Environmental market design for large-scale marine conservation

It is commonly agreed that marine conservation should expand considerably around the world. However, most countries have not yet implemented large-scale no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). When a country closes a large fraction of its waters to fishing, it stands to lose a considerable level of fishery revenue. Although biodiversity and spillover fishing benefits may far exceed these losses, benefits from large-scale MPAs typically accrue to other countries or to the high seas. Here, to overcome this dilemma, we simulate and test an international fisheries management scheme with transferable fishing rights that incentivizes, rather than hinders, large-scale marine conservation. By combining a bioeconomic model of cross-country trading of fishing rights with vessel-level tracking data before and after a large-scale conservation action is implemented, we show that transferable fishing rights and a biomass-based allocation rule are pivotal to incentivize conservation under this market-based setting. Our work focuses on the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS)—an environmental market that is employed by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (a group of nine Pacific Island nations) to manage their tuna fisheries—and areas in which large-scale conservation interventions have taken place. Overall, these results provide a template for how to incentivize countries to engage in large-scale marine conservation within a market-based setting.

Facebook
Twitter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) welcomes online comments to stories that are posted on our website or social media pages. Comments are intended to be a forum for open, respectful, and family-friendly discussion. UHERO reserves the right to remove anything posted on our website or social media pages that is deemed inappropriate. All comments are moderated and will therefore have a delayed post time.
Some guidelines (not an exhaustive list) we use when moderating/approving comments include:

  • Do not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
  • Do not post content that is hateful, threatening or wildly off-topic; or do anything unlawful, malicious, discriminatory or defamatory.
  • Observe confidentiality laws at all times.
  • Do not post spam or advertisements.
  • Observe fair use, copyright and disclosure laws.
  • Do not use vulgar language or profanity.

UHERO may amend this policy from time to time.