International Fisheries Politics: From Sustainability to Precaution

In Steinar Andresen, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir H√łnneland (eds), International Environmental Agreements: An Introduction. London/New York, Routledge, 2012, pp. 97-116.

This chapter first pinpoints the basic problem international fisheries institutions set out to solve: balancing legitimate goals on the use, conservation and allocation of scarce common-pools resources. Rapid technical advances in decades after World War II generated overcapacity and resource decline or collapse in many fisheries world wide. Responding to these challenges, states set up regional management regimes and clarified global rules on the division of competence between coastal states, flag states and port states. Under those institutions, scientific advisory bodies struggle to compile and analyze data; political bodies struggle to agree on adequate measures; while monitoring and enforcement suffer from a predominant reliance on flag state measures. Port measures involving restrictions on landing and transhipment is a promising recent trend.