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Why comply? Attitudes towards harvest regulations among Swedish fishers

Journal article
Authors Sverker C. Jagers
Daniel Berlin
S. Jentoft
Published in Marine Policy
Volume 36
Issue 5
Pages 969-976
ISSN 0308-597X
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 969-976
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2012.02...
Keywords Fisheries, IUU fishing, Fisheries management, Compliance, Trust, Co-management, norwegian fisheries, management, acceptability, legitimacy, deterrence, awareness
Subject categories Economics and Business

Abstract

Why do fishers break rules? And why do they follow them? The answers to these pertinent questions could contribute to reducing overfishing, stock decimation, environmental degradation, economic losses and community failures. This explorative paper presents findings from a nationwide survey among Swedish fishers, who were asked what, in their opinion, would justify non-compliance, why fisheries management regulations are not being respected, and what might help improve the situation. The survey was conducted to test four inducements often suggested in the literature: Fishers' compliance/non-compliance is based on (a) their own benefit, (b) whether they feel morally compelled to do one way or another, (c) whether compliance is believed to create a negative impression among peers and (d) whether they accept the justification given for introducing the rules. Among other things, the study finds that the moral motives of law-abidingness and peer group solidarity rank the highest among the reasons for compliance, that large-scale fishers are more concerned about deterrence than small- and medium-scale fishers and also that co-management experience makes fishers less inclined to accept non-compliance by fishers who seek to boost their income. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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