|dc.description.abstract||This study was a theoretical investigation into an alternative management system for the surf clam fisheries.
Although the surf clams have no commercial, recreational or traditional fishing history, there is potential for a commercial fishery to develop. This fishery could provide substantial employment and revenue for the country.
This study has revealed that under the current legislation, (Fisheries Act 1983) the fishery would be managed under the Quota Management System (QMS) in the same manner as all sedentary shellfish and mobile fish populations. The QMS is unlikely to lead to a sustainably managed commercial shellfish fishery. Potential problems were identified with serial depletion, setting TAC levels, enforcement and monitoring, cost recovery and allocation of quota.
Due to these problems, a series of alternative property rights systems have been proposed which assign individual fishers the sole rights to fishery areas. There were two options offered for fishing these areas. These were, for the fisher to harvest the population in any manner so long as environmental bottom lines are adhered to, or, by having a TAC set for each individual fishery area. These rights would be tradeable and available either in perpetuity, or for an arbitrarily chosen fixed period of time (ten years).
These systems were evaluated under the assumption that individuals act in a rational manner seeking to maximise self interest. Each management option was evaluated using a series of management objectives established from throughout the report.
The results showed that all of the management options offer a certain degree of sustainability. Choosing the most preferred option will depend upon the political objectives of the Government at the time. There were a series of issues that were pertinent to all of the management options, these related to how the system would be initially introduced and divided among fishers. There were also unsolved issues related to providing for the provisions in the Fisheries Act (1983), and the Treaty of Waitangi Act (1992), which allocate quota to Maori, and establish Mataitai and Taiapure reserves. Finally, methods of developing a transition process were discussed to provide for the introduction of anyone of the proposed management options.||en