The revenues of the blue crab fishery might be saved through the use of ITEs, individual transferable fishing effort. An ITE program could be implemented alone upon the blue crab fishery or coupled with a limited entry scheme. The ITE limits the number of participants in the fishery but allows a great economic asset to the watermen. Under an ITE, watermen are allocated certain restrictions upon fishing times and gear usage. The watermen though are, under the ITE, allowed to barter, rent, trade or even sell their ITEs to other waterman in the Chesapeake Bay after the initial allocation. Therefore, an ITE program allows the fishing effort to be restricted while granting the waterman the freedom to strive for individual economic efficiency. Like all fishery programs, the ITE approach faces obstacles of implementation in the Chesapeake Bay. The ITE encounters the same glitches of lack of accurate information on fishing mortality, monitoring costs and enforcement costs. ITEs are not the only controlled-access strategies. Similar possible solutions exist in the form of ITQs.(Kirkley 1994)
ITQs, individual transferable quotas, are another controlled-access approach towards economic management of fisheries. The ITQ places the waterman, like the ITE, with a notion of ownership. The ITQ places the waterman in charge of a quota which they are free to do with as they please. This allows the waterman to make the economic decisions which will optimize his/her individual situation. The ITQ might have more prevalent biological effects than economic. The ITQ is not without its short-comings and may prove to be ineffective in the blue crab industry.(Kirkely 1994)
The scheme, whether ITQ, limited access, or ITE, should be one that aims to maximize economic opportunities, while also maximizing net economic benefits of the commonwealth. Economic growth strategies need to walk hand-in-hand with resource management as to allow a long-run economic equilibrium. All of the schemes for economic maintenance written about are worthless with no resource management. The blue crab fishery could be assumed to be over-capitalized and over-fished right now. If this is true the economics of the Chesapeake Bay fisheries are irrelevant because no future exists. Although the economic repercussions of a mass employment loss to watermen in the Chesapeake might seem drastic in the economic short-run, such a lay-off might be the best alternative for the blue crabbing waterman in their economic long run.