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Sustainable Fisheries

As the most commercially valuable fish in the seas, tuna can provide an economic bounty for coastal nations. However, tuna are highly migratory and do not recognize international boundaries. Fishing in international waters right at the edge of exclusive economic zones (within 200 nautical miles of the coast) has the potential to heighten conflict among states over resource rights.

Over-harvesting of tuna and other wild seafood resources poses a serious threat to the health of fisheries and erodes their economic benefits. This decline is exacerbated by illegal fishing activities. IGCC-supported work on sustainable tuna fisheries has addressed how to apply rights-based management to prevent overfishing and encourage sustainable cooperation in the management of shared fisheries. Recent efforts have focused on the use of economic incentives to manage the bycatch of sharks, turtles, seabirds, and other vulnerable species.

Ongoing work is focused on the design of international agreements to ensure sustainable global fish stocks and healthy ecosystems, while providing fair access to the fisheries, especially for smaller island countries.

Activities

Exploring Options for Transferring Fishing Capacity to Developing Coastal States in the Context of Managing Capacity of the Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fishery
March 3–5, 2014
Barcelona, Spain

Report of the ISSF Capacity Transfer Workshop (PDF)

A Multidisciplinary Workshop to Address Ecosystem-Level Impacts of Fisheries Bycatch on Marine Megafauna Biodiversity Conservation through Mitigation, Policy, Economic Instruments, and Technical Change
Gland, Switzerland
September 10–13, 2013

Conference report (PDF)

Inter-Disciplinary Workshop on the Management, Economics, and Biology of Transferable Effort Rights-Based Management
Bilbao, Spain
September 17–20, 2012

Summary Report of the Inter-Disciplinary Workshop on the Management, Economics, and Biology of Transferable Effort Rights-Based Management (PDF)

Conference on the Allocation of Property Rights in Global Tuna Fisheries
Cordoba, Spain
September 5–9, 2011

Cordoba Conference on the Allocation of Property Rights in Global Tuna Fisheries (PDF)

Allocation of Rights in the International Environmental Context: Lessons Learned and Their Applicability to Multi-Lateral Fisheries
Napa, California
February 11–12, 2011

Allocation of Rights in the International Environmental Context (PDF)

Conference for Sustainable Tuna Fisheries
Bellagio, Italy
May 25–29, 2010

Bellagio Framework for Sustainable Fisheries (PDF)

Publications

Graff Zivin, Joshua, and Maria Damon. "Environmental Policy and Political Realities: Fisheries Management and Job Creation in the Pacific Islands." Journal of Environment and Development 21 (2012): 198–218

Graff Zivin, Joshua, and Jamie Mullins. "Vessel Buybacks in Fisheries: The Role of Auction and Financing Structures." Marine Policy 53 (2015): 188–97.

Milner-Gulland, E. J.,  Serge Garcia, William Arlidge, Joseph Bull, et al. "Translating the Terrestrial Mitigation Hierarchy to Marine Megafauna By-Catch." Fish and Fisheries 19 (2018): 547–61.