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Buybacks as a Measure to Increase Cooperation

March 6, 2012

Attitudes, incentives and cooperation can improve in a transition stage following a buyback. For example, attitudes towards further changes in a fishery improved when the Pacific coast groundfishery was no longer in a crisis stage after buybacks. In this fishery plagued by losses, fishers’ attitudes bordered on desperation, incentives favouring cooperation were hobbled and attitudes were noncooperative. Buybacks produced higher profits, or at least more manageable losses, the exit of malcontents and the fewer more committed players remaining facilitated subsequent cooperation. Buybacks restoring profitability gave breathing room to decide further actions and enhance positive economic behaviour, as fishers can behave very differently when in a profitable fishery and with fewer fishers. The fewer players began to coalesce and act like de facto collective owners of the resource…The extent to which this experience can be generalized to other fisheries is unknown but important to corroborate.

Squires, D. (2010). Fisheries buybacks: a review and guidelines Fish and Fisheries, 11 (4), 366-387 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2010.00365.x

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