Panel Paper: Do Property Rights Influence Resource Users' Participation In Collaborative Management? Evidence From New Zealand

Thursday, November 8, 2012 : 1:35 PM
Chesapeake (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Tracy Yandle, Emory University and Nives Dolsak, University of Washington

Authors: Tracy Yandle and Nives Dolsak

The literatures on common pool resources and property rights highlight the key roles of property rights for ecologically and socially sustainable resource management regimes.  Secure long-term property rights are found to provide an incentive for resource users to participate in resource management. This study sets to empirically test the above relationship in the case of New Zealand’s rock lobster fishery.

This paper examines the impact allocation of property rights in the form of Individual Tradable Quotas (ITQs) and Annual Catch Entitlements (ACE) on effectiveness of a complex collaborative fisheries management regime. In New Zealand’s rock lobster fishery ITQs and ACE provide both the “currency” for distributing rights, and a mechanism for voting and other means of participating in collaborative resource management efforts.  This study combines surveys of commercial participants in the New Zealand rock lobster fishery with independently verified data on property rights ownership (ITQ  and ACE ownership). The key independent variables in this study include the quantity (amount of catching right owned) and quality (right held in perpetuity or a short-term annually purchased right). The dependent variables measure (a) the level of individuals’ and companies’ participation in governance activities and (b) their trust in fishing governance organizations.  Participation in governance is operationalized as their participation in fish stock monitoring, participation in scientific research, and attendance at group meetings. Trust is operationalized in terms of trust in their own fishing governance organizations as well as other organizations involved in the fishery (e.g., government regulators, environmental groups, recreational fishers.  Implications of these results for theory development and “lessons learned” for policy and practice will be discussed.