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Human Ecology

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 587–599 | Cite as

The Social Aspects of Fishing Effort

Technology and Community in Norway’s Blue Whiting Fisheries
  • Stig S. Gezelius
Article

Abstract

While economic literature inspired by the “tragedy of the commons” has emphasised people’s tendency to increase fishing effort beyond desirable levels, sociologists and anthropologists who have studied the social aspects of fishing have often emphasised the capacity of these factors to restrict fishing effort. The article addresses the influence of social norms and communication on fishing effort in an empirical study of the Atlantic blue whiting fishery. The data were generated at a time when this fishery had yet to see efficient quota regulations, and had been subject to a rapid growth in fishing effort, making it the largest fishery in the Atlantic. The article argues that social norms and communication patterns in the fishing fleet create a synergic effect of co-operation and competition on fishing effort. The article questions the view that social norms and communication necessarily represent a solution to the tragedy of the commons.

Key words

Competition co-operation fishing capacity fishing effort tragedy of the commons 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research InstituteOsloNorway

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