the species and sizes making up the stock.

3. With the notable exception of Japan, which may be related to the later development of long-distance fisheries in this country.

4. Which is a palliative, and not a solution.

5. Periodic tenders can be used to maintain competition and open access.

6. Administrations are regularly making short-term allocation decisions among individuals within fishing groups. They encounter considerable difficulties in this task. At the same time, governments do not always give proper attention to long-term allocation decisions among groups, although such decisions require public interventions.

7. e.g., US$ 250 millions (1986) for the Moroccan cephalopod fishery alone (Bertignac et al. 1989).

8. The fishermen's opportunistic behaviour is largely related to the universe of uncertainty in which they operate.

9. It is not without reasons that several island states are among countries where substantial progress in management has been accomplished.

10. However, there are other differences: e.g., the stock is exploited ashore, which facilitates control.


Bertignac, M., S. Cunningham, and M. Zouiri. "La pêcherie céphalopodière marocaine. Modélisation bio-économique et propositions d'aménagement." Projet PNUD/FAO MOR 86/019. 1989.

Braudel, F. La dynamique du capitalisme. Edit. Artaud, Paris: 1976.

Brown, V. "Value and property in the history of economic thought: an analysis of the emergence of scarcity." Econ. et Soc., 71987: 85-112.

Demsetz, H. "Towards a theory of property rights." Amer. Econ. Rev., 57 (1967) 347-359.

Duby, G. L'économie rurale et la vie des champagnes dans l'Occident médiéval. Aubier, Edit. Montaigne, Paris: 1962.

FAO. "The State of Food and Agriculture 1980. World Review: Marine Fisheries in the New Era of National Jurisdiction." Rome: FAO, Table A-1 (e): 82. 1981.

Gates, J.M. "La régulation du taux d'exploitation dans les pêcheries commerciales." In Troadec, J.-P., op. cit., 1989, 497-524.

Jollivet, M. (sous la dir.), "Pour une agriculture diverifiée. Arguments, questions recherches." Collect. Alternatives Rurales. Edit. L'Harmattan, Paris: 1988.

Rettig, R.B. "Is Fishery Management at a Turning Point? Reflections on the Evolution of Rights Based Fishing." In Neher, P., R. Arnason, and N. Mollett, Rights Based Fishing. NATO ASI Series, Ser. E: Applied Sciences, vol. 169, 1989, 47-64.

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Regional cooperation in nonliving resources: Joint management zones


Concept of joint development and management of zones
Legal regime of joint development and management zones
Ocean boundaries and joint development zones
The expanding role of joint zones: a conclusion

Francisco Orrego Vicuña

Various legal arrangements brought into force in the past three decades have sought the development and management of non-living resources by means of the establishment of the joint zones between the States involved. (Brownlie 1979) The rules of international law applicable to this new form of cooperation have steadily developed from these regimes and have given place to an extended contemporary practice. Most of such arrangements have been bilateral in nature, although proposals for the participation of more States have been occasionally put forward. Only two multilateral regimes have relied to some extent on this approach - the 1920 Spitzbergen Treaty (Spitzbergen Treaty 1920) and the recent Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities (CRAMRA, 1988), while part XI of the Law of the Sea Convention has only partially reflected this trend. (LOSC, 1982)

Concept of joint development and management of zones

An interesting report prepared by Professor Rainer Lagoni for the International Committee on the Exclusive Economic Zone of the International Law Association explains that the concept of "Joint Development" has been used in relation to "the cooperation between States with regard to the exploration for and exploitation of certain deposits, fields or accumulations of non-living resources, which either extend across a boundary or lie in an area of overlapping claims." (Lagoni 1988) These arrangements can include or not a mechanism for the joint management of such resources, but they will always involve some degree of cooperation among the States concerned. Eventually the joint management can also be undertaken by private operators in the context of "unitization" of deposits or other contractual arrangements.

The practice being so varied in terms of the specific mechanisms devised for undertaking such a cooperation, it is preferable to have a concept that will encompass these various modalities at large. Therefore, the essential element is to seek cooperation from the States, and eventually operators, in relation to such areas and deposits. (Miyoshi 1988)

A good number of these arrangements have been made in connection with existing boundaries, while a few others are devised in the context of a delimitation process, and still others originate in situations where delimitation is pending. (Lagoni 1988) In turn, the jurisdictional models to be followed can also be numerous, ranging from a territorial model to forms of condominium and eventually to an "open-use" model. More often, however, jurisdictional models of a functional type will be used, either by means of ensuring shared or joint jurisdiction, consortium models, or models relying on the operation of institutional mechanisms. (Orrego Vicuña 1988) The practice which will be examined next reveals a combination of jurisdictional criteria organized on a rather pragmatic basis.

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