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How do gear, participation, and dealer selection decisions relate to value? A price analysis of the U.S. West Coast Sablefish Public Deposited

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  • Sablefish is a commercially important species with catch allocated across multiple sectors and gear types on the U.S. West Coast. A flexibility provision in the West Coast Groundfish Trawl Catch Share Program sanctions those with trawl permits to target Sablefish with fixed gear, such as longlines or pots, allowing the total effort by gear-type to be partially determined by market forces. Sablefish prices vary depending on the characteristics of landings and had an interquartile range of $1.58 from 2011-2016. To decipher the dynamics that influence participation choices and gear-switching it is important to understand the characteristics of landings that explain variation in ex-vessel prices. Using a linear mixed model with dealer and vessel-specific random effects, this research explores the influences of gear, grade (size), condition, fishing sector, port group, landing month and year on price per round pound of Sablefish. A second linear mixed model uses weighted average price per trip that incorporates the size-composition of trip landings into the explained variable, to look for possible evidence of high-grading in sectors outside of the Catch Share program. During this presentation the results of these regressions and the role of species composition of catch in the context of the DTS trawl fishery are discussed. Preliminary results will also be shared that utilize the Economic Data Collection Program’s information from first receivers and shorebased processors to explore price as it relates to more detailed dealer characteristics.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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