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Journal Articles Frontiers in Human Dynamics Year : 2022

Subsidies and allocation: A legacy of distortion and intergenerational loss

Abstract

One of the greatest threats to the conservation of transboundary stocks is the failure of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) to equitably allocate future fishing opportunities. Across RFMOs, catch history remains the principal criterion for catch allocations, despite being recognized as a critical barrier to governance stability. This paper examines if and how subsidies have driven catch histories, thereby perpetuating the legacy of unfair resource competition between distant water fishing nations (DWFNs) and coastal States, and how this affects ongoing allocation negotiations in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). Using limited publicly available data on subsidies to Indian Ocean tuna fleets, we show that subsidies have inflated catch histories of many DWFN's. As long as historical catch remains the key allocation criterion, future fishing opportunities will continue to be skewed in favor of DWFNs, in turn marginalizing half of the IOTC member States, which collectively account for a paltry 4% of the current catch. Without better transparency in past subsidies data, accounting for this distortion will be difficult. We provide alternative allocation options for consideration, with our analysis showing that re-attributing DWFN catch to the coastal State in whose waters it was caught may begin to alleviate this historical injustice.

Dates and versions

hal-04304964 , version 1 (24-11-2023)

Identifiers

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Hussain Sinan, Ciara Willis, Wilf Swartz, U. Rashid Sumaila, Ruth Forsdyke, et al.. Subsidies and allocation: A legacy of distortion and intergenerational loss. Frontiers in Human Dynamics, 2022, 4, pp.1044321. ⟨10.3389/fhumd.2022.1044321⟩. ⟨hal-04304964⟩
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