Call for Papers: In the Wake of ITQs: Fisheries and the New Managerialism
Individual transferable quotas (ITQs) were heralded in the 1980s as a market-based solution to the problem of overfishing and were adopted around the world. These fishing permits parcel out the total allowable catch, apportioning to owners individual responsibility for risk and uncertainty. In combination with the stock assessments compiled under quota management systems (QMS), ITQs were expected to secure stakeholder buy-in and responsibility, streamline fisheries management, stabilize fish populations and prices, and generate cost efficiencies for society at large. As market mechanisms, ITQs exist somewhere in between rights and commodities, and as such they were unleashed to do the work of keeping the fishery within sustainable limits.
Although many observers have noted the unintended, negative social consequences of this private rights regime the marriage of neo-liberal market mechanisms with fisheries science that underlies ITQs has not only endured, but has become naturalized as the new baseline in fisheries management. That ITQs have become good to think with in scientific circles is seen in the growing focus on de-centred, self-organizing responses to what are perceived as crises in natural systems. The movement away from centralized state control, towards diffuse, client-centred managerial interventions and assessments has consequences for how fishing communities and property rights are understood, how fisheries investment functions, how enforcement and conservation are carried out, how fisheries are assessed, and what the characteristics of eco-systems are thought to be.
Appropriately, ITQs have received a great deal of attention from social scientists, and so this conference considers developments in fisheries policy in the wake of ITQs. In many jurisdictions economic and policy attention is being shifted to numerous aspects of fisheries besides allocation of property rights among fishing companies, and particularly to new concerns emerging from the achievements, limitations and failures of ITQ-QMS regimes. Other pressing issues are emerging in fisheries management, so we are interested less in papers that examine how ITQs are performing, and more in papers that ask how fishing places and fishing people have been reconfigured by the unique hybrid of science, capital and managerialism that has been ushered in alongside ITQs. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:
marine reserves as islands of certainty and as stores of biodiversity;
aquaculture and the domestication of fish;
the professionalization of fishers and the construction of the self-managing stakeholder;
the political logics of ecosystem science and complexity theory;
adaptive management and experimental learning in fisheries;
the de-politicization of fisheries science and assumptions underlying resilience thinking;
the fate of land-based fishing communities and common property institutions in the face of bio-economic reorganization;
wealth transfers whether losses or gains from the restructuring of fishing fleets and industries;
the legal status of property rights under ITQs;
certifying fisheries for sustainability;
indigenous knowledge and the universalizing practice of fisheries co-management;
efforts to realise value throughout the commodity chain;
fish processing, quota leasing and labour relations in biologically-based privatization schemes;
area-based management of diverse coastal and marine resources within and outside the quota system.
We are looking for contributions from the disciplines of geography, history, anthropology, sociology, law and economics that address how fisheries property rights and quota systems have changed the face of fisheries and fisheries management. Papers may be theoretical in nature, and/or may make use of case studies on fisheries.
To answer this call for papers, send a proposal, including title, abstract, and an outline of how the proposed paper might contribute to the themes of the In the Wake of ITQ conference, to the conference convenor by 30 November 2012. We will seek funding for this conference, which will be hosted by the Department of Geography, LMU-Munich, 15-17 July, 2013. We also plan to publish the papers presented at this conference. For further questions, please contact:
Prof. Dr. Gordon Winder, Department of Geography, LMU-Munich, Luisenstrasse 37, 80333 Munich, Germany
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