Business Interests in Salmon Aquaculture Certification: Competition or Collective Action?

Regulation and Governance, published online 28.08.2018. DOI: 10.1111/rego.12213

Research recognizes that strategic business interests can provide an important driver of private regulation, even in the absence of significant societal pressure and NGO-constructed demand. This article examines a range of competition and collective action-related interests that can motivate firms to promote and adopt certification schemes. We pay particular attention to the hitherto underexplored collective action interest to safeguard common-pool resources, upon which an industry may depend to sustain yields. Based on a case study of salmon aquaculture certification, the article argues that while the corporate motives repertoire includes strengthening competitiveness and industry reputation, safeguarding shared waters for culturing salmon is key to explaining industry commitment to and adoption of private regulation in this sector.