Webinar – 3rd December – Efficacy and unintended outcomes of spatial property rights for fisheries and aquaculture management in Chile and in Virginia, U.S.A.

Jennifer Beckensteiner, Post-doc in economy at AMURE, supported by ISblue.

Here is the link to attend this webinar on Thursday 3rd December from 1.30 to 2.30pm with zoom :

Marine spatial property rights reduce many common pool externalities that plague wild capture fisheries and incentivize productive use for aquaculture. Specifically, Territorial Use Rights for Fisheries (TURFs) are a management tool whereby individuals or groups, are granted exclusive access to harvest resources within an area. The objective of this dissertation was to evaluate current challenges to the effective use of TURFs, deepening our understanding of their efficacy for fishery and aquaculture management.

The long-term impacts of the Chilean TURFs network on harvests of benthic resources was investigated both inside and outside TURFs. Although catch rates were significantly higher inside TURFs than surrounding open access areas, they appeared to be decreasing over time, and, though limited, the impact of TURFs on catches in open access areas was negative.

Spatio-temporal trends in private lease use and productivity in Virginia were examined to identify challenges faced by the oyster aquaculture industry. Limited evidence of spatial constraints was found, although results suggest additional social and regulatory limiting factors. While rates of lease use and productivity increased from 2006 to 2016, only 33% of leases were ever used for oyster production. The non-used leases were potentially held for exclusionary or speculative uses. Production frontier models were used to quantify lease use efficiency (i.e., utilization of space given the underlying environment) for oyster production. Models revealed significant heterogeneity in use efficiency and mean efficiency scores were less than 0.5, which suggest many leases could scale up production or reduce the size of their lease to more efficiently utilize ambient environmental conditions.

This research contributes to a better understanding of TURFs’ efficacy and challenges in Chile and in Virginia. Overall, socioeconomic and management factors appear to be limiting productivity and sustainability of TURFs in both systems, recognizing the importance of incentives, enforcement, zoning, and the potential presence of trade-offs between economic, social and biological sustainability.

Beckensteiner J., Scheld A.M, Fernández M., Kaplan D.M. (2020) Drivers and trends in catch of benthic resources in Chilean TURFs and surrounding open access areas, Ocean & Coastal Management, 183, DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.104961

Beckensteiner J., Kaplan D.M, Scheld A.M. (2020) Barriers to eastern oyster aquaculture expansion in Virginia, Frontiers in Marine Science, 7:53, DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00053

Beckensteiner J., Scheld A.M., St-Laurent P., Friedrichs M.A.M., Kaplan D.M. (in review) Lease use efficiency in Virginia’s eastern oyster aquaculture industry: accounting for environmental and socioeconomic constraints, Aquaculture.