Revistas Académicas WoS

ITQ's in Chile: measuring the economic benefits of reform

In 2001 an individual (operationally transferable) quota system was introduced for all the most important industrial fisheries in Chile. This system was put in place after years of declining stocks and over investment. In this paper we describe this reform and estimate related allocative efficiency benefits for the most important industrial fishery in the country, the southern pelagic fishery. Benefits were estimated using a bioeconomic model estimated using data for the 1985–2004 period. The estimated model was then used to generate simulated scenarios of the evolution of this fishery in a 20 year horizon with and without the ITQ system in place. The benefits of the reform can then be estimated by comparing the fishery’s costs in the scenarios with and without ITQs. This approach allows benefits to be estimated using more realistic counterfactual scenarios than just comparing the fishery before and after the reform. Estimated discounted net benefits reach US $166 million in the period 2001–2020. Fleet size fell from 149 active boats in 2000 to 57 in 2004 as a direct consequence of the reform. Among the interesting features of the Chilean experience is the way the political economy of the reform was facilitated by the prior introduction of de facto individual quotas within the framework of fishery experimental activities. When the authorities closed the southern pelagic fishery because of biological problems between 1997 and 2000, they organized ‘experimental’ fishing expeditions in which participant boats were given the right to fish a certain amount of resources per expedition. This pseudo quota system allowed fishermen to experience directly the benefits of individual quotas and that was instrumental to the political agreement leading to the reform. It is important to note that the Chilean southern industrial pelagic fishery has average catches of over 1.4 million tons a year, making it one of the largest fisheries in the world to be regulated by individual quotas.
Environmental & Resource Economics, Vol. 48, pp. 651 - 678, 2011
Autor(es): Gómez-Lobo Andrés, Peña Julio, Barría Patricia