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The Drama of the Commons
fine both the caps and the rules. Although representatives of access right holders usually are represented on these councils, other groups are represented as well.
Although the use of true co-management in air pollution control is rather rare, some limited forms are beginning to appear in both fisheries and water. Water user associations, for example, play a considerable role in allocating water resources in Chile. Although the Dirección General de Aguas has broad authority in water resource management, much of the actual control over river flows is exercised by the Juntas de vigilancia, associations made up of all users and users associations on a common section of a river (Hearne, 1998).
The absence of centralized control by California over its groundwater has resulted in the growth of a number of basin authorities controlled by water producers. The transfers of rights that take place among producers of groundwater can be seen as “informal” tradable rights markets.19 These informal markets appear to be much more likely to involve user-defined rules.
In fisheries, particularly those involving highly sedentary species such as lobsters, substantial local control by users typically is exercised.20 For example, Maine controls its lobster fishery by means of a zonal system. Fishers within these zones play a considerable role in defining the rules that govern fishing activity within their zone. Though none of the zones currently involve the use of tradable permits, that option is being discussed.
Following the U.S. Congress-imposed moratorium on individual transferable quotas (ITQs), some alternative self-regulation alternatives arose in fisheries. In the Pacific whiting fishery in the Bering Sea, the annual total allowable catch (TAC) of whiting is divided among various sectors, including the catcher-processor vessels, which hold 34 percent of the 1997-2001 TAC (National Research Council, 1999:130). In April 1997, the four companies holding limited entry permits in the catcher-processor sector agreed to allocate the quota among themselves, forming a cooperative for the purpose. To avoid possible antitrust prosecution, a potential barrier to user-based management agreements in the United States, members submitted their proposal to the Department of Justice, which approved it. Though this is not a formal tradable permit, the negotiations over allocations among participants have begun to take on some of the attributes of an informal market.
It should not be surprising that although tradable permit systems potentially allow for a considerable co-management role, only in fisheries and water is there any evidence of an evolution in this direction. The pollution and natural resource cases exhibit an important asymmetry. For air pollution control, the benefits from resource protection fall on the victims of air pollution, not on the polluters who use the resource; from a purely self-interest point of view, resource users (polluters) would be quite happy to degrade the resource if they could get away with it. On the other hand, water users and fishers both can benefit from protection of the resource. Their collective self-interest is compatible with resource protection. This