Environmental Defense Fund's Fishery Solutions Center is the leading online resource for science-based information on rights-based management. No single organization in the world has invested more time or resources on rights-based managment or education. Explore a selection of top academic studies, reports and infographics on RBM.

Visit Google Scholar’s page on RBM for additional studies.

  • The Ocean Prosperity Roadmap: Fisheries and Beyond is a new collection of research designed to inform decision makers, including governments and investors, on effective ocean and coastal resource management strategies to maximize economic, conservation and societal benefits.
  • Developed by an independent, bipartisan working group of leaders in government, fisheries science, management and policy, this report was created to present policymakers with clear and achievable methods to reverse the economic and environmental decline of U.S. fisheries.
  • The purpose of this pilot study was to test the utility of geospatial analysis tools for eliciting and integrating fishermen's knowledge into marine protected area (MPA) planning processes in California, United States. A participatory design yielded 30 local knowledge interviews that were coded for socioeconomic and biodiversity information. The resulting information is useful in understanding past conflicts around MPA siting proposals and for identifying likely sources of agreement and disagreement. Products include a protocol for rapid socioeconomic assessment; a database of fishermen's knowledge and information; and a geographic information system for further use in California's MPA planning process.
  • At large geographical scales, biogeographers have suggested that variation in species richness results from factors such as area, temperature, environmental stability, and geological processes, among many others. From the species pools generated by these large-scale processes, community ecologists have suggested that local-scale assembly of communities is achieved through processes such as competition, predation, recruitment, disturbances and immigration. The authors analyze the hypotheses on speciation and dispersal for reef fish from the Indian and Pacific oceans and show how dispersal from a major center of origination can simultaneously account for both large-scale gradients in species richness and the structure of local communities.
  • The British Columbia halibut fishery provides a natural experiment of the effects for "privatizing the commons." This study indicates that (1) the short-run efficiency gains from privatization may take several years to materialize and can be compromised by restrictions on transferability, duration, and divisibility of the property right; (2) substantial long-run gains in efficiency can be jeopardized by preexisting regulations and the bundling of the property right to the capital stock; and (3) the gains from privatization are not just in terms of cost efficiency but include important benefits in revenue and product form.
  • Many authors have suggested the use of a cap and trade auction system to help reduce bycatch—the incidental take of species by fishing gear targeting other species—of sea turtles in the Hawaii-based swordfish longline fishery. However, we know of no quantitative evaluations of the method. We present a simple mathematical model to serve as a framework to evaluate bycatch auction systems quantitatively. We conclude that cap and trade auction systems have the potential to reduce sea turtle bycatch by creating a financial incentive, while keeping permit costs down to 2–3% of total revenues. While stringent regulations aimed at conserving endangered sea turtles would still be essential, implementation of an auction for issuing transferable bycatch permits would likely enhance the economic efficiency of the fleet. Sea turtle mortality could be reduced further if a shrinking cap on total turtle mortality was introduced, taking advantage of the incentives for reducing turtle mortality that are introduced by the cap and trade auction system.
  • The depletion of commercially exploited fish populations is well documented in the scientific literature, with new studies and perspectives being published at a rapid rate. Economic problems in fisheries, such as extreme economic inefficiency and escalating government subsidies, are also fairly well documented. However, in spite of a number of fundamental theoretical contributions, the literature has been less successful in identifying socially and politically practical solutions to these problems.
  • Groundbreaking new research shows that if oceans were managed sustainably, within 10 years profits could annually grow 115 percent to 51 billion USD over today. However, if fishery reforms are not adopted and status quo remains, the health of the oceans will continue to decline. By sharing knowledge, tools and experience with one another, we can help bring about needed change. EDF’s approach to fisheries reform centers on working with governments to grant fishermen long-term, secure rights to fish under a clear set of rules.
  • The authors analyzed the relationships between the larval and juvenile abundances of selected estuarine-dependent fishes that spawn during the winter in continental shelf waters of the U.S. Atlantic coast. Cross-correlation analysis was used to examine the relationships between the larval and juvenile abundances within species. Tests of synchrony across species were used to find similarities in recruitment dynamics for species with similar winter shelf-spawning life-history strategies. Positive correlations were found between the larval and juvenile abundances for three of the six selected species (spot, pinfish, and southern flounder). These three species have similar geographic ranges that primarily lie south of Cape Hatteras. There were no significant correlations between the larval and juvenile abundances for the other three species (summer flounder, Atlantic croaker, and Atlantic menhaden); the authors suggest several factors that could account for the lack of a relationship. Synchrony was found among the three southern species within both the larval and juvenile abundance time series. These results provide support for using larval ingress measures as indices of abundance for these and other species with similar geographic ranges and winter shelf-spawning life-history strategies.
  • Growing concern over the threat of global climate change has led to an increased interest in research and development of renewable energy technologies. The ocean provides a vast source of potential energy resources, and as renewable energy technology develops, investment in ocean energy is likely to grow. Research in ocean thermal energy conversion, wave energy, tidal energy, and offshore wind energy has led to promising technologies and in some cases, commercial deployment. These sources have the potential to help alleviate the global climate change threat, but the ocean environment should be protected while these technologies are developed. Renewable energy sources from the ocean may be exploited without harming the marine environment if projects are sited and scaled appropriately and environmental guidelines are followed.