When bad gets worse: corruption and fisheries.

Corruption, Natural Resources and Development provides a fresh and extensive discussion of corruption issues in natural resources sectors. Reflecting on recent debates in corruption research and revisiting resource curse challenges in light of political ecology approaches, this volume provides a series of nuanced and policy-relevant case studies analysing patterns of corruption around natural resources and options to reach anti-corruption goals. Using corruption case studies across a wide spectrum of natural resource sectors from around the world, the expert contributions explore political ecology as a means of analysing resource curse challenges. The potential for new variations of the resource curse in the forest and urban land sectors and the effectiveness of anti-corruption policies in resource sectors are considered in depth. Corruption in oil, gas, mining, fisheries, biofuel, wildlife, forestry and urban land are all covered, and potential solutions discussed. (Chapter in Corruption, Natural Resources and Development.

Overcoming principal-agent problems to improve cooperative governance of internationally shared fisheries.

Game Theory has been applied to fisheries for over 30 years. For internationally shared stocks, these applications have focused primarily on the need for cooperative management between fishing states to promote effective governance. Non-cooperation, however, has been the norm in shared stocks management, with the prisoner’s dilemma emerging time and again, resulting in over-capacity and overfishing. In this chapter, we describe the history of global fisheries as a prisoner’s dilemma, and review how cooperative Game Theory has been applied. We argue that the cooperative applications, however, are inadequate in fully elucidating how benefits from cooperation could be achieved, specifically by ignoring the problems of moral hazard and adverse selection. Both of these are related to information asymmetries and both challenge the governing authority and power of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs). Using the lens of principal–agent theory, we speculate on the potential for particular tools, such as catch shares, high seas closures, taxes and logbooks, to help strengthen RFMOs by overcoming these principal–agent problems. The case of tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) is used to demonstrate the potential application of this approach.