Agnes David Yeeting

AgnesName: Agnes David Yeeting

School: Marines Studies

Faculty: FSTE

Degree of Enrollment: PhD

Research Area: Fisheries (Tuna) – State and Private (Market and NGOs) Governance Arrangements.

Supervisor: Vina Ram-Bidesi

Current Research Summary: This PhD research is using a New Institutional Economics (NIEs) approach to integrate approaches from economics, law and social and political sciences to understand and examine the political dynamics of participating agents and parties in the tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific. Recognising the dynamic and different interests that continue to influence decisions in fisheries policy, the research focuses on how cooperation between agents (i.e countries, fishers and industries) could improve the sustainability of the tuna stock while contributing to regional economic benefits. I will specifically focus on the innovations of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) for the management of purse seine fishing using the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification as case studies. VDS is a state based approach adopted by PNA members to limit purse seine fishing effort using limited fishing days, that aims to improve sustainability of the stock and at the same time improve economic benefits of its members. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of free school complements the VDS by certifying non-FAD (Fish Aggregated Devices) catches and provides a price premium on MSC eco-labelled tuna products. It is a market based approach adopted through public and private partnership between PNA and ‘Pacifical’ (Private Company). The aim is to reward and encourage sustainable fishing practices (i.e fishing without FADs), through the market.

My first paper analysed the “Implications of new economic policy instruments on tuna management in the western and central pacific” is out in Marine Policy. The paper examines the design and implementation of new economic policy instruments through the lens of New Institutional Economics. My next papers will be using a game theoretical concept to examine the stability of PNA coalition using VDS as a case, and stability of state and fisher cooperation using MSC certification as a case. More insights are set to come with our continued research on the effect of these instruments on cooperation between states, and cooperation between states and private (fishers and industries) in the Western and Central Pacific.

Testimonial- Graduate Assistant Scholarship Scheme:

This research is conducted in collaboration with Wageningen University under the BESTTuna program funded by INREF, and the Graduate Assistant Scholarship Scheme of USP. I am honoured to be part of the GA program for 2 years in 2013 to 2015 which enables me to conduct my field research while based in USP. A PhD research is a challenging, but interesting journey with a lots of learning experiences. But, thanks to my daily Supervisor for the help and guidance, together with the support of the research office which have helped me in overcoming my research challenges. I would also like to commend on the work of the research office in organising a number of career related competence workshops, which have helped me in many ways to move forward with my work either through professional guidance and support from fellow colleagues. I look forward to continue this journey with the continued professional support of the GA program.