Title: Quota systems based on total allowable catch (TAC): A feasible management measure for Shrimp fisheries in Panama?

Final project
Year of publication:
Place of publication:
Number of pages:
Supervisors: Hreidar Thor Valtysson , Hörður Sævaldsson
quota system; total allowable catch (TAC); shrimp; Panama; ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF); individual transferable quota (ITQ);


Shrimp fisheries and processing is an important industry in Panama, and specifically the white shrimp (Penaeidae). Despite its importance, exploitation of the shrimp has varied significantly, and the fishery has declined over the past 20 years. Therefore, it is necessary to apply new and different management plans to ensure the sustainability of the resource and the profitability of the declining fisheries. In this project, fisheries management systems in Australia and Iceland are analysed along with theory of fisheries management, with focus on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF). The analyses underlined the pros and cons of various methods to manage fisheries and was found to be a good foundation on which to base the initial recommendation for management of the Panama shrimp fishery. There is no single or simple answer regarding which fisheries management system to follow as a role model. However, it can be said that quota system based on TAC and ITQ have many necessary elements to be an adequate fisheries management for the shrimp fishery in Panama. But nothing is perfect, there are several known drawbacks with TAC and ITQ especially regarding social-economic impact. Review of pros and cons in fisheries management revealed the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries to be feasible, but the balance between the biological, economical and the social part is for politicians to decide. Further work is needed to fully implement new fisheries management plan with TACs and possible ITQs in Panama shrimp fisheries. However, the objectives of new fishery management need to be discussed and the impact on communities, industry, government, and other stakeholders must be evaluated, the focus should be on sustainable shrimp fisheries for Panama’s future generations.

Documents and links