Seminario CEDE - Jorge Luis Montero
The global health crisis has disrupted economic activities and posed significant challenges to fisheries management and enforcement. In this paper, I examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on property rights in the context of unauthorized fishing activity. This study investigates to what extent the pandemic has led to an increase in unauthorized fishing, potentially undermining existing property rights systems. To do so, I compile a comprehensive database with weekly, country-level fishing effort data for 146 countries before and after the COVID-19 lockdowns and international fishing access agreements data. I employ a combination of Regression Discontinuity Design and Differences in Differences approaches to shed light on the consequences of the pandemic for marine resource governance. The findings indicate that the implementation of restrictions resulted in a decrease in overall fishing efforts; however, unauthorized fishing activity increased. These results are robust to various model specifications and robustness checks. This paper offers valuable insights for policymakers and stakeholders aiming to protect and strengthen property rights in the face of unforeseen disruptions.