Establish territorial user rights for fisheries
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Fishing can impact subtidal benthic invertebrates through species removal or habitat damage from fishing gear coming into contact with the seabed (Collie et al. 2000). Territorial user rights are area-based fishing rights which allocate secure, exclusive access to fish in a specified area to groups or individuals (Raemaekers et al. 2011). These territorial user rights often have controls on fishing mortality, and fishers are held accountable to comply with these controls. By regulating and limiting fishing effort, establishing territorial user rights can reduce the impact on the seabed, the amount of bycatch, and overall threat to subtidal benthic invertebrates (Gelcich & Donlan 2015; Manríquez & Castilla 2001). Evidence for related interventions is summarised under “Habitat protection – Establish community-based fisheries management”.
Collie J.S., Hall S.J., Kaiser M.J. & Poiner I.R. (2000) A quantitative analysis of fishing impacts on shelf‐sea benthos. Journal of Animal Ecology, 69, 785–798.
Gelcich S. & Donlan C.J. (2015) Incentivizing biodiversity conservation in artisanal fishing communities through territorial user rights and business model innovation. Conservation Biology, 29, 1076–1085.
Manríquez P.H. & Castilla J.C. (2001) Significance of marine protected areas in central Chile as seeding grounds for the gastropod Concholepas concholepas. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 215, 201–211.
Raemaekers S., Hauck M., Bürgener M., Mackenzie A., Maharaj G., Plagányi É.E. & Britz P.J. (2011) Review of the causes of the rise of the illegal South African abalone fishery and consequent closure of the rights-based fishery. Ocean & Coastal Management, 54, 433–445.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A site comparison study in 1993–1994 in two rocky seabed areas in the South Pacific Ocean, central Chile (Manríquez & Castilla 2001) found that an area with territorial user rights for fisheries had larger-sized and more numerous egg capsules, and more larvae of the Chilean abalone Concholepas concholepas compared to an open-access area, up to 21 months after establishing fishing restrictions. Egg capsules were bigger in the semi-restricted area (1.9–2.0 cm) than in the open-access area (1.5–1.6 cm). On average, more egg capsules and larvae were produced annually in the semi-restricted area (1993: 69,300 egg capsules/transect, 429 million larvae/transect; 1994: 76,000 egg capsules, 534 million larvae) than in the open-access area (1993: 6,600 egg capsules, 23 million larvae; 1994: 9,900 egg capsules, 34 million larvae). Between January 1993 and December 1994, one diver surveyed a total of 34 transects (90 m2) across two areas. One area (12 transects in both 1993 and 1994) was under the control of a fishermen’s Union group established in 1993 and semi-restricted to fishing (territorial user rights). The other area was an adjacent open-access fishery ground where harvest of the Chilean abalone occurred year-round (six transects in 1993, four transects in 1994). Along each transects, the diver counted and measured Chilean abalone egg capsules, and estimated the number of larvae.Study and other actions tested