Equity and ITQs: About fair distribution in quota management systems in fisheries
Fish stocks, as common pool resources, are more and more managed by giving fishermen exclusive access rights as Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQ). They have been widely discussed with focus on social, economic and ecological issues. While equity aspects have been of great concern, there is a very limited analysis about how to assess issues of equity and fair distribution when introducing ITQs. This paper applies an existing framework for assessing equity in resource use systems to tradable quota systems in fisheries. The framework defines the perspectives of distributive fairness, the stakeholders who are bound by fair practice rules, and instruments of fairness, and identifies metrics to assess equity in practice. We assess if the framework provides practical guidance for evaluating whether a given ITQ system operates under an equitable framework programme.