Design or pragmatic evolution: applying ITQs in EU fisheries management

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Among the proposals for the 2012 revision of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, a strong case is made for the introduction of a system of rights-based management. The EU perceives individual fishing concessions as an important instrument for capacity management. We will use the introduction of individual tradable quotas in the management of the Dutch North Sea beam trawl fisheries as a case for exploring the effect of the introduction of such an instrument. The effect will be assessed in terms of reduction of fishing capacity in the Dutch beam trawl fleet and its economic and social impact. These Dutch experiences will be translated to the current debate on the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. Especially, we will focus on the issues of "relative stability", the concentration of rights, and the effects on the small-scale fisheries sector. Some of the negative effects associated with individual tradable rights can be addressed through design. However, trying to maintain stability and counter perceived negative impacts on fishing communities will modify the effect of introducing individual fishing concessions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-470
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • neoliberalising nature
  • quota
  • resources
  • reform
  • policy


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