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Property Rights & Fisheries And Coastal Issues

Property Rights The Key To Resolving Fisheries And Coastal Issues

One of the architects of New Zealand's world-renowned fisheries management policy next week presents a two-day public course on fisheries management which will address some of the contentious issues surrounding the topic.

Associate Professor Basil Sharp, of The University of Auckland Business School, will provide an up to date treatment of the economics of fisheries management, aiming his talk at commercial fishers, aquaculturalists, fisheries managers and coastal planners, among others.

New Zealand's quota management system has been hailed as a world leader in fisheries management. Management is based on a system of tradable property rights that operates within the constraints of a sustainable harvest.

Unlike fishing industries in many parts of the world, the New Zealand industry makes a significant contribution to the economy without any government subsidy. Dr Sharp says his extensive research into property rights reinforces the need to establish clear definitions of these rights to defuse tension surrounding access to, and use of, the sea.

For example, establishing suitable property rights is crucial to the ongoing development of aquaculture. Rights to the use of the areas required for aquaculture need to be robust and of sufficient duration to ensure the necessary commitment of investment funds to develop the projects. Dr Sharp notes that councils around the country have different approaches to establishing these property rights and until these are codified into a united approach, the potential for confusion and disincentives to develop aquaculture are high.

Another looming issue, says Dr Sharp, is Auckland's recreational fisheries, which currently account for about half the total catch in the area. He says property rights for recreational fishers are poorly defined, but will need to be clarified to avoid major problems in the near future.

Property rights are just as crucial for iwi who have been allocated quota and are seeking to maximise the value of their allocations. The current debate over access to the foreshore is also grounded in property rights.

Dr Sharp's association with New Zealand's fisheries management pre-dates the 1986 introduction of the quota management system. He has actively followed fisheries reforms, studied the merits of alternative systems of property rights, analysed the efficiency of quota markets, and studied patterns of seafood trade. He has been a consultant for New Zealand's Ministry of Fisheries, the seafood industry, commercial fishing firms and the United Nation's Fisheries Division in Rome.

The University of Auckland Business School runs around 200 Short Courses throughout the year, aimed at providing concentrated, relevant information specially packaged for business practitioners. Each course is presented by an expert in the field. Over 13,000 people have attended Short Courses since 1996.

Fisheries Economics: A Practical Guide

(a two-day Short Course with Dr Basil Sharp)

Thursday 20 November, 8.30am - 5.00pm Friday 21 November, 8.30am - 5.00pm

Location: The Business School, 1 Short Street, Auckland

Standard price: $1,395 excl GST

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