Institutional designs to face the dark side of total allowable catches
Del Valle Erquiaga, Miren Ikerne
Astorkitza Ikazuriaga, Kepa Andoni
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ICES Journal of Marine Science 64(4) : 851–857 (2007)
Setting total allowable catches (TACs) is an endogenous process in which different agents and institutions, often with conflicting interests and opportunistic behaviour, try to influence policy-makers. Such policy-makers, far from being the benevolent social planners many would wish them to be, may also pursue self-interest when making final decisions. Although restricted knowledge of stock abundance and population dynamics, and weakness in enforcement, have effects, these other factors may explain the reason why TAC management has failed to guarantee sustainable exploitation of fish resources. Rejecting the exogeneity of the TAC and taking advantage of fruitful debate on economic policy (i.e. the rules vs. discretion debate, and that surrounding the independence of central banks), two institutional developments are analysed as potential mechanisms to face up to misconceptions about TACs: long-term harvest control rules, and a central bank of fish.