Using Social Network Analysis to Evaluate the Socioeconomic Impacts of Rights-Based Management
Rights-based management (RBM) programs are a popular tool for fishery managers trying to stop overfishing, overcapitalization, and derby-style fishing. Trading in RBM programs provides a mechanism to reduce overcapacity (more efficient harvesters buy out their less efficient counterparts) and decrease discards in multispecies fisheries (fishers use quota lease markets to balance incidental catch). For RBM programs to be successful quota trading markets must function effectively; buyers and sellers must be able to find each other with relative ease, participants must have relatively uniform access to market trading and price data, and no participants should be able to exert undue influence on market prices. Social network analysis (SNA) provides a technique to analyze the mechanics of quota trading to examine a number of socioeconomic issues important to gauge potential problems with market efficiency. SNA can be used to examine: geographic segmentation of the quota markets, if participants trade through information sharing networks, the interaction between dockside transaction markets and quota markets, and potential market inefficiencies due to informational asymmetries between participants. This presentation at the American Fisheries Society annual meeting is part of a special session on socioeconomic research in fisheries management and highlights past SNA research of rights-based management programs and outlines potential future applications of SNA to fisheries management research.