Community Fishing Quotas

Building on the concept of community development quotas, community fishing quotas (CFQs) could also be used to direct the flow of economic and social benefits from a fishery to coastal communities. “Community" can be defined at different scales, leading to community fishing quotas specified at a community, regional, or state level (Chapter 1). CFQs may have a variety of objectives and a range of designs beyond the development of fishery infrastructure.

New Zealand's individual transferable quota (ITQ) program contains two examples of community quotas. One example is the quota owned by the Local Authority Trading Enterprise (LATE) at the Chatham Islands, an isolated group of islands about 400 miles east of New Zealand. The LATE owns, on behalf of the geographic community, about 1,200 metric tons of quota for inshore species that it leases only to residents of the Chatham Islands. The other example is one of a quota held by a community of interest and cultural identity. The Treaty of Waitangi (Fisheries Claims) Settlement Act 1992 effectively transferred ownership of almost 40% of the New Zealand ITQ to the Maori people. A large proportion of this quota is held by the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. Pending resolution of permanent allocation issues among the tribes, the commission leases ITQs to local iwi (tribes) on an annual basis. The iwi may fish the quota themselves, lease it, or get fishermen to use it on their behalf.

Community quotas have also appeared recently in the Scotia-Fundy region of Atlantic Canada, in the context of resistance to adoption of ITQs on the part of small-scale fishermen and coastal communities. The first case, in 1995, involved an agreement to allocate part of the TAC for a particular area to a geographic community (Sambro, Nova Scotia), which could decide how to allocate it, rather than to require ITQs, which are otherwise used widely in the area (Apostle et al., 1998). Subsequent grassroots efforts and a series of demonstrations and occupations of government offices expanded the principle of community-based management to the "fixed-gear" sector of the commercial industry in the Bay of Fundy region (Kearney et al., 1998). Two "community management boards" were formed in 1996. The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans allocates quotas to these boards for three groundfish species, based on their collective catch history. In consultation with their members, each board develops a management plan through a process that is designed to involve all license holders and to be based on consensus and, in one case, consultation with an advisory committee representing community, environmental, and professional interests. The boards have no formal legislative capacity to enforce their management plans; instead, they use contract law, requiring fishermen to sign a contract that they will follow the management plan and accept designated penalties for violation. Fishermen who decline may participate in a government-run management regime. These boards have also become the basis for fishermen's participation in

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