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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Case

SummaryICCAT is an international management regime responsible for the management of a several highly migratory, large-bodied tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean. In this case we are considering two populations of Bluefin Tuna, the Eastern and Western stocks that do mix, but do not interbreed. Eastern tuna breed on the Eastern side of the Atlantic and Mediterranean, while Western stocks breed closer to North America and to a lesser extent the Caribbean. Canada, the USA and Japan harvest the vast majority of the Western stock, while the East/Med. Stock is harvested by a wide range of EU and African countries.
Statuspublic
TeamICCAT Team
Start Date2014-05-14 18:29:49 -0400
Coding Complete?No
SectorFisheries (Stock-specific)
ProjectSESMAD
Data Source(s)Secondary data
CountryInternational
External BiophysicalThe Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are affected by changes to the resource system which include much of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean. Given their high degree of mobility they are able to relocate given unsuitable conditions, but rely upon relatively fixed breeding grounds. At present, there is no evidence that changes in the resource system have significantly affected either stock.
External SocialThe primary external event that affects this system is the growth of the Japanese sashimi market that has driven up the value of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna.
SnapshotsThree snapshots are coded for the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna case. The first snapshot records governance of the Western stock between 1985 and 2007. The second snapshot records the Eastern/Mediterranean stock between 1985 and 1995. The third snapshot records the Eastern/Mediterranean stock between 2003 and 2007. The start data of 1985 was chosen based upon expert input regarding the quality of stock and catch estimates, while the end date of 2007 was selected because uncertainty concerning recruitment levels leads to revisions for up to 5 years.
TimelineTimelines are presented for ICCAT as a whole and for each individual stock. ICCAT 1950s • Japanese fishing fleet starts to actively fish in the Atlantic (Korman 2011). 1966 • ICCAT established (all the info taken from Basic Texts document, ICCAT website). • Organizational structure: one Chairman, two Vice-Chairmen who are elected during every regular meeting (every two years) for one term (Article III, Paragraph 5); Standing Committee on Finance and Administration; Standing Committee on Research and Statistics; Conservation and Management Measures Compliance Committee; Permanent Working for the Improvement of ICCAT Statistics and Conservation Measures; Panels – defined under Article VI (panel 2 responsible for ABFT); Secretariat, led by the Executive Secretary (defined under Article VII). • Founding members: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Japan, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of South Africa, Senegal, Spain, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela. • Goal of ICCAT is to maintain the population of Atlantic tunas (and tuna-like species) at levels “which will permit the maximum sustainable catch for food and other purposes” (Preamble). • Article VIII defines how recommendations are enacted. 1969 • ICCAT entered formally into force (ICCAT website). 1970s • “The most important development in the bluefin trade occurred in the 1970s, with the opening of the Japanese sashimi market. The high price for bluefin sashimi in Japanese sushi restaurants, combined with further advances in transportation and the development of quick-freezing, transformed the bluefin from a commodity product into a luxury good…The combined growth of the Japanese sashimi market and the widespread use of unregulated purse seiners in the 1970s had an immediate and long-lasting effect: Within a decade, the Atlantic bluefin population declined by nearly a third in terms of biomass, while the western population…dropped by nearly eighty percent (note 28)” (Korman 2011) 1971 • ICCAT Secretariat permanently based in Madrid, Spain (ICCAT Basic Texts document). 1974 • Minimum size established for ABFT, 6.4 kg (~age 2) (Fromentin & Powers 2005, Korman 2011). 1980 • Two-stock regime implemented (45¢ W boundary line was used to separate East and West stock management areas). The authors point out that this line was selected for “statistical convenience and because they were aligned with discontinuities in the distribution of catches at that time in the Atlantic” (Fromentin & Powers 2005). • 1983-1991 • Quota allocation is largely based on historical catches, some spatial distribution characteristics evident (Sumaila & Huang 2012). 1996 • Prohibit catch of ABFT
Modeling IssuesThe key modeling issues related to the choice of snapshots and reliability of data. There is a certain amount of uncertainty amongst scientists regarding the status of stocks and the reliability of catch data. There was also the question as to whether we could code resource users, but given their large number, and the absence of data at that level, we chose to code countries only. We ultimately decided to code three cases, based on the data. Western stocks are one case, while Eastern stocks are separated into pre and post storage cases.
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Attached Components

Actors

Name:
ICCAT Contracting Parties
details
Past collaboration:
High (3)
ICCAT was created in 1966, and began to undertake management activities for fisheries among member states in 1969. It has a long history of coordinating regulation of fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean and over time has regulated an increasing number of fisheries and added a number of additional contracting parties.
Costs of exit:
Yes
If members choose to leave ICCAT they lose the ability to trade bluefin tuna with other contracting parties, most notably Japan.
Proportionality (of costs and benefits):
Yes
There is some proportionality between contributions to ICCAT and the amount of benefits, however, not included in these costs are the monitoring costs that are performed at the National Level. In any case 4 groups are identified, Parties identified as developed market economies pay the most, while payments by non-developed economies depend upon combinations of their GNP and catches. The poorest countries with catches below 5000t pay 0.25% of the budget each, while countries that exceed GNP of 2,000 or harvest more than 5000t pay 3,00% each.
Interest heterogeneity:
High (3)
Interests among group members vary along several dimensions. This includes the variations in the magnitude of ABFT fishing operations, whether they are consumers (mostly Japan) or simply appropriators (the rest). Reliance on tuna by fishermen also vary considerably across countries, with greater reliance in Spain in particular.
Leadership:
No leader
There is no formal or informal leader
Leadership authority:
 
Actor group trust:
 
Personal communication:
More than once a year (5)
Remote communication:
More than once a year (5)
Leadership accountability:
 
Actor group coordination:
Both formal and informal
ICCAT has developed a formal process for analyzing fisheries data and producing recommendations. Recommendations are evaluated by contracting parties in both formal and informal settings, and final quotas are the result of formal and informal bargaining processes.
Name:
ICCAT Western Members
details
Past collaboration:
Medium (2)
The Canada, US and Japan interact frequently on global governance issues in organizations such as the G8
Costs of exit:
Yes
Although countries may still fish for Eastern ABFT if they leave ICCAT, they would lose legal access to international trade, and the lucrative Japanese sashimi market.
Proportionality (of costs and benefits):
Yes
There is some proportionality between contributions to ICCAT and the amount of benefits, however, not included in these costs are the monitoring costs that are performed at the National Level. In any case 4 groups are identified, Parties identified as developed market economies pay the most, while payments by non-developed economies depend upon combinations of their GNP and catches. The poorest countries with catches below 5000t pay 0.25% of the budget each, while countries that exceed GNP of 2,000 or harvest more than 5000t pay 3,00% each.
Interest heterogeneity:
Medium (2)
Interests among group members vary along several dimensions. For Western members the most significant source of heterogeneity is their role as a consumer (Japan) vs. producer (Canada, USA and Japan).
Leadership:
No leader
Leadership authority:
 
Actor group trust:
 
Personal communication:
 
ICCAT contracting parties meet regularly, but there are no separate meetings for ICCAT Western Members.
Remote communication:
 
Leadership accountability:
 
Actor group coordination:
Informal
There is no formal organization for Western members, but can coordinate informally.
Name:
ICCAT Eastern Members
details
Past collaboration:
Medium (2)
A large fraction of member states collaborate frequently on governance issues as part of the European Union. However, there are several states that receive quota such as Japan, Algeria, Morocco, Croatia, the Former Yugoslavia, Korea. Tunisia and Turkey that are not part of the EU and thus collaborate less frequently.
Costs of exit:
Yes
Although countries may still fish for Eastern ABFT if they leave ICCAT, they would lose legal access to international trade, and the lucrative Japanese sashimi market.
Proportionality (of costs and benefits):
Yes
There is some proportionality between contributions to ICCAT and the amount of benefits, however, not included in these costs are the monitoring costs that are performed at the National Level. In any case 4 groups are identified, Parties identified as developed market economies pay the most, while payments by non-developed economies depend upon combinations of their GNP and catches. The poorest countries with catches below 5000t pay 0.25% of the budget each, while countries that exceed GNP of 2,000 or harvest more than 5000t pay 3,00% each.
Interest heterogeneity:
High (3)
Interests among group members vary along several dimensions. This includes the variations in the magnitude of ABFT fishing operations, whether they are consumers (mostly Japan) or simply appropriators (the rest). Reliance on tuna by fishermen also vary considerably across countries, with greater reliance in Spain in particular.
Leadership:
No leader
There is no formal or informal leader of the group.
Leadership authority:
 
N/A
Actor group trust:
 
N/A
Personal communication:
 
ICCAT contracting parties meet regularly, but there are no separate meetings for ICCAT Eastern Members.
Remote communication:
 
ICCAT contracting parties meet regularly, but there are no separate meetings, or evidence thereof for ICCAT Eastern Members.
Leadership accountability:
 
N/A
Actor group coordination:
Informal
Formal coordination takes place among ICCAT contracting parties, there is no explicit recognition of Western members as a group.

Governance Systems

Name:
ICCAT Governance System
details
Type of formal governance:
Treaty
ICCAT was created as a convention among contracting parties.
End Date:
Current
Although the snapshots end in 2007 to ensure the most accurate estimates of outcome variables, ICCAT remains the central governance system for the regulation of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna.
Begin date:
1969
ICCAT was created in 1966, but did not begin formal activities until 1969
Governance trigger:
slow continuous change
Declining catches of Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in the 1950's and early 1960's prompted interested parties to begin self-organizing to coordinate regulation of Tuna in the Atlantic Ocean.
Governance system description:
The ICCAT governance system was created in 1966 and began activities in 1969 to regulate use of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. The goal of ICCAT is to cooperatively maintain fish stocks “at levels which will permit the maximum sustainable catch for food and other purposes” (Preamble, ICCAT 2007). While ICCAT does not have regulatory or enforcing powers (Korman 2011), it is entrusted with collecting and compiling statistical data, generating scientific reports, proposing management recommendations based on its findings, and creating an arena for contracting parties to meet and discuss recommendations (ICCAT 2007). The commission meets annually at its headquarters in Madrid, Spain, to discuss statistical reports and recommend management measures (Wagner 1996).
Governance scale:
International Regime
ICCAT governs use of a subset of fisheries resources (including Atlantic Bluefin Tuna) that inhabit the Atlantic Ocean. Nation states that do not border the Atlantic, such as Japan are eligible to join ICCAT and fish in international waters.
Centralization:
Highly centralized (4)
ICCAT sets regulations that apply to all contracting parties (although they can opt out of regulations). Quotas and regulations are negotiated by contracting parties, but total and national quotas are set by the international body with little room for adjustment (unless they are more strict than required) by nation states and regions.

Environmental Commons

Name:
Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
details
Productivity:
Moderately Productive (2)
Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna support a fairly large-scale fishery. However, the rate of regeneration is insufficient to cope with modern extraction technologies that have started to lead to declines in resource stocks.
Commons aggregation:
Population
Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are a meta population or stock of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna that spawn in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean. It is generally accepted that they do not interbreed with the Western stock.
Biotic:
Yes
Commons unit size:
Medium (3)
Eastern Atlantic Bluefin can weigh up to 900 kg, although mature adults typically weigh 250kg with a length of approximately 2.5m.
Commons mobility:
High (3)
Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna migrate extensively throughout the Eastern-Mid Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea and can travel at speed up to 60 km/h.
Commons spatial extent:
108000000
Approximate size of Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Although the Eastern Stock is more concentrated in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Trans-Atlantic migration is known to occur at least in small numbers
Environmental medium:
Oceanic
Located throughout much of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
Commons heterogeneity:
High (3)
During the spawning season, sexually mature adults congregate in the Mediterranean Sea. There is some debate whether individual adults spawn annually over every 2-3 years. During the rest of the year, however, tuna are distributed widely over feeding grounds.
Intra annual predictability:
High (3)
Very little variation in resource numbers within a given year.
Inter annual predictability:
Moderate (2)
Stocks of Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are moderately predictable, but scientific assessments are highly contested and it is generally acknowledged that there are important uncertainties regarding the size of stocks, and the methodologies used to estimate spawning stock biomass. However, given the use of consistent methodologies the relative magnitude of stocks can be ascertained.
Technical substitute:
No
Commons boundaries:
Very unclear boundaries (1)
Although the Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is most commonly found on the Eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, they also migrate across the 45th parallel which marks the official boundary between Eastern and Western stocks. The extent of this migration is generally unknown.
Commons renewability:
Renewable (1)
Commons accessibility:
Very accessible (3)
Although Eastern ABFT are located throughout much of the Atlantic Ocean, they are easily accessible to the ocean-going fleets that target them.
Name:
Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
details
Productivity:
Moderately Productive (2)
The Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is moderately productive meaning it can sustain a commercial fishery, but at levels far below Eastern Stock. The sustainability of a commercial fishery is contested by some who argue that the stock ought to be listed on CITES.
Commons aggregation:
Population
Western Bluefin tuna are a subpopulation of the species Thunnus thynnus that spawns in the Western Atlantic Ocean (i.e. the Americas)
Biotic:
Yes
Commons unit size:
Medium (3)
Adult bluefin tuna weigh up to 900 kg, although the average adult weighs in at around 250kg and is 2.5m in length.
Commons mobility:
High (3)
Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna travel throughout the Western Atlantic Ocean, and migrate across into the Eastern Atlantic. They can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h.
Commons spatial extent:
106000000
This is the approximate size of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Although they are more concentrated in the Western Atlantic, they may occur throughout much of this range in small numbers.
Environmental medium:
Oceanic
Commons heterogeneity:
High (3)
Adult Western Atlantic Bluefin tuna congregate in the Gulf of Mexico during the spawning season. However, for the rest of the year they are distributed widely throughout the Western Atlantic.
Intra annual predictability:
High (3)
There is little seasonal variation in resource availability.
Inter annual predictability:
Moderate (2)
The availability of Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna can be predicted using scientific methodologies such as virtual population analysis. However, these figures are highly contested, and several uncertainties remain. Nonetheless, relative magnitudes can be assessed given a consistent methodology.
Technical substitute:
No
Commons boundaries:
Very unclear boundaries (1)
Although the Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna spawns in the Western Atlantic, they mix with the Eastern stock on feeding grounds. The extent of mixing is generally unknown.
Commons renewability:
Renewable (1)
Commons accessibility:
Very accessible (3)
Although Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are located throughout the Western Atlantic Ocean, they are easily accessible for modern oceanic fishing fleets that target them.

Component Interactions

Governance Interaction

ICCAT West (1985-2007)

1985-01-01 to 2007-12-31

Governing Organization:
ICCAT Contracting Parties (Actor)
Governing Organization:
ICCAT Western Members (Actor)
Governs:
ICCAT Governance System (Governance System)
Primary:
Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Environmental Common)

Governance Interaction

ICCAT East (1985-1995)

1985-01-01 to 1995-12-31

Governs:
ICCAT Governance System (Governance System)
Governing Organization:
ICCAT Contracting Parties (Actor)
Primary:
Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Environmental Common)
Governing Organization:
ICCAT Eastern Members (Actor)

Governance Interaction

ICCAT East (2003-2007)

2003-01-01 to 2007-12-31

Governs:
ICCAT Governance System (Governance System)
Primary:
Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Environmental Common)
Governing Organization:
ICCAT Contracting Parties (Actor)
Governing Organization:
ICCAT Eastern Members (Actor)

Studies

Juan-Jordá, M. J., Mosqueira, I., Cooper, A. B., Freire, J., & Dulvy, N. K. (2011). Global population trajectories of tunas and their relatives. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences108(51), 20650-20655


MacKenzie, B. R., Mosegaard, H., & Rosenberg, A. A. (2009). Impending collapse of bluefin tuna in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean.Conservation Letters2(1), 26-35.


Safina, C., & Klinger, D. H. (2008). Collapse of bluefin tuna in the western Atlantic. Conservation Biology22(2), 243-246


Porch, C. E. (2005). The sustainability of western Atlantic bluefin tuna: a warm-blooded fish in a hot-blooded fishery. Bulletin of Marine Science76(2), 363-384.


Fromentin, J. M., & Powers, J. E. (2005). Atlantic bluefin tuna: population dynamics, ecology, fisheries and management. Fish and Fisheries6(4), 281-306.


Fromentin, J. M. (2009). Lessons from the past: investigating historical data from bluefin tuna fisheries. Fish and Fisheries10(2), 197-216.


Block, Barbara A., Heidi Dewar, Susanna B. Blackwell, Thomas D. Williams, Eric D. Prince, Charles J. Farwell, Andre Boustany, Steven L. H. Teo, Andrew Seitz, Andreas Walli, and Douglas Fudge. 2001. Migratory Movements, Depth Preferences, and Thermal Biology of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. Science 293 (5533): 1310-1314.


Hurry, G. D., M. Hayashi, and J. J. Maguire. 2008. Report of the Independent Review: International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). Madrid, Spain: ICCAT.


ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas). 2003. Recommendation by ICCAT on Criteria for Attaining the Status of Cooperating Non-Contracting Party, Entity or Fishing Entity in ICCAT. Madrid, Spain: ICCAT.


ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas). 2007. Basic Texts, 5th Revision. Madrid, Spain: ICCAT.


ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas). 2010. Report of the Standing Committee on Research and Statisitcs (SCRS). Madrid, Spain: ICCAT.  


 

 

ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas). 2012. Report of the Standing Committee on Research and Statisitcs (SCRS). Madrid, Spain:  ICCAT.   


Ravier, C., & Fromentin, J. M. (2001). Long-term fluctuations in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna population. ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil58(6), 1299-1317.


Ravier, C., & Fromentin, J. M. (2004). Are the long‐term fluctuations in Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) population related to environmental changes?.Fisheries Oceanography13(3), 145-160.


Longo, S. B., & Clark, B. (2012). The commodification of Bluefin Tuna: the historical transformation of the Mediterranean Fishery. Journal of Agrarian Change12(2‐3), 204-226.


ICIJ (The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists).  2011.  Looting the Seas: The Black Market in Bluefin.  Washington, DC: The Center for Public Integrity.   


MacKenzie, B. R., & Myers, R. A. (2007). The development of the northern European fishery for north Atlantic bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus during 1900–1950. Fisheries Research87(2), 229-239


De Stefano, V., & Van Der Heijden, P. G. (2007). Bluefin tuna fishing and ranching: a difficult management problem. New Medit6(2), 59.


Bjørndal, T., & Brasão, A. (2006). The East Atlantic bluefin tuna fisheries: stock collapse or recovery?. Marine Resource Economics21(2)


Volpe, J. P. (2005). Dollars without sense: the bait for big-money tuna ranching around the world. BioScience55(4), 301-302.


Korman, S. (2010). International Management of a High Sea Fishery: Political and Property-Rights Solutions and the Atlantic Bluefin. Va. J. Int'l L.51, 697.


PEW. 2011. Mind the Gap: An Analysis of the Gap between Meditteranean Bluefin Quotas and International Trade Figures. Washington, DC: The PEW Environment Group.


Sumaila, U. R., & Huang, L. (2012). Managing bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Policy36(2), 502-511.


Webster, D. G. 2008. Western Bluefin Tuna. In Adaptive Governance: The Dynamics of Atlantic Fisheries Management, ed. D. G. Webster. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press


WWF (World Wildlife Fund).  2006.  The Plunder of Bluefin Tuna in the Mediterranean and East Atlantic in 2004 and 2005.  Rome, Italy: WWF Mediterranean.  


Schlager, Edella, William Blomquist, and Shui Yan Tang. 1994. Mobile Flows, Storage, and Self-Organized Institutions for Governing Common-Pool Resources. Land Economics 70 (3): 294-317.