Osterblom, H. and Sumaila, U.R. (2011). Toothfish crises, actor diversity and the emergence of compliance mechanisms in the Southern Ocean. Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions 21(3), 972-982.

Abstract: Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is a challenging form of non-compliance in many marine ecosystems. IUU fishing has attracted substantial political attention in the Southern Ocean, where a series of crises created windows of opportunity for change. A crises-response framework was used for examining these dynamics between 1995 and 2009. Crises were defined in relation to their perceived threat, decision time and surprise. Published material was combined with the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLRs) expert interviews, to evaluate changing perceptions of IUU fishing and corresponding actions. A first crisis led to an increased use of informal shortcuts and a concentration of power. A second crisis created windows of opportunities for policy entrepreneurs and stimulated policy innovation. A third crisis led to the implementation of existing contingency plans. These responses were consistent with predictions from the crisis-response framework used. The series of crises threatened the credibility of CCAMLR and changed the incentives for engaging in coalitions, which led to the development of both management and enforcement approaches to compliance. State and non-state actors became increasingly involved in developing these diverse compliance mechanisms, thereby actively contributing to the adaptive capacity of CCAMLR. Synergies between fisheries industry, environmental conservation, and state sovereignty interests were effectively utilized. Individual actors, organizations and countries providing leadership had strong incentives for doing so. Trust and reputation was important for the compliance mechanisms leading to a substantial reduction of IUU fishing.