ferable quotas or ITQs) intended to eliminate or suppress some of the worst features of this commodification (Iudicello et al., 1999). The track record associated with these efforts is not yet extensive enough to justify firm conclusions. Taken together, however, it seems fair to conclude that these institutional innovations show considerable promise at least as responses to the specific problem of overharvesting (National Research Council, 1999a). Yet there is no basis at this stage for granting high marks to state-based systems of sea tenure with regard to the production of outcomes that are sustainable over time, much less results that can be defended on grounds of efficiency or equity.
To see how the interplay between modern/national and more informal/local systems of sea tenure plays out in practice, consider the situation that has developed in the eastern Bering Sea Region over the past 25 years (National Research Council, 1996). During the 1970s, the state of Alaska instituted a limited-entry regime for the inshore fisheries of this area—those fisheries taking place within a 3-mile belt over which the state has jurisdiction—largely in response to declining harvests of salmon (Young, 1983). Shortly thereafter, the federal government followed suit by creating a Fishery Conservation Zone (FCZ) together with a set of regulatory arrangements dealing with the harvesting of all species of fish in an area extending from the outer boundaries of state jurisdiction to a point 200 nautical miles from the coastline (Young, 1982b). Although it would be incorrect to argue that these initiatives have had no positive consequences, they have given rise to a number of unintended side effects largely due to problems of interplay with other institutional arrangements. The limited-entry system covering inshore fisheries has disrupted informal arrangements featuring a fluid mix of subsistence and commercial fishing; placed severe restrictions on the ability of young people unable to afford the price of a permit to enter the fisheries; and led to a loss of permits among rural fishers whose financial insecurity causes them to succumb from time to time to the temptation to sell fishing permits to meet short-term needs for cash. For its part, the creation of the FCZ in the eastern Bering Sea precipitated a dramatic rise in the participation of American fishers in this area and the consequent phasing out of foreign fishers. Because the regime established to regulate fishing in this area has the status of a national arrangement, the state of Alaska has been barred from instituting measures to protect local fishers in the area from competition on the part of large, heavily capitalized fishers based in Washington and Oregon. The exclusion of foreign fishers from the FCZ caused them to shift their focus to an area of the central Bering Sea located just outside the FCZ and known as the doughnut hole.11 By the early 1990s, the pollock stocks in this area had collapsed.
During the 1990s, both the U.S. government and the state of Alaska took some steps to address these unfortunate side effects arising from the institutional innovations of the 1970s and 1980s. These include the creation of community development quotas (CDQs) intended to bolster the economies of small, coastal communities (National Research Council, 1999b) and the negotiation of a six-