The commercial geoduck (Panopea abrupta) fishery in British Columbia, Canada - an operational perspective of a limited entry fishery with individual quotas.
This paper presents the benefits and costs of geoduck clam (Panopea abrupta) management in British Columbia, Canada, after the Fisheries and Ocean Canada Department provided licence holders with 'rights of access'. The benefits have been in cost-recovery, advances in knowledge, manageability and control of the fishery and public health and safety. The costs have been increases in poaching, and high-grading due to the high value of the product, a reduction in fishery employment and the high cost of entry into the fishery. It is concluded that the future of the commercial geoduck fishery appears to be promising despite several uncertainties. The understanding of the resource has improved substantially. It allows a degree of comfort about both the sustainability of the fishery and cooperation between managers and the commercial industry. A more formal co-management agreement is recommended by both the industry and the government for the development of fishing industry.