Fisheries privatization: a false panacea for commons management

October 12, 2018
12:00 noon, UTC -11United States

Drawing on a recent publication in PNAS (Young et al. 2018), this seminar will explore the false panacea of individual transferable quotas (ITQs) as a solution for managing fishery commons. “Panaceas are simple formulaic policy prescriptions believed to solve a given problem in a wide range of contexts, regardless

of their actual consequences. The panacea mindset of ITQs in fisheries management has become pervasive in part because: 1) conceptual narratives make easy answers like panaceas seem plausible, 2) power disconnects create vested interests in panaceas, and 3) heuristics and biases that prevent people from accurately assessing panaceas.” Drawing on ethnographic work in Alaska as well as international examples, we explore how ITQs have become a false panacea and the widespread dispossession this form of management in having on rural and Indigenous fishing communities and the next generation of fishermen. “Analysts have suggested many approaches to avoiding panaceas, but most fail to conquer the underlying panacea mindset. Here, we suggest the codevelopment of an institutional diagnostics toolkit to distill the vast amount of information on fisheries governance into an easily accessible, open, on-line database of checklists, case studies, and related resources. Toolkits like this could be used in many governance settings to challenge users’ understandings of a policy’s impacts and help them develop solutions better tailored to their particular context.”

Young, O. R. D.G. Webster, M. E. Cox, J. Raakjær, N. Einarsson, R. Virginia, J. Acheson, L. Øfjord Blaxekjær, D. Bromley, E. Cardwell, C. Carothers, E. Eythórsson, R. B. Howarth, S. Jentoft, B. J. McCay, F. McCormack, G. Osherenko, E. Pinkerton, R. J. vanGinkel, J. A. Wilson, L.Rivers, III, and. R. S. Wilson. 2018. Moving beyond panaceas in fisheries governance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

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Time information:

  • 12:00 noon, UTC -11

  • 3:00 PM local time (Anchorage, USA)

  • 7:00 PM moderator time

  • Use this link to calculate your own local time if needed


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  • US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923

  • International numbers available here

  • Webinar ID:  671 434 859