Management Options for High Seas Fisheries: Making Regime Complexes More Effective

In Richard Caddell and Erik J. Molenaar (eds), Strengthening International Fisheries Law in an Era of Changing Oceans. Hart Publishing, 2019, pp. 51-78.

What are the most promising options for improving the management of the world’s high seas fisheries? This Chapter first briefly examines the nature of the problem posed by the availability of commercially lucrative fish stocks on the high seas. That problem is defined primarily by the configurations of interests among governmental players such as flag States, coastal States, and port States, but also by the goals and strategies of transnational industry and environmental organizations active in the policy area. The Chapter then outlines the institutional complex that has evolved for managing this problem, highlighting not only national fisheries agencies and regional fisheries regimes but also global institutions specializing in areas other than resource management, such as international trade or the combat of trafficking in persons or drugs, or money laundering, as well as private governance initiatives like fisheries certification schemes. The substantive core of the Chapter examines the coherence of these various contributions to solving the cognitional, regulatory, and behavioral tasks of fisheries management, including whether such coherence requires explicit coordination among the component institutions. Empirically, the Chapter focuses on several regional regime complexes, including those aiming to govern high seas fisheries in the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, and the Southern Ocean.



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