Fishing for revenue: how leasing quota can be hazardous to your health
Emery, TJ and Hartmann, K and Green, BS and Gardner, C and Tisdell, JG, Fishing for revenue: how leasing quota can be hazardous to your health, Abstracts from the 10th International Conference and Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management (10th ICWL), 18-23 May, Cancun, Mexico, pp. 89. (2014) [Conference Extract]
Fisheries management decisions have the potential to influence the safety of fishers by affecting how and when they fish. This implies a responsibility of government agencies to consider how fishers may behave under different policies and regulations in order to reduce the incidence of undesirable operational health and safety outcomes. In the Tasmanian southern rock lobster fishery, Australia, the expansion of the quota lease market under individual transferable quota (ITQ) management coincided with a rise in the number of commercial fishing fatalities, with five between 2008 and 2012. A discrete choice model of daily participation was fitted to compare whether physical risk tolerance varied between fishers who owned the majority of their quota units (quota owners) and those who mainly leased (lease quota fishers). In general, fishers were averse to physical risk (wave height), however this was offset by increases in expected revenue. Lease quota fishers were more responsive to changes in expected revenue than quota owners, which contributed to risk tolerance levels that were significantly higher than quota owners in some areas. This pattern in behaviour appeared to be related to the cost of leasing quota. Although ITQs have often been considered to reduce the incentive for fishers to operate in hazardous weather conditions, this assumes fishing by quota owners. This analysis indicated that this doesn’t hold true for lease quota fishers in an ITQ system, where in some instances there remains an economic incentive to fish in conditions with high levels of physical risk.
southern rock lobster, Tasmania, leasing, quota, ITQ, behaviour