Compliance and fisheries co-management: an investigation of a novel fisheries management regime in Lake Malawi

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Epstein, Graham
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the factors that contribute to compliance with management regulations for a common pool resource in the context of collective action management. Bounded rationality and previously observed behavioural heuristics were used throughout this report to explain and understand human behaviour. An analytical framework was constructed from the literature identifying preconditions, legitimacy, and enforcement as the principal determinants of compliance. Research focused on a case study of co-management in Ngala, Malawi. Data was collected from key informants, the local community and office holders from user management institutions using surveys, semi-structured and structured interviews, as well as casual observation. The study results pare down the number of necessary preconditions for collective action success to a perception of crisis, and an opportunity for user involvement in the management process. The research also shows that some compliance can be achieved independent of enforcement due to management legitimacy built within the community of resource users. Recommendations are provided for theory, practice and the specific case that was investigated.

compliance, management regulations, resources, collective action management, bounded rationality, behavioural heuristics, human behaviour, Ngala, Malawi, fisheries