Social conventions and certification of fishery products

Keywords: Fisherman’s behavior, social convention, fishery management, certified products, and behavior rules


Fishermen’s logic is related to three aspects: profit maximization; abundance and stock situation; and social and economic expectations. They think in terms of “ideal behaviors” and, based on that, they act according to their abilities mostly with an individual rather than a collective attitude. However, when problems in fishery management stem from the analysis of resources and the configuration of markets, fishermen resort to social conventions to give coherence to their actions and emphasize agents’ coordination. Methodologically speaking, the paper analyzes the social conventions that maintain a stable regularity in fisherman behavior and that allow establishing a recurrent behavior in terms of social interactions. The purpose of the article is to collect those practices, habits, common interests, and norms that define behavior rules. Six types of social conventions are highlighted here: a) organizational (which reflect voluntary attitudes); b) representative (used as negotiation instruments); c) reclaiming (make demands when there are problems); d) commercial (reinforce differential advantages); e) certification processes (underline competitive advantage and entry barriers); and f) social conventions to defend sustainability and common goods (more emphasis on presentation rather than production). Finally, it should be noted that certified products have become political and trade negotiation tools.


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Author Biography

Fernando González-Laxe, Universidade da Coruña

Catedrático de Economía Aplicada y Director del Instituto de Estudios Marítimos. Facultad de Economía y Empresa.


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How to Cite
González-Laxe, F. (2020). Social conventions and certification of fishery products. Journal of Marine and Coastal Sciences, 12(1), 135.155.
Scientific articles

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