I travelled and worked in international fisheries policy for 7 months in preparation for this thesis. During this time I completed one internship in Rome, Italy with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO) and another internship on the island of Pohnpei with the Secretariat of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). From these experiences, I selected the subject of this thesis. My thesis analyzes the management system for South Pacific albacore tuna, the source stock for brands like "Chicken of the Sea" and "Starkist". South Pacific albacore tuna pass through international waters and the waters of several Pacific Island countries and territories, necessitating States to cooperate and coordinate to sustain the future viability of the stock. A case study for transboundary natural resource management, I discuss the institutional complexity that arises from managing such a resource. I use common-pool resource (CPR) theory to describe this complexity, which frames natural resource management as a collective-action problem among resource users. I first conceptualize the management system as having multiple institutional scales and multiple levels of organization. Then, employing Ostrom's 8 design principles for successful CPR management, I conduct a multi-institution analysis of the international, regional, and subregional institutions that participate in the management system. Finally, I also conduct a cross-institution analysis by examining the interactions between these institutions. I find that significant space for theoretical development exists in CPR theory for understanding complex management systems for transboundary natural resources. Furthermore, I find that interactions between institutions create linkages that could be retooled to improve the performance of the South Pacific albacore tuna management system.
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