The debate in commercial fishery management has evolved from whether well-defined rights are necessary for sustainability to measuring the impacts of different rights-based system designs. Most assessments are on developed world fisheries. Using a unique collection of datasets, we develop counterfactuals to evaluate the economic impacts of the Chilean jack mackerel catch share program. We investigate vessel and trip characteristics, as well as trip costs and revenues, before and after the implementation of the program. We find an increase in higher value products and associated revenue, as well as consolidation of catch on larger vessels, vessels taking longer trips, and those catching more per trip. Overall, we estimate that the program led to a measureable increase in fishing profits, mainly due to movement toward higher-value products. A back-of-the-envelope calculation results in an implied annual quota rental rate on the order of approximately 15–19% of ex-vessel prices.
JEL Code: Q22.