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Effective Management


To be effective scientific estimates must be converted into policy in a manner that is transparent and provides industry with the best possible means of achieving commercial stability. Fishing nations that depend on fish harvests are supportive of adjustments to allowable catches if they are consistent with the long term commercial viability and industry support is a key component of management effectiveness.  

A key part of modern fisheries management and one of the basic premises of the FAO code is the assumption that managing the risk of overfishing is an economic problem and preventing it rests on aligning the incentive structure of the fishing industry with the long-term conservation of the resource.  

In 2005 the Falkland Islands took a giant leap forward by introducing a comprehensive world leading property rights system, implemented via individual transferable shares (ITQ) of total allowable effort. The ITQ system provided security of tenure to quota owners and the inherent variability in fish stocks was accepted into the system by expressing the right as a percentage of the total available quota rather than a fixed quantity.  

The competitive edge evident in short-term licensing arrangements where the economic pressure to overexploit is greatest, was removed. The quota system greatly encourages industry co-operation, the ownership stake in the fishery gives greater relevance to the long term view and everyone has a greater reason to be concerned about the health and sustainability of the fishery and its interaction with the marine ecology.

Every year for each fishery the Director of Fisheries considers the assessment data available and decides on the level of effort to be permitted. If management changes are required the system makes it possible for science based recommendations to be explained and implemented without delay. The data and models used are readily available for study. Fishing operators and quota owners work closely with the scientists, regular meetings and seminars of different aspects of the stock assessment and other work are held.   

Two species, Patagonian Toothfish and Southern Blue Whiting are managed on a total allowable catch basis.



Patagonian Hake
Red Cod
Patagonian Red Fish
Falkland Herring
Southern Blue Whiting