Project number: 2010-229
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $75,000.00
Principal Investigator: Sevaly Sen
Organisation: Fisheries Economics Research and Management Specialists (FERM)
Project start/end date: 6 May 2011 - 30 Jan 2012


There has been much written on the theoretical merits and practical implementation of ITQs from a regulators/managers perspective(eg. Kaufman et al. 1999), but virtually nothing has been published specifically directed at fishers to help them understand what the implementation of ITQs means to their fishery and importantly, how their businesses can operate under ITQs and adjust to remain healthy and profitable.

The few "guides" that are available, such as as "The Fishermen’s Guide to the Quota Management System" (Boyle 1993) explain the technical compliance and management requirements for New Zealand fisheries and others such as Fisheries Management Paper No 138 (Donohue and Barker, 2000) review information and potential pros and cons of quota management. None, however are targetted at, and written for small and medium sized fishery businesses and nor do they explain how these business can adapt and thrive under ITQ management.

It is well known that fishers can take a significant amount of time to accept the move to ITQs and then even longer to operate efficiently and effectively within this management environment. The WA rock lobster fishery and the Commonwealth's northern prawn fishery are two of Australia's most valuable fisheries, both of which are currently in the throes of moving to ITQ management. A number of fisheries in the Northern Territory are also moving to ITQs. In many cases, industry members are resistant to this change and are very concerned about how their businesses need to change under such a management regime.

What is needed is an easy to use comprehensive guide to understanding ITQ management which includes information and guidance on how to best adjust and adapt their businesses to operate efficiently and profitably. This project offers to produce such a guide.


1. Interview a range of fishers from fisheries that are moving to ITQ management, to understand their areas of concern and what information they would require to better adapt their businesses to operate efficiently and profitably under ITQ management
2. Produce a comprehensive but easy-to-read guide targeted particularly for use by fishers on "Understanding and adapting fishing businesses to ITQ management".
3. Examine and document the unintended consequences of ITQ implementation.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-9872184-2-1
Author: Sevaly Sen
Final Report • 2011-06-01 • 4.19 MB


The purpose of this handbook is to help you, as an operator in a fishery going to or recently moved to quota, to navigate your way through the business decisions regarding Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs), and to help you adjust your business to the new system.
This guide does not discuss the pros and cons of ITQs or the different quota allocation methods, as it is assumed that these discussions will have already taken place. If you are interested in these issues, there are many publications on the subject – a list of some is attached at the end of this guide.

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