Arias Schreiber, Milena (2012) The evolution of legal instruments and the sustainability of the Peruvian anchovy fishery. Marine Policy, 36 (1). pp. 78-89. DOI

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Landings statistics of the Peruvian anchovy fishery show that the fishery went through a phase of explosive and uncontrolled growth from its establishment in the mid-fifties until its collapse in 1972. After the collapse, a second phase from 1973 to 1984 was characterized by unfavorable warm ocean conditions and low catches. A third phase, from 1984 to the present, with propitious ocean-environmental conditions and modern governance, can be further divided into a controlled growth period (1985–1994) and a sustainable landings' period (1995 to present). The most recent period of the third phase has enabled the fishery to maintain its catches and be labeled as one of the most sustainable fisheries worldwide. This article highlights the evolution of the legal system that provides for the current sustainable landings and governance of this fishery. Results show that General Fisheries Acts were enacted independently of failures to sustain anchovy landings. The three Peruvian Fisheries Acts were a reflection of broader national socio-political changes and were enacted mainly to define the role of the state and private investment and to delimit foreign involvement in the fishery industry. By contrast, the enactment of secondary legislation to control quotas and fishing seasons increased as the fishery moved towards stable landings. During this phase, enacted secondary legislation showed also a clear peak during strong positive sea surface anomalies driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) 1997–1998, providing evidence of rapid adaptive management. The role of Fisheries Acts in defining access rights at the national level from a multilevel governance approach is discussed and further key elements that contributed to the transition towards sustainability are suggested.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Social-Ecological Systems Analysis
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.:
ISSN: 0308597X
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 15:36
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 13:00

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