University Of Tasmania

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Excess capacity and efficiency in the quota managed Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fishery

Excess capacity is a major concern for fisheries management worldwide. It is often argued that Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) systems will enhance efficiency and alleviate problems of excess capacity. While improvements in efficiency have been observed, most empirical studies have found only modest changes in excess capacity as a result of such systems. Using a database of compulsory log-book information for the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fishery in Australia, from January 2000 to December 2013, this study presents the first analysis to investigate the dynamic behaviour of both excess capacity and efficiency (i.e. technical and scale efficiency) in an industrialised fleet after the introduction of quota management. The analysis revealed weak evidence for a prolonged adjustment in the fishery following the introduction of an ITQ system. In addition, no marked changes in excess capacity were observed over the study period; and furthermore, there was no evidence for an increase in excess capacity during a period of non-binding Total Allowable Catch (TAC) when race to fish behaviour increased in the fishery. The results suggest a limited ability of the ITQ system to alleviate levels of excess capacity in fisheries in the long-term.


Publication title

Marine Policy










Elsevier B.V.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems