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Title: The%20Fisheries%20Co-management%20Experience%20in%20the%20Sultanate%20of%20Oman:%20Challenges%20and%20Prospects

The Fisheries Co-management Experience in the
Sultanate of Oman Challenges and Prospects
  • Hamed Al-Oufi Younis Al-Akhzami
  • Department of Marine Science and Fisheries
  • Sultan Qaboos University
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Oman

  • Most centralized management systems are not
    sustainable especially in developing countries
  • Why?
  • High transaction costs
  • Lack of incentive

  • Transaction costs
  • Transaction costs are grouped on the basis of
    the sequence of fishery management decision -4
    stages (Hanna, 2003)
  • 2 ex ante stages
  • Information gathering and management program
  • 2 ex post stages
  • Implementation and enforcement

The cost of generating information on stocks do
not vary with management structure Other costs
will vary with the management structure and with
the relative position of users and government in
making decisions When regulations are
legitimate, compliance is likely to be high,
thus enforcement costs decrease
Incentives Most centralized management systems
place limit on output, creating an incentives for
fishermen to compete. Competitive race for fish
has led to rising cost of fishing effort and
dissipation of rent
Fisherman 2
Strategy Co-operate Defect
Co-operate 3, 3 -1, 4
Defect 4, -1 0, 0
Fisherman 1
Nash equilibrium
There is more incentive for user-groups to
achieve optimal exploitation when they can
control access to the fishing grounds and when
their tenure to the fishery is ensured
What is Co-management?
  • Co-management
  • is a collaborative and participatory process of
    regulatory decision-making between
  • Representatives of user-groups
  • Government
  • Research institutions
  • Other stakeholders

  • As a concept is new in fisheries (25 -30 years
  • As a practice it has existed in fisheries for
    decades and in some fisheries for centuries
  • Lofoten Islands, Norway. Functioning
    successfully for 100 years
  • Senate Al-Bahar (Oman) a local fisheries
    management institution based on traditional
    conventions and informal social sanctions that
    existed for 100 years

Examples of co-management in practice around the
Lake kariba, Zambia implemented for the Zambian
gill-net fishery in 1994 San Migual bay,
Philippines implemented in 1991 to address
overfishing and conflicts Lofoten Islands,
Norway. Functioning successfully for 100 years
Coastal fisheries, Japan Coastal fisheries,
Oman Fisheries
  • Characteristics
  • small scale
  • 30,000 fishermen
  • 12,000 vessels (5-10 m LOA)
  • ranked second after oil
  • landings 120 MT/years
  • Management system
  • State control CPR

Fisheries Management System
  • 1. Before 1970 Community based managemen
    t (Senate Al- Bahar)
  • 2. 1970 -1997 State control CPR
  • 3. 1997-present State control CPR
    Government-sponsored co-management

1. Management system before 1970 Community based
management (Senate Al- Bahar)
  • Coastal fisheries in Oman were managed by an
    indigenous management institution known as Senate
    Al-Bahar (code of the sea)
  • Senate Al-Bahar was evolved several hundred
    years by fishermen to
  • Manage and restrain the take of fish from the
  • Control the activities of fishermen on land and
    at sea

1. Management system before 1970 Community based
management (Senate Al- Bahar)
  • Senate Al-Bahar is chaired by a charismatic
    leader with good credibility and experience
  • Responsibilities of the institution
  • devised local accords to address common
  • address technological externalities and
    assignment problems
  • devised rules to conserve important fishery
    from depletion.

1. Management system before 1970 Community based
management (Senate Al- Bahar)
Under this management system, coastal fisheries
exploitation was sustainable because 1.
Boundaries were identified 2. Access to the
fishery was controlled by users 3. The
institutions role and rights were recognized by
the political and the legal systems (the
institution comply with Ostrom, E. (1990) design
2. 1970-1997 (State control CPR)
  • In 1970s, a Fisheries Development Program was
    initiated to develop the sector
  • Royal Decree RD53/1981 and Ministerial Decision,
    MD3/1982 which is known as the Fisheries Act of
  • Fisheries management was the responsibility of
    the government both national and regional

2. 1970-1997 (State control CPR)
  • Local management institutions were steadily
    eroded with community authority and rights were
    superseded by the government control
  • Management measures (regulatory instruments)
    have been ineffective to promote sustainable
    development and management

2. 1970-1997 (State control CPR)
  • By early 1990s, inshore resources of the
    Sultanate have witnessed the symptoms of
    overfishing, e.g.,
  • Kingfish fishery
  • Lobster fishery
  • Abalone fishery
  • Other demersal species
  • During late 1990s, the problem of the fishery
    continue to worsen and alternative methods of
    resource use and management were explored

3. 1997-present State control CPR
Government-sponsored co-management institutions
Since 1997, 25 local management institutions were
established in each town with support from the
Co-management implemented to promote the
tradition of Senate Al-Bahar in fisheries
3. 1997-present (State control co-management)
  • These committees are responsible to
  • monitor compliance
  • review fisheries regulations
  • resolve conflicts
  • work toward needed fishery management
  • The government retains final authority for
    decisions, but consults with Senate committees

3. 1997-present (State control co-management)
Structure of management committees in each
coastal town Chair Wali (local governor)
Members Shura counsel member
(1) fishermens representative
(5001) Ministry representative (1)
3. 1997-present (State control co-management)
Local committees meet 4 times a year Since its
establishment in 1997, a number of fisheries
regulations were reviewed
Managers hoped that fisheries regulations would
be considered legitimate by fishermen to promote
higher compliance
3. 1997-present (State control co-management)
Government-sponsored institutions officially
recognized but ineffective since it does not
represent fishermen
Little progress has been achieved in the way
coastal fisheries are managed Timeframe for the
institutions to evolve is from 5 to 10 years
(early to make a decision)
  • Local management committees are facing some
    difficulties because
  • Chaired by a Wali (governor) who is, in most
    cases, has no interest in fisheries
  • Members are selected by local political elites
  • Fishermen representation is limited
  • Lack of power
  • Irregular meetings
  • Some are not functioning

Thank you