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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Resource Economics

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Fishing, Regulatory compliance, Enforcement, Legitimacy, Social control


This research evaluates how contextual variables such as knowledge of the rules, the perception about punishment and formal enforcement levels, perception of social control, fishers’ attitudes about legitimacy of rules, and social/economic factors, affect compliance with fisheries regulations. The analysis is carried out in Old Providence Island [OPI]. A survey of 100 fishermen was completed and data from that survey is used to econometrically estimate a model of compliance choices. Results suggest that reports on compliance change depending whether the interviewed is asked about compliance or about violation. I argue that this seemingly inconsistency, reveals an implication on methodological approach. Contrary to the main literature on compliance behavior, in this research deterrence variables were not statistically significant in the econometric estimations. This result may be because sanctions and fines are not clearly established, reflecting the existence of structural problems in enforcement activities in the island. The results indicate that fishers adjust their violation with respect to other fishers’ behavior, and the knowledge about regulations. The probability of being a violator is higher for divers, and this fact is recognized by the fishers themselves.


First Advisor

Sylvia Brandt

Second Advisor

Tom Stevens