The role of property rights in bycatch reduction: evidence from the British Columbia groundfish fishery

  • Published source details Edinger T. & Baek J. (2015) The role of property rights in bycatch reduction: evidence from the British Columbia groundfish fishery. Fisheries Research, 168, 100-104.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Set quotas for non-targeted commercial catch

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Set quotas for non-targeted commercial catch

    A before-and-after study in 1962–2006 of bottom fishing grounds in the northwest Pacific Ocean off British Columbia, Canada (Edinger & Baek 2015) found that in the 10 years after implementing an individual vessel quota system for unwanted catch (“bycatch”) in a multispecies groundfish fishery, the unwanted catch of Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis (a prohibited species) was reduced, but a previous quota system limiting the amount of the whole catch (individual transferrable quotas) increased halibut catch. In the period 1996–2006 following the introduction of a “bycatch” quota system for individual vessels in 1996, halibut catches fell by 219% (data reported as statistical model results). Conversely, when individual transferrable catch quotas had been implemented in 1990, it resulted in a 40% increase in unwanted halibut catches (data reported as statistical model results). Authors noted that this increase was due to individual transferrable quotas tending to only consider the conservation of a single species rather than multiple species caught at the same time. Fisheries data from the British Columbia groundfish fishery for the period 1962–2006 were analysed, provided by The International Pacific Halibut Commission and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The British Columbia Groundfish fishery implemented an individual vessel bycatch quota system in 1996 whereby trawl license holders received a quota representing a percentage of the species-specific total allowable catch.

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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