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The New Economic Model and Marine Fisheries Development in Latin America


PII: S0305-750X(00)00045-0

World Development Vol. 28, No. 9, pp. 1689±1702, 2000 ? 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved Printed in Great Britain 0305-750X/00/$ - see front matter

The New Economic Model and Marine Fisheries Development in Latin America
ANDY THORPE University of Portsmouth, Southsea, UK ALONSO AGUILAR IBARRA Instituto Nacional de la Pesca, Mexico and CHRIS REID * University of Portsmouth, Southsea, UK
Summary. ? The New Economic Model (NEM) has profoundly in?uenced ?sheries development in Latin America, facilitating the emergence of new and increasingly in?uential interest groups within the industry. It has also stimulated new forms of production and prompted new legislation to regulate ?shing in the region's most important ?shing countries. These changes have coincided with Latin America's increasing importance in world ?sheries production and trade. The NEM has not, however, resolved the sector's fundamental problems, such as over?shing, overcapitalization and con?ict, and has arguably exacerbated them. ? 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. Key words ? Latin America, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, ?sheries, exports, neoliberalism

1. INTRODUCTION Marine ?sheries and aquaculture directly employ about one million people in Latin America, 90% of whom are artisan producers (Bermudez & Aguero, 1994, pp. 38±39). The region contributes approximately one-?fth to world marine ?sh production, while ?shing and ?sh processing account for around one-?fth and one-eighth of Peruvian and Chilean export earnings respectively (FAO, 1998; IDB, 1996). But, ?sheries development and management in Latin America is poorly covered in the literature, especially with respect to the impact of the New Economic Model (NEM). This is curious considering the generous coverage of the NEM?s impact upon other primary product industries, such as agriculture and forestry (Garramon, 1988; Trejos, 1992; Conroy, Murray & Rosset, 1994; Thrupp, 1994; Weeks, 1995; Silva, 1997). This paper seeks to redress this anomaly. In particular, it hypothesizes that NEM policies encouraged the unfettered expansion of

production and trade. It also suggests that while neoliberal regimes in the region introduced legislative changes to regulate the sector, they have not fully confronted the main characteristic of marine ?sheries, namely the absence of clearly de?ned property rights over ?sheries resources. The result has been an intensi?cation of over?shing, overcapitalization and con?ict. Current e?orts to manage the ?sheries more e?ectively are constrained by both the shortage of management resources and the in?uence of new and increasingly

* We extend our thanks to Roberto Bentivoglio (FAO),

Juan Carlos Cardenas and Patricio Igor Melillanca (Ecoceanos), Mike Leo Weber, Emily Young and Karen Barton for information and comments upon earlier drafts. We also gratefully acknowledge the ?nancial support of the University of Portsmouth, the European Union and the MacArthur Foundation in presenting our ?ndings at conferences and workshops. Errors and omissions remain the responsibility of the authors alone.




powerful interest groups that have appeared within the sector. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 outlines the main problems inherent in marine ?sheries, and indicates how they can be exacerbated by NEM-type policies. Section 3 delineates the pattern of ?sheries development in the region?s four main ?shing countries? Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Peru?highlighting how the NEM has in?uenced national ?sheries development and policy. Section 4 examines whether the NEM encouraged ?eet growth, and whether ?eet ownership has become increasingly concentrated among larger ?rms. In Section 5, we indicate how NEM policies have given rise to new con?icts. The conclusion suggests that the tendency to ``privatize the ?eet before privatizing the resource'' has, by introducing new interest groups into the ?sheries environment, accentuated management problems while failing (presently) to resolve distributional concerns. 2. FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT AND THE LATIN AMERICAN NEM (a) The problems of ?sheries development The outstanding ?sheries development issues in Latin America are over?shing, overcapitalization and con?ict. Each originates from the absence of clearly de?ned and enforceable rights to ?shery resources. Property rights create incentives to use resources e?ciently. In their absence, the ability of open access ?sheries to yield an economic surplus or rent above the costs of harvesting attracts an excessive level of e?ort into the ?shery. 1 Competition between ?shing enterprises (the so-called race for ?sh) continues until an equilibrium is reached. At this point, rising costs equal declining revenues and ?rms earn no rents. Catches exceed the resource?s maximum sustainable yield (MSY), and resources are biologically over?shed. 2 Attempts to raise productivity through innovation are destined to fail in the long run, as initial improvements in productivity cause the ?sh population to decrease and catch rates to fall. The task of regulation is to alleviate these problems and resolve the con?icts they engender, although ?sheries management can itself be a source of con?ict (Charles, 1992; Smith, 1980). Christy (1996, p. 19) has observed that Latin America?s ?sheries have passed through the

stages of neglect, nationalization and privatization before arriving at the present stage of ?sheries management. This last stage is the most complicated because society demands that resources are not only conserved, but also contribute to food production, export earnings, and employment. As these goals are often contradictory (Bailey & Jentoft, 1990), management strategies are advocated as a way of preventing con?icts. Di?culties in e?ectively measuring and controlling inputs to a ?shery, however, focused management strategies on controlling output. Two output controls are especially important in this context, each o?ering distinct costs and bene?ts (OECD, 1997, pp. 61±122). Total allowable catches (TACs) cap output at its MSY level. TACs curb over?shing, but because the ?shery remains open access, do not tackle the problem of overcapitalization. Individual transferable quotas (ITQs) address the issue of property rights. By ``privatizing'' the resource through allocating shares of the TAC, ITQs create incentives for owners to conserve resources and use inputs e?ciently, thereby eliminating overcapitalization. The drawback is that ITQs are costly to regulate and enforce, and Latin American states have limited management resources (de G. Gri?th et al., 1991). Regulation and enforcement are not the only concerns, as there are also substantive distribution issues associated with the allocation of ITQs (Cunningham, 1994). Nonetheless, as we illustrate below, ITQs are not out of place within the context of the Latin American NEM. (b) The NEM and its expected impact on ?sheries development Identifying the full impact of the NEM upon the ?sheries sector is beyond the scope of this paper. It is possible, however, to recognize common outcomes. First, the sector will be indirectly a?ected by NEM macroeconomic policies. Competitive real exchange rates will encourage greater participation in the industry, while reinforcing its traditional export-orientation. Privatization and deregulation will stimulate domestic and foreign direct investment in the sector. Although this new investment is welcome in many respects, the relative immobility of ?shing capital will ensure that new vessels are likely to complement, rather than replace, existing boats. Consequently, unless matched by incentives to decommission



older vessels, the net result will be greater overcapitalization. This in turn will raise the likelihood of overexploitation. Furthermore, if these incentives attract larger domestic and foreign ?rms?who are able to invest in bigger more e?cient vessels?then the NEM will herald not only a greater dominance of large vessels within the ?eet, but also a concentration of ownership within the sector. Second, the scale and scope of such changes will ultimately be determined by sector-speci?c policies. As with land, NEM protagonists view insecure access as a critical constraint on e?cient resource use and development. By implication then, ?sheries policy should clearly designate access rights. If NEM preferences for land titling (Feder & Feeny, 1991; Stan?eld, 1990) were translated to the ?sheries sector we would expect to see amendments to the prevailing legislation so as to privatize the underlying resource. Furthermore, to be most e?ective, such amendments should ensure that access rights are both enforced and tradable. Hence, an ideal NEM strategy would create incentives to use resources in an e?cient and sustainable fashion. The most suitable instrument to ensure this would be through the allocation of ITQs. Introducing ITQs would be easier in emerging or underexploited ?sheries, less so in mature ?sheries functioning at or above MSY where con?icts are probable. In sum, then, we hypothesize that NEM macro-policy will tend to support overcapitalization and size concentration. These tendencies are, moreover, likely to rapidly exacerbate over?shing unless there is a concomitant introduction of a new resource rights regime, most typically through the approval of new national ?sheries laws.

3. NEOLIBERALISM AND THE EVOLUTION OF MARINE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN LATIN AMERICA As shown in Table 1, the main commercial ?sheries in Latin America are mostly harvested at or beyond their maximum level. Four main types of ?shery are represented. First, there are ?sheries for highly migratory species, such as tuna. Second, there are industrial ?sheries for small pelagic species, italicized in Table 1, which are most densely concentrated around the upwelling Humboldt current o? Chile and Peru. These provide the inputs to the ?shmeal and oil industry, and historically have been the most important in economic terms. Third, there are continental shelf ?sheries for species such as hake, whiting and squid. Finally, there are socially important inshore ?sheries, the most signi?cant of which are for shrimp. A brief synopsis of the development of these ?sheries and the role of the NEM in each of the main ?shing nations is given below. (a) Chile Most Latin American countries were illprepared to exploit the ?sheries resources contained within the 200-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZs) created by the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), held in Caracas in June 1974. 3 Chile was an exception. Recently turned neoliberal, an aggressive exchange rate policy in 1974±75 substantially improved export earnings. Deregulation of the domestic capital market and creation of the quasi-governmental Pro-Chile (Instituto de Promocin de Exportao dores de Chile) in 1974 to promote exports further encouraged trade expansion. The

Table 1. Status of principal Latin American marine ?sheries: 1995aY b Status Overexploited Fully to overexploited Fully exploited Moderately to fully exploited Moderately exploited Unknown
a b

Number of species 1 8 1 4 1 1

Species Brazilian Sardinella Peruvian anchovy; South American pilchard; Araucanian herring; Argentine, South Paci?c,and Patagonian hake; Patagonian grenadier; short?n squid, Yellow?n tuna Chilean jack mackerel; Californian pilchard; Paci?c anchovy; Southern blue whiting Club mackerel Round sardinella

Sources: FAO (1997a,b). Criteria for inclusion: Landings exceeded 50,000 tons in at least one country during 1980±95. Pelagic species are italicized.



?sheries sector was a major bene?ciary. The decision to privatize the Northern ?eet during 1974±78, limit foreign ?shing activities 4 and rescind the permit-based access system to pelagic stocks in 1978, saw additional e?ort enter the industry. By 1980, Chile had surpassed Peru as the region?s leading ?sh exporter. As the rapidly expanding Northern industrial ?eet quickly depleted anchovy stocks, vessels either switched to ?shing for jack mackerel and South American pilchard or moved southward into underexploited ?shing grounds. Fisheries investment was further encouraged in the early 1980s by substantial Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) credits. 5 Although initially pro?table, these steps ultimately extended the problem of over?shing to new ?sheries. Government attempts to resolve the problem in the early 1980s by imposing minimum catch sizes and closed seasons met with little success or support. A similar fate befell the 1986 edict, which sought to curb indirectly the problem of overcapitalization by freezing the capacity of the Northern industrial ?eet. As evidence emerged that other ?sheries were also threatened by over?shing, including those for hake and the Venus Antiqua clam around the Bay of Ancud (Schurman, 1996, pp. 1702± 1703), the government moved to develop a new regulatory framework. A new ?sheries law was recommended in 1989, but industry opposition delayed its approval until September 1991. The new Fisheries Law (Decree 430) ended open access to ?sheries de?ned as ``emerging'', ``fully-exploited'' or ``recuperating''. Instead, a complex system of ITQs was introduced which is currently applied in the recuperating southern hake and red shrimp ?sheries, and the emerging Patagonian tooth?sh and orange roughy ?sheries. A controversial bill to privatize the industrial ?sheries through ITQs was withdrawn in August 1999 in response to protests from artisanal ?shermen, ?shing workers and environmentalists regarding its distributional e?ects (Fish Information Services, Sea-World, August 27, 1999). (b) Argentina Argentina?s military governments during the 1970s and early 1980s pursued a dualistic ?sheries strategy, licensing foreign boats to operate within the Argentine EEZ, while encouraging joint ventures with foreign ?rms. This changed sharply after 1982. British restrictions on

Argentine naval movements following the Falklands/Malvinas war allowed foreign boats to ?sh the Argentine EEZ with impunity. Consequently, an estimated 600 vessels were active in the region by 1986 (Weidner & Hall, 1993, p. 270). In addition, local companies were prevented from applying for permits to ?sh the 150-mile Falklands Protection Zone overlapping Argentina?s EEZ, as this would have implied recognition of British territorial claims to the Islands (Marine Fisheries Review, 1989, p. 58). These constraints were exacerbated by a combination of an overvalued peso, capital shortages, escalating in?ation, and limited domestic markets due to the relative cheapness of beef. As a result, there were few incentives to invest in the ?sheries during the 1980s. Nonetheless, there were already concerns regarding the overexploitation of the country's main continental shelf ground?sh ?shery for hake (Anon, 1998, p. 3). The Menem (1989±1999) administration?s NEM revitalized the Argentine ?shing sector. By 1991, economic stability had been restored, exchange rate overvaluation eliminated, and tari?s and interest rates reduced. Investment in the sector increased noticeably, encouraged by the exemption of new vessels from trade taxes, simpli?ed procedures for ``naturalizing'' foreign vessels introduced under the 1992 Fisheries Law, an Executive 1992 Decree that permitted Argentine ?rms to lease foreign vessels, and improved international hake prices. Exports were further encouraged in September 1993, when EU vessels were granted permission to ?sh Argentine waters in return for a twothirds reduction in EU tari?s on Argentine ?sh products. The result was increased pressure on resources, which the 1997 Federal Fisheries Law sought to abate by introducing TACs. By mid1998, 30 species were subject to annual TACs. Unfortunately, the assignation of TACs was a source of con?ict (Section 5) and, with the country?s hake stocks on the verge of collapse, the Menem administration approved an Emergency 1998 Fisheries Law that proposed draconian restrictions on ?shing e?ort during the next ?ve years. Pressure from the Argentine ?shing industry ensured that the EU access agreement was not renewed in May 1999, but the passing of an emergency law the following month to restrict hake ?shing has exacerbated tensions between the Argentinean ?shing industry and EU ?rms engaged in joint ventures, each accusing the other of having



received favorable treatment (Fish Information Services, Sea-World, August 2, 1999). (c) Mexico Mexican rati?cation of UNCLOS III in mid1976 was followed by the 1977±1982 National Fisheries Development Plan that aimed to raise Mexico from 28th to ?fth place among the world?s ?shing countries. The plan?s major bene?ciary was the country?s hitherto underexploited tuna ?sheries, private entrepreneurs quickly moving in to exploit the open access nature of the resource and the government incentives on o?er. As it transpired, markets were the most pressing problem. The United States, Mexico?s major tuna export market, embargoed Mexican tuna imports following the seizure of US vessels within the Mexican EEZ in 1980 (de Andrade, 1999, p. 23). The peso?s collapse in 1982 exacerbated the sector?s problems, doubling the costs of boats on order from foreign shipyards, and the government capitulated to industry pressures and o?ered substantial support funds. Rescue operations severely decapitalized both the state ?sheries bank Banpesca and the marketing/processing parastatal PROPEMEX. Although the situation improved following the end of the embargo in 1986, its re-imposition during 1990±99 in response to the Mexican failure to adopt dolphin-excluder devices on tuna nets e?ectively discouraged new commissions during the NEM period. Mexico?s most signi?cant ?sheries in terms of export revenues and employment are its inshore ?sheries. The most important of these are the shrimp ?sheries, which accounted for between one-half and three-quarters of the sector?s export earnings between 1986 and 1996 (SEMARNAP, 1997, p. 124). Historically, cooperatives enjoyed exclusive access to shrimp and eight other inshore ?sheries. Yet despite this, there were clear signs of overcapitalization; an FAO/World Bank (1988) study suggested that reductions of 29% and 49% in the Paci?c and Gulf ?eets, respectively, were necessary to restore pro?tability. The situation worsened after the NEM introduced by the Salinas de Gortari (1988±94) administration substantially curbed state support to the cooperative sector. Banpesca was closed and PROPEMEX?s role reduced. Signi?cantly, the NEM also revised access arrangements to the country?s inshore ?sheries. The 1992 Fisheries Law withdrew the cooperatives? historic rights,

replacing them with a system of permits and concessions. This provided a clear signal to private investors. There had been no privately owned shrimp trawlers in 1990. By 1992, there were 450, and by 1993, 90% of the vessels in the North Paci?c o?shore shrimp ?sheries were privately owned (Vsquez Len & a o McGuire, 1993, p. 61), a trend duplicated elsewhere. Although cooperatives remain active in the inshore ?shery, catching smaller shrimp for domestic markets (SEMARNAP, 1996, pp. 20±21), these changes in property rights have provoked widespread con?ict (Section 5). (d) Peru By the 1960s, Peru had developed the world?s largest industrial ?shery, catching anchovy to manufacture ?shmeal and oil for export (Roemer, 1970; Appleyard, 1973). Over?shing, combined with the e?ects of a strong El Ni~o, n caused anchovy stocks to collapse in 1972 (Boerema & Gulland, 1973; Csirke, 1980), and the Velasco government nationalized both ?eet and processing companies in May 1973 (Caviedes & Fik, 1993). Nationalization enabled the state to regulate the anchovy ?shery, although it did not prevent private ?rms from entering the unregulated pilchard or jack mackerel ?sheries, nor licensed foreign vessels from ?shing for hake and tuna (Weidner & Hall, 1993, p. 440). While the overexploitation of pilchard stocks prompted new management measures in 1980, the government stopped short of assigning resource rights (Marine Fisheries Review, 1981, p. 27). The NEM introduced by Fujimori?s administration (1990±present) stimulated new investment in the sector. A more competitive exchange rate, the establishment of an export promotion commission PROMPEX in 1996, ?nancial and tax reforms, and privatization of the ?eet and processing companies, led to investment of some US$400 million during 1991±95 (World Fish Report, December 7, 1995, p. SP/4; March 13, 1997, p. SP/1). Although a new Fisheries Law was approved in 1994, resources were not privatized. Instead, auctions of annual permits for ``surplus'' stocks were established. 6 Access to nonsurplus stocks, including the principal pelagic ?sheries, remains a ``free-for-all'', with ?rms racing to capture the largest possible share of the TAC before the ?shery is closed (Fishing News International, November 1998, p. 31). Recognizing



that this encourages overcapitalization and ever shorter ?shing seasons, the Fisheries Ministry is presently considering ITQs for un?shed and under?shed species, as well as the over?shed hake ?shery, although not as yet the major pelagic ?sheries. Consequently, the industrial ?shery remains considerably overcapitalized and indebted: only 40% of current vessel and processing capacity is necessary to exploit fully the available resources, while debts were estimated at US$1200 million in April 1999 (Fish Information Services, SeaWorld, April 12, 1999). From the above discussion, it is clear that neoliberal regimes across the region have only belatedly recognized the importance of privatizing ?sheries resources as opposed to privatizing government-owned ?shing and processing companies. Consequently, the optimal ?rm strategy has been to ``gear up'', to capture a greater share of these de facto open access ?sheries in the shortterm, while establishing a strong presence? and hence bargaining position?to guard against new regulatory controls in the longer term. Gearing-up is thus likely to accentuate overcapitalization, encourage concentration and provoke increased con?icts within the sector over time.

4. THE NEM AND SIZE, STRUCTURE AND CONCENTRATION WITHIN THE LATIN AMERICAN MARINE FISHERIES SECTOR (a) Fleet size As annual recorded landings may be volatile due to both biological and economic factors, ?shing inputs (potential productivity) may o?er a more reliable indicator of sectoral trends than ?shing outputs (actual productivity). One of the most common input measures employed in this respect is the gross registered tonnage (GRT) of vessels. Using this measure, the growth of Latin America?s ?shing ?eet over the last quarter century can be seen in Table 2. Four distinct groupings are evident. The ?rst consists of those countries where adoption of the NEM has coincided with a marked decline in ?eet growth rates. This group includes most of the Central American economies, Brazil (albeit a very recent reformer), Mexico, Venezuela and Ecuador. Here, as overcapitalization and/or over?shing was evident in the major inshore ?sheries before the adoption of the NEM (Weidner & Hall, 1993, pp. 188±189; Nadal Egea, 1996, pp. 242±265), the new

Table 2. Gross registered tonnage (GRT),a Latin American industrial ?shing ?eets, 1970±95b Group


NEM dated 1970 GRT

NEM Date GRT 5.2 288.5 3.5 88.1 2.9 12.1 49.1 14.4 19.2 128.7 14.4 15.4 4.3 128.6 346.4 ± 1995 GRT 3.1 299.6 3.6 95.5 2.5 12.4 52.7 14.8 17.8 212.6 20.6 168.2 14.1 157.0 346.4 1,400.9

Average annual growth (% p.a.) 1970-NEM N/A 21.96 ?1X76 6.53 6.32 N/A 5.32 14.04 3.72 13.21 10.41 ?0X76 19.61 3.75 14.36 ± NEM-1995 ?5X59 0.54 0.47 1.35 ?3X64 0.61 2.40 0.90 ?7X29 13.37 9.36 12.70 34.57 4.10 ± ±

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4

Costa Rica Mexico El Salvador Venezuela Guatemala Nicaragua Ecuador Hondurase Brazil Argentina Uruguay Chile Colombia Peru Panamae Total

1986 1988 1989 1989 1991 1991 1992 1992 1994 1991 1991 1975 1991 1990 1995 ±

0.0 8.1 4.9 26.5 0.8 * 15.7 0.8 8.0 9.5 1.8 16.0 0.1 61.6 12.1 165.0

GRT ?gures for vessels over 100 GRT are in thousands. * Signi?es less than 100 GRT. Sources: FAO (1998) and personal communications. c See text for details. d For current purposes, an economy is deemed to be following NEM policies once it has implemented a trade liberalization program and stabilized in?ation (IDB, 1996, p. 77). e The Panamanian and Honduran ?gures should be viewed with some caution due to the registration of vessels under ?ags of convenience.




macroeconomic environment and regulatory regime o?ered few stimuli for additional investment. Furthermore, the Mexican and Venezuelan tuna ?sheries, which had largely underpinned the ?eet?s growth in each country, were restricted by the US tuna embargo for most of the 1990s. In the second group of countries, Argentina and Uruguay, ?eet growth was high before the NEM and continued at around the same level thereafter. In Uruguay, the major contribution to ?eet growth was the Clainsa company?s acquisition of eight stern trawlers following the collapse of the Canadian cod ?shery. In Argentina, the number of trawlers leapt from 263 in 1991 to 371 in 1995, despite concerns for continental shelf stocks. Two factors have underpinned this increase. First, the regulatory regime was relaxed, allowing some foreign and joint-venture vessels to be registered as Argentine. Second, tari?s on imported vessels were reduced to 4±10% of the vessel?s value ``[to help] Argentine ?shermen take advantage of the large number of relatively modern, but inexpensive used vessels available on the international markets'' (Weidner & Hall, 1993, p. 267). While Argentine ?rms capitalized on this opportunity, the bene?ts derived from introducing these large second-hand vessels were questionable as, by exerting greater pressures on scarce resources, they provoked greater con?ict between ?shing enterprises. The third group, comprising Chile and Colombia, have recorded markedly higher ?eet growth since adopting the NEM. In Chile, the open access regime operating before the 1992 Law was a major factor behind the eleven-fold growth of vessel GRT in the industrial ?sheries during 1975±95. 7 Although contrary to its intention, the 1992 Law actually contributed to overcapitalization, as ?rms in the industrial ?sheries lobbied for a 27-month transitional period that allowed vessels ``under construction'' to enter ``fully-exploited'' ?sheries (Article 3, transitory arrangements). Colombian ?eet growth has been dramatic in the postNEM period, although it remains a small player in the region's ?sheries. Finally, Peruvian ?eet growth has been moderate since 1970, when it accounted for almost 40% of the region?s industrial ?shing capacity. Although the number of vessels and GRT doubled over the subsequent 20 years, lack of investment by the state?together with the crowding out of private sector investment? saw the ?eet badly a?ected by obsolescence.

Although the Fujimori administration?s goal has been ?eet modernization rather than expansion, total GRT increased during the NEM period. This can be attributed to the arti?cial distinction made between vessels catching pelagic species for ?shmeal production as against consumption. 8 Although Article 24 of the 1992 Law required additions to the industrial ?eet to be balanced by decommissioning older boats, there were few safeguards to ensure compliance. Predictably, many ?rms were authorized to commission vessels for the consumption ?shery but subsequently illegally redirected their catches to the ?shmeal industry. The recently completed privatization of PESCA PERU has increased the opportunities for non-compliance. In sum, the evidence in Table 2 suggests that the NEM has had no clear e?ect on the growth of ?shing ?eets in the region. Growth has decreased in many countries, stayed high in a few, remained moderate in one, and increased in only Chile and Colombia. The greatest ?eet growth took place in the 1970s and 1980s, before the NEM was introduced in most of the countries, stimulated by developments in extended ?sheries jurisdiction. In a number of cases, therefore, the limits to growth had been reached in advance of the NEM. (b) Size concentration and ownership The composition of the region?s ?shing ?eets varied considerably before the NEM reforms, and the e?ect of the NEM on the size of boats has been mixed. Concentration ratios presented in Table 3 show that the dominance of large boats in national ?eets increased in most countries between 1970 and adoption of the NEM, with this increase being quite large in some cases. In the period between the NEM reforms and 1995 there was little change in concentration ratios in most countries. The ratio increased slightly in Mexico, Venezuela, Uruguay, and Argentina, decreasing in Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. The only countries exhibiting a sharp increase in ?eet concentration after adoption of the NEM were Chile and Colombia?the two countries with rapid ?eet growth in this period. As might be expected, given its long record of industrial ?sheries development, concentration is particularly evident in Peru. The lack of evidence of changes in size concentration since the adoption of the NEM is almost certainly related to the longevity of ?shing capital. For



most ?rms, it will not have been worthwhile to replace older but economically viable boats in the short time between the introduction of NEM policies and 1995. In Chile, on the other hand, NEM-type incentives have been in operation for over 20 years. Here, with the number of ?shing vessels exceeding 500 GRT increasing from three in 1975 to 142 by 1995 (FAO, 1998), 9 size concentration went hand-in-hand with ownership concentration (Pe~a-Torres, 1996, pp. 76± n 82; 1997, pp. 259±262). The main bene?ciary of ?eet privatisation was the Angelini conglomerate. Through buying four enterprises from the state, it came to account for around 55±60% of Northern industrial ?eet landings during the late 1970s. The group maintained its share of the catch in the 1980s, buying-out the Tocopilla company in 1984, Guanaye in 1985, and Punta Angamos in 1989. In August 1999 it formed the Consorcio Pesquero del Norte with its nearest competitor, the Coloso company, another product of the 1974 privatization program. The consortium, which accounts for about 80% of landings in the Northern Zone, intends to restructure its operations to restore pro?t levels in the ?shery (Fish Information Services, SeaWorld, September 1, 1999). Foreign investment was also attracted into the sector, although outright foreign ownership is precluded by the country?s Navigation Law. 10 Consequently, joint ventures have proliferated, most particularly with Japanese

companies but also with interests from Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, China and the Ukraine (Weidner & Hall, 1993). Elsewhere in the region, increased ownership concentration is rather more di?cult to discern. While the Argentine and Uruguayan trawl ?sheries have long been dominated by large vessels, there has been a tendency for vessel sizes to increase since the introduction of the NEM as new factory and freezer vessels have been incorporated into the ?eet. These developments not only spawned increased con?ict, but also pushed many long-established vertically integrated Argentine ?shing companies close to bankruptcy (Weidner & Hall, 1993, p. 264). Nonetheless, ownership remains highly fragmented. 11 Foreign involvement in the sector has also noticeably increased, with Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese companies entering into joint ventures in accordance with the 1992 leasing scheme. Peru has also permitted ?rms to lease or charter foreign vessels (Fisheries Law 1992, Article 48), although this is not re?ected in the statistics on ?eet growth and concentration as these vessels need not be transferred to Peruvian registration for ?ve years. The legislation, seen as the most attractive ever o?ered to foreign ?rms (Weidner & Hall, 1993, p. 451), has also encouraged direct foreign investment, 12 although the dollar value of such investment remains unquanti?ed.

Table 3. The Latin American ?shing ?eet (decked vessels): concentration by GRT aY b Concentration in 1970 Chile Colombia Uruguay Venezuela Mexico Argentina Honduras Peru El Salvador Brazil Nicaragua Costa Rica Ecuador Guatemala Panama
a b

Concentration at NEM date 0.241 0.330 0.864 0.431 0.335 0.681 0.150 0.822 0.134 0.283 0.387 0.745 0.500 0.468 ±

Concentration in 1995 0.517 0.526 0.891 0.458 0.357 0.697 0.155 0.825 0.136 0.284 0.379 0.704 0.443 0.401 0.577

0.234 0.356 0.813 0.354 0.250 0.518 0.161 0.663 0.016 0.267 0.148 ± 0.403 0.092 0.475

Sources: FAO (1998) and personal communications. Concentration ratios calculated in accordance with the class method recommended by Yao and Lui (1996). Concentration ratios across the region are not strictly comparable, as only Costa Rica, Peru and Uruguay record decked vessels of less than 5 GRT in their annual FAO returns, and El Salvador does not record vessels of less than 25 GRT.



The situation is similar elsewhere. Larger trawlers, purse seiners, long-liners and ?sh carriers are recruited into the ?sheries, encouraged by liberal NEM policies toward inward investment. 13 5. NEW FISHERIES CONFLICTS Although con?ict may be endemic to ?sheries development, NEM policies have contributed to the emergence of new ?sheries con?icts, although we limit ourselves to discussing three of the forms of con?ict identi?ed by Charles (1992). The ?rst highlights the jurisdictional con?icts arising from the removal of historic ?shing rights in Mexico?s shrimp ?sheries. The second considers enforcement con?icts in the emerging Chilean Patagonian tooth?sh ?shery. Finally, we examine interest group con?ict in Argentina, focusing upon the hubbsi hake ?shery. (a) Jurisdiction con?icts in Mexico The ultimate source of con?ict in most ?sheries is the absence of clearly de?ned rights. Recent con?ict in Mexico?s Paci?c coast shrimp ?sheries, in contrast, is attributable to the removal of the clearly de?ned exclusive ?shing rights historically possessed by cooperatives. The con?ict emerged in 1990 when the Mexican Cooperative Confederation reluctantly agreed to a reform of the shrimp ?sheries proposed by the Ministry of Fisheries (SEMARNAP), which would ensure the ``best conditions of coexistence between cooperatives and the private sector'' (SEMARNAP, 1990, pp. 39± 43). In return for the promise of funds to recapitalize ailing Paci?c shrimp cooperatives, 14 the Confederation was required to limit participation to its 1990 level and accept ``privateers'' into the ?shery. This paved the way for the 1992 Fisheries Law to abolish the cooperatives? exclusive rights, replacing them with a system of transferable permits and concessions open to cooperatives and privateers alike. Private entrepreneurs quickly bought up antiquated cooperative vessels to acquire their permits. 15 Subsequent modernization or replacement of vessels heightened pressures on o?shore shrimp stocks. Con?ict was exacerbated following the collapse of the peso in 1994±95 as large numbers of unregulated ``free ?shermen'' entered the inshore shrimp ?sheries, attracted by the potential of

harvesting a stock primarily destined for the export market. In September 1996, the private sector pressure group CANAINPES (the Chamber of the Fishing Industry) withheld payments to the government enforcement agency PROFEPA in protest at its failure to prevent inshore ?shermen from illegally operating beyond the ?vemile coastal zone in Sinaloa and Sonora. While inshore ?shermen openly accepted that they were breaking the 1992 Law by ?shing outside the ?ve-mile zone, they argued that they had few realistic alternative employment opportunities. Low catches during 1998 led to escalating violence with no obvious acceptable solution for all parties. McGoodwin?s (1987, p. 231) prescription for reducing con?ict in the inshore shrimp ?sheries?reducing shrimp exports and improving local and regional domestic shrimp markets?contradicts the objectives of the NEM regime. Vsquez Len?s a o (1994, p. 79) recommendation?co-management with the active participation of cooperatives, private ?rms and government o?cials?is echoed in o?cial policy, as SEMARNAP encourages meetings of participants to try and gain local support for proposed ?shery closures. Nonetheless, complete reconciliation is likely to prove problematic and/or costly as the re-allocation of rights has, by encouraging new stakeholders into the ?shery, reduced the likelihood of a mutually agreeable negotiated settlement. (b) Enforcement con?icts in Chile In Chile, NEM policies not only induced over?shing of traditional demersal ?sh stocks (Schurman, 1996; Ecoceanos, 1998, p. 3), but stimulated the development of new commercial ?sheries. Over?shing and con?ict quickly emerged in these new ?sheries due to regulatory and/or enforcement failures, as in Chile?s Patagonian tooth?sh ?shery which straddles the Chilean EEZ, the Antarctic region and international waters. Recognition of the species? commercial value led to the establishment of a ``research ?shery'' within the Chilean EEZ between August 1991 and July 1992. Its ?ndings saw the government auction o? a 4,500 mt TAC to 11 operators in December 1992. This was raised to 6,500 mt in 1993, a subsequent government resolution allowing Chilean ?agged vessels to land an additional 3,350 mt from the region protected by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine



Living Resources (CCAMLR). Chilean vessels, however, harvested more than double the established quota from 1992±95 due to four factors. First, there was a scarcity of alternative species. The collapse of the southern hake and pink cusk eel ?sheries, traditional targets for the Chilean southern ?eet in the early 1990s, encouraged boats to transfer to the tooth?sh ?shery. Second, the ?shery o?ered considerable ?nancial returns: Ecoceanos (1998, p. 8) estimated that each clandestine 45±60 day ?shing trip could yield pro?ts of US$3 million. Third, there was regulatory failure. As vessels were not obliged to carry an onboard monitoring system, skippers could declare that their catches were taken in international waters. Finally, there was enforcement failure as Chilean courts refused to take punitive action against Chilean registered vessels caught illegally ?shing in the CCAMLR area. 16 Local enforcement improved after the Fisheries Secretariat insisted that monitoring devices be installed from June 1993. This had two e?ects. First, it encouraged vessels to relocate to Uruguay or Argentina, where tooth?sh quotas were not set until 1995, to avoid prosecution by the Chilean authorities. Second, it encouraged marginal ?rms to leave the ?shery, concentrating ownership of quotas for Patagonian tooth?sh within the Chilean EEZ among seven companies, the main purchaser Pesca Chile acquiring 33.8% of the 1997 quota (ISOFISH, 1999, p. 60). Con?ict has resulted as other companies, most notably the Roberto Verdugo Gormaz group, challenged this preeminence. Although Verdugo Gormaz, the Fisheries Undersecretary during the early 1980s, had participated in opening up the ?shery, his companies had largely forsaken tooth?sh ?shing in favor of controlling the more lucrative export processing trade. 17 But, as tighter regulations reduced opportunities to buy illegally landed tooth?sh, the group attempted to register two boats in the ?shery. Its application was initially rejected by the Fisheries Secretariat in early 1996 because the boats had been deployed outside Chile for more than a year, but the ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court in April 1997. Despite this victory, Verdugo Gormaz maintains that three of Chile?s largest ?shing companies (Pesca Chile, Emdepes and Friosur) exploited political contacts to obtain strategic information and preferential access to tooth?sh quotas (ISOFISH, 1999, p. 31).

This example indicates some of the di?culties in managing a dynamic industry in which ?rms are more mobile than their regulators. In surveying Chile?s ?sheries management policies, Christy identi?ed ``ine?ectual monitoring surveillance and implementation of regulatory measures [and] lack of infrastructure and personnel'' (Christy, 1997, p. 81) as the main problems. Adopting ITQs, whatever the outcome of current debates, will increase the burden of enforcement without increasing management resources, and seems unlikely to halt the emergence of con?ict within new ?sheries. (c) Interest group con?ict in Argentina Powerful vested interests emerged in Argentina?s ?shing industry between 1992 and the passing of the 1997 Fishing Law, most notably in the hubbsi hake ?shery. While catches peaked at 574,000 mt in 1995, continued concerns over the underlying resource stock ?nally persuaded the government to address the issue in 1997. An informal accord between the government and industry representatives in May which agreed to a 20% reduction in the annual catch proved ine?ectual, and was superceded by the new Federal Fisheries Law in November 1997. This quickly encountered opposition. CedePesca, the Center for Defense of Ports and the National Fishery, opposed Article 27 of the new Law as it established hake quotas for each vessel on the basis of average catches between 1989 and December 1996. They were supported by CAABPA, the Association of Highseas Fishermen, who complained that the Law discriminated in favor of the large factory and freezer vessels that had entered the ?eet following the 1992 Executive Degree and the 1993 EU agreement. CaPeCa, the Freezer Vessel Owners Association, on the other hand, argued that the law simply institutionalized ine?ciency as it prohibited future quota transfers between refrigerated and freezer vessels. Tensions rose in late August 1998 when Eduardo Auguste, a former President of CaPeCa, was appointed Fisheries Undersecretary. Although his appointment was backed by CaPeCa and CAPIP (the Patagonian Industrial Fishermen?s Association), CedePesca questioned the wisdom of letting ``the fox manage the hen-house'' (Fish Information Services, Sea-World, August 31, 1998). Tensions eased following a series of meetings between the



industry and o?cials in September when the 300,000 mt TAC set for 1997±98 was withdrawn and rules were agreed governing ?shing until the end of the year. A month later, however, the Federal Fisheries Council?s decision to ban freezer and refrigerated vessels from the ?shery for a month angered the CAPIP, CaPeCA and the Argentine Fishing Company Council (CEPA). As the ban took e?ect, the Federal Fisheries Council met to determine hake quotas for the next year. Its main proposals?ITQs equivalent to half of each vessel?s declared 1997 landings, plus partially segregated ?shing grounds?garnered little support (Federal Fisheries Council, 1998). It was rejected by CaPeCa because it relegated freezer vessels to the poorest ?shing grounds. CedePesca and CAABPA complained that this decision would give the freezer ?eet 54% of the TAC as against 38% under Article 27 of the Federal Fishing Law (CeDePesca, 1998). Nonetheless, the proposals became law on January 14, 1999. The controversy shows no signs of abating, however. CaPeCa lodged an appeal with the Federal Fisheries Council the following month, while the Fisheries Director of the European Commission and the Buenos Aires and Chubut Provincial Fisheries Councils have argued that it discriminated against their interests. The situation has deteriorated further since the ending of the EU agreement in May 1999 and the imposition of a hake ban the following month. Currently, Argentine ?rms and those engaged in joint ventures with EU ?rms are pressing their respective cases for access to remaining resources, ensuring that ?sheries policy ?gured in the October 1999 presidential election. This form of con?ict, between interest groups and the state over the design and implementation of ?sheries management, has been intensi?ed by the emergence of powerful new ?rms and interest groups. This is not unique to Argentina: Pe~a Torres (1997, pp. 265±266) n identi?es a similar process of ``regulatory capture'' in Chile during the passage of the 1991 Law. As long as NEM policies encourage the growth of large ?rms, however, such con?icts seem likely to become more widespread. 6. CONCLUSION This paper has explored the relationship between the NEM in Latin America and the

commercial marine ?shing industries. It is a relationship that justi?es further investigation, not only because of the importance of ?shing within the region, but because of the region?s contribution to world ?sheries production and trade. Although it is too early to appreciate the full impact of the NEM upon the sector in many countries, certain common patterns in the process of adjustment are discernible. It is clear that commercial ?sheries do not adjust smoothly to rapid structural adjustment as ?rms are unable to respond quickly to sudden changes in market signals and leave the industry. Yet the pace of reform has been swift. State-owned ?rms have been privatized, privileges withdrawn, and new regulations introduced. These changes have had profound distributional consequences, with large ?rms appearing to have bene?ted most from NEM incentives, particularly in those instances where they have allied with foreign capital. Their growing in?uence has been a feature of the NEM period, and will most likely result in more intense con?ict with management authorities in the future. Small-scale producers have not been bene?ciaries of the NEM reforms, and many?such as the ?shing cooperatives in Mexico?have seen what little security they enjoyed under earlier regimes disappear. It is also evident that the conduct and management of ?sheries under the NEM has not materially reduced the outstanding problems of over?shing, overcapitalization and con?ict. In certain respects, these problems have worsened. This is not, perhaps, surprising. The logic of privatization and deregulation, that market signals direct resources toward their best use, is at best dubious in a common property resource industry. NEM policies clearly recognized the importance of wellde?ned private property rights in agriculture and forestry. The failure to extend this logic to marine ?sheries was a serious error. It is clear that the failure to ``privatize the commons'' was more signi?cant than the privatization of stateowned ?shing companies. Recent e?orts in the region?s major ?shing countries to introduce ITQs might be regarded as tacit acceptance of the earlier oversight. In the long run, the transition to a system of ?sheries management based upon clearly de?ned rights should be the goal of Latin American states. This will not, however, resolve the sector?s problems in the short- to mediumterm, and will mostly likely exacerbate them.



Governments must therefore persuade the industry?s powerful new interest groups that they will bene?t from such a regime. If governments are to enforce the discipline of property rights they must acquire greater management resources and expertise, which are already scarce. Most importantly, though,

governments must recognize that con?icts are indicators of the need to make new tradeo?s between competing management goals. This requires a greater understanding of the distributional consequences of ?sheries development policies, and consequently a greater appreciation of the impact of the NEM on the sector.

1. Fishing e?ort is a composite measure of the productive inputs in a ?shery, de?ning capital and labor, technical e?ciency, etc. As we do not attempt to measure ?shing e?ort, we use the term in its simplest sense. Accordingly, an increase in e?ort may describe an increase in the number or size of boats, an improvement in their e?ciency due to technological change, or simply their more intensive use by ?rms. 2. For an explanation of why over?shing occurs at this equilibrium, see Hannesson (1993). 3. The history of Latin American maritime jurisdiction is dealt with succinctly in Orrego Vicu~ a (1984, 1995) n and Paolillo (1995). 4. Foreign vessels were initially restricted to Southern Chile and were gradually excluded as the Chilean industry grew. A small number of foreign factory ships were allowed into the hake ?shery after a ``naturalization'' process (Weidner & Hall, 1993, p. 322). 5. A 1982 loan, the IDB?s biggest ever credit to the sector, injected US$32.9 million into Chile's industrial ?sheries, and US$13.5 million into the artisanal ?sheries (Christy, 1996, p. 25). 6. This regulation currently applies only in the squid ?shery, where the main permit buyers are Japanese and South Korean ?rms. 7. Growth was not restricted to the industrial ?eet. Schurman (1996, p. 1699) documents the growth in the number of artisanal launches in Region VIIs Southern hake ?shery during 1979±89. 8. Legislation following the collapse of the anchovy ?sheries favored state-owned ?rms in the ?sh meal business, leaving food production to the private sector. 9. Chilean companies acquired vessels from Europe, North America and other Latin American countries when local shipbuilders were unable to deliver due to excessive demand (Weidner & Hall, 1993, p. 311). 10. The law requires a Chilean majority shareholding in all Chilean-?agged vessels. 11. The two largest ?shing companies had a turnover in 1997 in excess of US$40 million, followed by 11 ?rms of between US$30 million and US$40 million, and a further 10 with turnovers of US$20±30 million (Argentina Business, December 9, 1998). 12. In this instance, by French, Russian, Korean and Spanish companies. 13. Other examples of post-NEM foreign investment in the region include: the re-?agging of Spanish tuna boats in Costa Rica, investment in Nicaraguan shell?sh ?sheries by Norwegian ?rms, Spanish±Venezuelan joint ventures, and Taiwanese and US participation in Uruguayan ?sheries (Fish Information Services, SeaWorld, various issues). 14. The government rescued 94 cooperatives with outstanding debts of 264.7 million pesos in 1992 (SEMARNAP, 1996, p. 40). 15. Permits were granted on an individual basis. Nadal Egea (1996, p. 359) suggests that as indebtedness prevented cooperative boats from ?shing normally during 1991±92, permits could be acquired cheaply. 16. The United Kingdom is especially active in apprehending transgressors in the CCAMLR region, but Argentine and Chilean courts do not recognize the UK?s actions due to the Falklands/Malvinas sovereignty dispute (ISOFISH, 1999, p. 24). 17. Verdugo Gormaz purchased 5% of the original tooth?sh quota in 1993, this increasing to 10% in the 1997 auctions. But the group dominates the frozen tooth?sh trade, accounting for 62.1% of 1997 exports (ISOFISH, 1999, pp. 31, 69).



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