The New Zealand Experience with Fishery Management: Lessons Learned

The management of fisheries is the classic natural resource problem. It captures all the beauties of using resource economic concepts and principles to explain the cause of the 'fishery problem' around the world. At the same time the 'fishery problem' presents the frustrations and despair of designing policies to manage natural resources given the complex of variables involved, the apparent rational behaviour of stakeholders and the multitude of management objectives. In light of changing circumstances, values and information, it is as J.F.Kennedy stated, "a problem each generation has to deal with anew". In this paper I am not going to present you with definitive answers to the 'fishery problem'. The reasons should be obvious, since there is no single answer that fits all situations. How we manage a fishery depends on how much we know about it (its biological characteristics), on the cultural and institutional situation (including technological and social characteristics) of a country and on the objectives we want to pursue. What I want to do is talk about the issues and experiences of others countries (but especially NZ) in dealing, as J.F.K said, with "the raiders and with the scramble to use the [fishing] resource.



Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia