Title: Implementation of individual transferable quotas in fisheries management: The case of the Icelandic fisheries

Author(s): Xinshan Liu
Final project
Year of publication:
Place of publication:
Number of pages:
Supervisors: Eyjolfur Gudmundsson
ITQ; fisheries management; fisheries resources; fisheries economics; Iceland.


Since 1950s, the world marine fish resources have suffered the serious over-fishing. The marine resources subsequently have been in great danger. Quite diverse management regimes are used to regulate the fisheries globally. Among them, the individual transferable quota (ITQ) system is claimed to achieve the sustainable fisheries. The report is to explore the Icelandic ITQ system carefully.

This paper first compares the various management measures and reviews the ITQ theory. Then the growth and implementation of the Icelandic ITQ regime are examined carefully. And its performance and various controversies over the ITQ system are analysed on the fisheries and social-economic data. It is demonstrated that the effect of Icelandic ITQ is quite positive. A well-defined and enforced ITQ system can meet the biological and economic goals of fisheries management. Under the ITQ regime, the state of marine resources has been recovering and the economic efficiency has been improved largely. However, the current Icelandic ITQ system does not create a private property right over the fish stock. The ITQ system has not cause serious unemployment and destroyed the community economy in Iceland. The ITQ system is very promising, although there are some flaws in the current Icelandic ITQ regime. Finally, possible remedies of the flaws are discussed.

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