Impact of Enforcement and Co-Management on Compliance Behavior of Fishermen

  •  Jamal Ali    
  •  Hussin Abdullah    


The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors believed to affect  compliance behavior with regard to the zoning regulation of 284 Peninsular Malaysian fishermen. Frequent violation of regulations will have an impact on the demand for protection, and therefore lead to greater expenditure on law enforcement. The theoretical models of compliance behavior tested include the basic deterrent model, which focuses on the certainty and severity of penalty as a key determinant  of compliance, and models which integrate economic theory with theories of social psychology to account for legitimacy, deterrence and other motivations expected to influence an individuals’ decisions on whether to comply. Policy makers who want to improve compliance face two choices: the first choice is whether to focus only on building staff capacity to detect and correct non-compliance; and the second choice is a combination of the strategies in building staff capacity and at the same time building commitment among fishermen so that they will comply with the regulations.  The results of the empirical analysis provide evidence of the relationship between co-management strategies on the one hand, and types of fishermen on the other. These findings imply that co-management activities should be strengthened to complement the deterrent strategies in the management of fishery resources in Peninsular Malaysia.

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