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Reconciling participants' values in the British Columbia Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) intersectoral allocation dispute

Ágúst 2012

As commercial fisheries around the world make increasing use of rights-based allocation regimes to resolve allocation and management issues, these regimes may conflict with local, artisanal, recreational and other small-scale fisheries. Resolving intersectoral allocation disputes is often not a scientific or technical problem, but one of reconciling the values and objectives of the participants. Commercial and recreational anglers on the west coast of Canada have been involved in a decade-long dispute over the allocation of Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis). This thesis documents the history of the dispute and records the fundamental objectives of the participants in the fishery to infer their values and examine the implications for resolving the dispute. The most important values reflected the evolution of two separate developments of how fishing rights are determined and distributed, those based on ancient public claims of the right to fish and those aimed at maximizing utility with finite stocks. Despite this conflict, responses indicate that participants from both sectors, as well as those from associated sectors, share similar values for the fishery that can be used to identify useful alternatives to reduce intersectoral conflict. Namely, the biological sustainability of the fishery is shown to be paramount among participants, while the overall economic benefits and fairness to resource users are also highly ranked. It is found that the separate fishing sectors have been assigned unequal and irreconcilable fishing rights that impede the fishery’s participants from working together to achieve their shared objectives.


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