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A Fractional Licensing Program for Fisheries

By Ralph E. Townsend


An alternative fisheries management program, the issuance of "fractional licenses," is proposed. Management would establish a target number of licenses and determine separately how many fishers qualified for participation. Management would then issue some fraction of a license to each qualifier, such that the product of the fraction times the number of qualifiers equals the target number of licenses. To fish, a fisher would have to acquire fractions totalling 100 percent. The fractional license approach permits a clearer separation of the decisions on the total level of fishing effort and the decisions on who receives fishing rights.

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