Inderscience Publishers

Managing environmental impacts of fishing: input controls versus outcome-oriented approaches

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Fishery management has focused primarily on limiting the total catch of key target species to sustainable levels, but fishery managers and the public are becoming increasingly concerned with environmental impacts of fishing such as damage to habitat and bycatch of non-target species, particularly marine mammals and seabirds. There are two main approaches to managing environmental impacts of fishing. The first is to prohibit or prescribe use of particular fishing gears and methods in particular areas either year-round or at specific times. The primary alternative is an outcome-oriented approach under which the environmental impacts are regulated directly, either by setting and monitoring limits on impacts by individuals or groups or by taxing impacts. This paper explores the factors that determine relative effectiveness and efficiency of input versus outcome-oriented approaches to managing environmental impacts of fishing. This paper highlights the role of technology in determining the preferable regulatory methods.

Keywords: fisheries management, environmental impacts, input controls, output controls, marine zoning, market-based environmental policy, fish stocks, technology, regulation

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