The Case of Pacific Tuna
Chapter 5: Managing Resource Revenues
1 In some ﬁsheries, property right holders pursue a policy of extracting sufﬁcient fees to cover their management costs and allowing all other resource rents to be acquired by the ﬁshers themselves (for example, the Australian Bluefin tuna fishery). This is especially true in countries where all, or the vast majority, of ﬁshers are country nationals. In other ﬁsheries, governments put a priority on maximizing returns from the ﬁshers themselves, especially where the majority of ﬁshers are not country nationals. In this latter circumstance, the issue of how the property right holder should spend these ﬁshery revenues is often the subject of intense debate. In ﬁsheries where governments seek to maximize economic returns, some ﬁsheries specialists argue that at least some fisheries revenue should be diverted from the government’s consolidated revenue (where revenues can sometimes be perceived to be wastefully spent on consumption or poor quality investments) into government-operated ﬁshing ventures. In this chapter, this approach is critiqued by arguing that the role of government is to encourage private sector development and to focus on appropriate regulation of the private sector, 87 88 Institutional economics and ﬁsheries management and not to be involved in commercial activities. An alternative proposal is provided in this chapter that, if managed properly, will support strong and sustained economic development. It is suggested that access fees to a ﬁshery be maximized, and that these rents be deposited into a trust fund, with trust fund earnings being distributed to encourage a variety of private sector...
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