fishing or increase the profitability of fishing outside the reserve, the resulting intensity of fishing could increase to the point of nullifying biological or economic gains from the reserve. Although there is evidence that closed areas contribute to general conservation and the protection of biodiversity, they may not be sufficient to meet fishery conservation goals when used alone (OECD, 1997). There are many unanswered questions about the design, implementation, and effectiveness of marine reserves in achieving broad-scale conservation goals.

Use Rights in Fishing

Territorial use rights in fishing (TURFs) assign exclusive use rights over a fishery area to an individual or group (Christy, 1982). They are a special case of area restrictions and are analogous to grazing rights. In many cases, traditional territorial use rights are applied in less industrialized and smaller-scale coastal fisheries where management has been based on restricting participation to a localized population in a limited geographical area. The use of TURFs is most suitable for species that are relatively immobile or predictable in location, such as mollusks and crustaceans. Because participants in Bering Sea king and Tanner crab superexclusive5 area registration fisheries are precluded from participating in other (more lucrative) crab fisheries, few large vessel operators choose to participate, effectively reserving the superexclusive registration fisheries for local, small vessel fleets. Consequently, superexclusive area registration amounts to a form of common property TURF (Hermann et al., 1998).

TURFs may be used in conjunction with fishing gear such as fish-aggregating devices, pound nets, or other entrapment and enclosure devices (Christy, 1996). The establishment of regional lobster zones in the State of Maine shares elements of a TURF, with specific management zones established in geographical regions based on the distribution and historic participation of fishermen (Acheson and Steneck, 1997; Wilson, 1997). These mechanisms can be used to provide continued access for traditional uses of a specific area. Stock-use rights in fishing (SURFs) are similar in concept, establishing exclusive use rights to a fish stock or combination of stocks (Townsend, 1995).

TURFs or SURFs may be held by individuals, cooperatives, corporations, communities, or other organizations (Christy, 1996). The conservation effect of this type of management depends critically on the migration rate of the fish, the number of people with a right of access to an area, and their beliefs about what

5  

Superexclusive area registration is a management tool used by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for some (small) Bering Sea crab fisheries. Participation is open to any vessel, provided that the vessel agrees not to participate in any other crab fishery. Because this tool is applied to crab fisheries with low guideline harvest levels and because participation in the fishery precludes participation in any other Bering Sea crab fisheries, few vessels choose to participate. Most of the vessels that do choose to participate are small and local to the fishery.



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