Speaker: Christopher Costello, Catch Shares

THE BREN SCHOOL OF Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara


Christopher Costello
Associate Professor
Bren School

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414


"Profitability Can Drive Sustainable Fisheries"

Hosted by Bren School Acting Dean John Melack



Fisheries are increasingly in decline in all of the world's 64 large marine ecosystems. While several factors play a role, it is now widely agreed that the root cause is mismanagement. A select group of fisheries have experimented with novel approaches to governance that attempt to build in economic incentives for sustainability. While only 1-2 percent of global fisheries have adopted these "catch share" programs, initial results are encouraging. I will discuss some of these approaches in terms of their design principles, pitfalls, and possible next steps for curbing the alarming trends toward collapse of the world's fisheries.


While there is broad agreement that resources are valuable and need to be used wisely and sustainably, there is less agreement on the definitions of such terms as “wisely” and “sustainable,” meanings that evolve within the context of identifying society’s objectives and creating the mechanisms and policies to achieve them. Chris Costello works in this realm, focusing on the economics of environmental regulation and natural resource management under conditions of uncertainty (inaccurate, unavailable, or contradictory information), with a particular emphasis on the value and effect of information on management decisions. Correlate to this is his interest in adaptive management programs that have a learning component intended to resolve uncertainty. He has applied this perspective to studies in biological diversity, introduced species, regulation of polluting industries, and marine policy.



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