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 ecology of coral reef fishes seems to invite a metapopulation perspective. Metapopulation structure is determined by the spatial arrangement of local populations, coupled with life history traits that allow metapopulation dynamics to be enacted. The most important objective, here and in future considerations of this issue, has to do with developing an understanding of the processes that determine the population dynamics of coral reef fishes.
  • Beyond food and job security, fishing economies add billions to global GDP. But this segment of the blue economy has long been overlooked because the dominant view about the future of the oceans has been so bleak. New groundbreaking research shows that poorly performing fisheries can be turned around fast. Scientists and economists from UC Santa Barbara, EDF, and the University of Washington have teamed up to create a new “upside” bio-economic model that gives the most holistic view to date of the potential benefits to be gained from the oceans, if sustainable fishing becomes the norm.
  • Ecosystem-based management of coral reef fisheries aims to sustainably deliver a diverse portfolio of ecosystem services. This goal can be undermined if the ecosystem shifts into a different state, with altered ecosystem functions and benefits to people. If levels of drivers that cause transitions between states are identified, management measures could be aimed at maintaining drivers below these levels to avoid ecosystem shifts.
  • Bottom trawling (the act of dragging a net across the sea floor to maximize a catch of fish) might be lucrative in the short term, but in the long term causes massive ecological damage to sea floor habitats and kills organisms. Bottom trawling has been measured to decrease biodiversity by up to 50%. However, while ecologists and environmentalists see this as a greedy way to get more fish, fishers see this as a logical response to bad fisheries management. If fishermen are not given an individual share of the catch, they will strive to get as much fish as they can in the most efficient way-ergo bottom trawling. Fishermen don’t need to be punished, they need to be secured and reformed. In 2005, no-trawl zones were set up along the Western coast of the US. About 3.8 million acres fell into this zone, where only hooks, traps, and other fishing methods were allowed. As a result, the quality of catch increased, sensitive habitats were spared, and the fishermen began working together to try to preserve the fishery instead of working against each other to race for the most fish.
  • A transferable effort share program is a fishery management approach that sets an effort cap (or limit on the use of fishing inputs), allocates secure shares to individuals and allows trading.
  • Fisheries can cause major impacts on ecosystems, but the goal of managing them sustainably requires more and different information than we now have. The complexity of scientific monitoring, the statistical power of the monitoring design, and the benefits to consumptive and nonconsumptive uses and values all increase from information-poor to information-rich management. The most significant scientific hurdle comes with incorporation of ecosystem and environmental variability effects.
  • Territorial Use Rights for Fishing (TURFs) have been widely used in Japan and Chile. This paper, written by Cancino et al., analyzes these case studies with an economic perspective and shows the versatility of TURFs.
  • This chapter describes a protocol for using geospatial analysis tools based on the importance of eliciting and incorporating local expert knowledge and socioeconomic concerns into marine resource management decision-making processes. The GIS tool (“OceanMap”) and rapid socioeconomic protocol described in this chapter grew out of past conflicts amongst stakeholders, specifically fishermen, regarding marine protected area planning processes in California, and builds on a pilot project conducted by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Environmental Defense. Today, Environmental Defense continues to expand and improve the tool to address stakeholder needs, streamline the process of collecting and analyzing information, incorporate additional stakeholders, and accommodate other marine resource management efforts.
  • Similar to dividing a pie, a catch share program allocates a secure area or privilege to harvest a share of a fishery's total catch to an individual or group. Programs establish appropriate controls on fishing mortality and hold participants accountable. This infographic shows the key attributes and designs of catch share programs.
  • Los programas de Manejo Compartido por Cuotas son similares a dividir un pastel: a un individuo o un grupo se le asigna un área o un privilegio seguro para capturar una cantidad específica de la Captura Total Permisible de un recurso pesquero. Estos programas establecen controles adecuados sobre la mortalidad por pesca y consideran a los participantes como los responsables de respetar los controles establecidos. Esta infografía describe los atributos importantes de los programas de Manejo Compartido por Cuotas.