Many fisheries assign observers to vessels as a means of collecting stock data and monitoring regulatory compliance.
Typically, deployment is random and the level of coverage determined in an ad hoc manner. This paper explores optimal
observer coverage and the deployment of observers to vessels from an enforcement perspective. The central behavioural
assumption is that fishery violations are motivated by profit. Violations will therefore manifest themselves in a larger than
“normal” value of landings. The model employs a comparison of two distributions of landings: the first drawn from vessels
with onboard observers and the second from those without observers. Strategic deployment minimizes the cost of regulatory
noncompliance and may provide less biased stock data than a random deployment. Conditions under which the interests of
the fleet and the regulatory agency coincide are also identified, i.e., conditions for self-enforcement. The model has the potential
of being implemented with readily available data.
Furlong, W.J. and P.M. Martin. Observer Deployment in the Fishery and Regulatory Self-Enforcement. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.