Catch Shares Around the World

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by Shawn Regan

The Environmental Defense Fund has published a map of all catch share programs around the world. According to the infographic (click to enlarge), as of 2010 there were 275 catch share programs in effect worldwide, affecting 850 different species.

New Zealand and Australia lead the world in rights-based fisheries, with 117 and 111 species under catch share management respectively. Canada, Chile, and the United States are also among the top five in species protected. Perhaps surprisingly, rights-based fisheries exist in countries ranging from Namibia (8 species)  to Papua New Guinea (13 species). See the accompanying searchable database of catch share systems around the world.

The map isn't completely up to date, however. At the beginning of the year, another U.S. fishery, the Pacific groundfish fishery, transitioned to catch share management. The fishery encompasses another 90+ species to be managed under catch shares.

Shawn Regan is a research fellow and the director of publications at PERC. He holds a M.S. in Applied Economics from Montana State University and degrees in economics and environmental science from Berry College. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Quartz, High Country News, Reason, Regulation, Grist, and Distinctly Montana. Shawn is...
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