Fisheries Policy Reform

National Experiences

image of Fisheries Policy Reform

Much has been done over the years to improve fisheries management in OECD countries. Ongoing problems of over-fishing, overcapacity and the economic crisis intensify the need for reform. Although there is a general consensus on the importance of a successful fisheries management, the effort levels and effectiveness of policy reforms have differed among OECD countries. This study examines the factors that facilitate reform, as well as the difficulties countries face in the process of reform. It provides an overview of domestic reform experiences in Norway, Mexico, Iceland, New Zealand and Korea. 


Introducing market-based reforms to manage overcapacity in Norway

This case study reviews the process of introducing market-based reforms to manage over-capacity in the Norwegian fisheries sector. The fisheries sector is a politically important sector in Norway due in large part to the high regional concentration of the industry and the organised influence of the fishers’ organisations. These factors played a significant role when it was decided to introduce market-based management reforms into the sector to help address the problems of overcapacity, low profitability and depleted stocks. The process of reform, which essentially began in the 1990s, was strongly influenced by distributional considerations, a fear of privatisation of the commons through the use of ITQs, and the diverse views of the different fleet segments. The establishment of the vessel-based quota system was a reaction to this and issues surrounding the system’s design, allocation keys for the quota and the longevity of the system were strongly debated. The system continued to evolve with extensive discussion within the sector, and further refinements to the quota system (involving the Structural Quota System and the trial Quota Exchange System) were introduced in 2003, followed by later adjustments in 2005 and 2007.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error