The Barents Sea cod fishery is the single most important fisheries for Norway, both commercially and in terms of maintaining viable communities along the coast. Since 1976, these fisheries have been managed bilaterally by Norway and the Soviet Union/Russi an Federation through the Joint Norwegian-Soviet/Russian Fisheries Commission. While generally considered to be an example of successful international collaboration, the management regime has met new challenges since the late 1990s: massive overfishing by Russian vessels, difficulties for Norwegian research vessels in getting access to the Russian economic zone, a tougher stance by the Russians in the Fishery Protection Zone around Svalbard, and pressure from the Russian side to set quotas far above preca utionary reference points. Two of the most topical questions, as seen from the Norwegian side, are the following:
- How do we make fishermen comply with regulations?
- How do we make the Russian party comply with its international obligations, includin g those concluded at the bilateral level with Norway?
These questions resonate with social science theories on compliance at two levels: individuals' compliance with regulations and states' compliance with their international commitments. While tradition al perspectives view enforcement and other coercive measures as most important in bringing about compliance, critics emphasise the potential of various discursive measures, e.g. bargaining about compliance with target groups after a rule has been adopted (at the individual level) or a treaty concluded (at international level). While as yet largely unstudied, Norwegian authorities apply a range of discursive measures, or post-agreement bargaining, in their efforts to bring about compliance at individual an d state level in the Barents Sea fisheries. The project will study the effects of these efforts and make the findings relevant for adjacent (law) and more distand (fish biology) fields of study.