Limiting licenses limits catch, supports sustainability, builds communities.
There’s no question that fisheries are a primary example of the Tragedy of the Commons, an economic theory that says people who share a resource can easily deplete it by acting in their own self-interest. However, examples like Alaska’s salmon fisheries show that limiting vessel licenses and, therefore, access to the shared resource, can go a long way toward sustaining fishery stocks. That’s why controlling entry in the public interest, without unjust discrimination, is a fundamental component of our holistic fishery management and social impact initiative in Indonesia’s eastern archipelago.
Community-based implementation and enforcement
PT Bali Seafood International (BSI), a subsidiary of North Atlantic Inc. (NAI) is working with local, provincial, and federal government bodies to chart out an exclusive fishing zone for the artisanal fleet. Within the new zone, the government will manage entry of boats less than 30 gross tons.
BSI will build Fishery Centers as regional focal points. The centers will include a mini-processing plant, ice production facilities, fisheries management center, education center, gear store and a micro-financing office. BSI employees will coach and guide local fishers, giving them the power to organize their cooperatives under the umbrella of the fisheries management center. It will be the fishers who manage the fishing effort and zone enforcement.
The Fishery Centers will be a resource for fisher education, catch monitor efforts, and operational decision making. Fisher communities will have all the tools to resolve fishery disputes and govern effectively. So while the Government will set the rules on fishing ground access, it is the cooperative that will have a stake in implementation and largely control enforcement.
The fishing license as an asset
Given the allotment of vessel licenses in a limited entry fishery area, the licenses will gain value. More importantly, these assets will increase in value with the success of the fishery over time. Fishers will have the choice to sell their license value upon retirement or pass it along to their children, which makes the license a source for retirement income as well as a fishery management control.
From community managed enforcement down to the vessel license, our model enables fishers to further invest in both the short term and long term health of their fishery.