The East Coast lobster fishers are dealing with an increased seasonal supply which has caused prices to drop; prices are as low as $3. Fishers “race to fish” because there is no cooperation among them to regulate how much should be caught and who should catch this amount. Unlike the Ground Fish fishery, the lobster fishery has no quota system in place. Small-scale fishers are concerned with the idea of having a quota system in place, such as Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs), and are concerned about the impact such a scheme will have. For example, since ITQs are transferable they encourage new large-scale operations to enter the business and consolidate quotas; this has been evident in many other Canadian ITQ-managed fisheries. Although economists would argue that this consolidation produces economically efficient outcomes, this view does not take into perspective the negative impact coastal societies face. However, the proprietary structure of ITQs is adaptable and can be designed in ways that minimize the impacts on coastal societies and small-scale fishers.


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