Establish Rights and Responsibilities
Across the range of fisheries management approaches rights are playing a more and more central role in what is done. There is a growing move towards greater and more sophisticated approaches to rights that combine fisheries and human rights. This is a first step towards connecting fisheries to the wider well-being of coastal communities (Charles, 2011). While fisheries rights can take many forms, there seems to be growing support for community-based rights in small-scale fisheries. Recognition of this linkage between community-based systems and welfare of communities is gaining momentum (e.g. Copes and Charles, 2004) but lacks supporting data, particularly on the multiplier effects across communities.
The need for controls in fisheries and the recognition of the finite and exhaustible nature of fish has encouraged a stronger focus on rights around fishing. This has been closely linked to two key problems associated with common property resources, namely that: i) exclusion or control of access is difficult and ii) each fisher’s activity subtracts from the potential gains of other users (Berke, 2006). There is now widespread acceptance among fisheries academics and managers that some form of rights in fisheries is essential to the success of fisheries management. Increasingly fishing rights are also being placed in the wider framework of human rights (FAO, 2010).