The Economic Consequences of Regime Shifts in Marine Ecosystems Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/conference_proceedings_or_journals/5999n806j

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  • By 1992, the Canadian cod populations collapsed and a moratorium on fishing was declared, which remains in place until today. Ecologists suspect that the marine ecosystem at the Canadian east coast has shifted towards a new regime, where cod stocks remain at a low level while other species biomass levels, especially cod prey, including forage fishes, shrimp and large crustaceans remain high. Meanwhile, the economic importance of lobster, snow crab, shrimp, caplin, halibut and other fisheries increased and represent currently the most valuable fisheries in Atlantic Canada. To study the economic consequences of the regime shift, we set up a bioeconomic model considering three species (or species groups), cod, pelagics, and shellfish. Cod preys on shellfish and pelagics but is also controlled by competition and predation by pelagic species in early live stages. We study (a) the implications for efficiency, i.e. the aggregate economic benefits derived from using the ecosystem with and without a regime shift, and (b) the distributional implications of a regime shift, i.e. the distribution of benefits for different stakeholder groups from using the ecosystem with and without a regime shift. We find that, in terms of the aggregate present value of incomes, the shift the North West Atlantic ecosystem resulted only in a small net loss for the Newfoundland region, but that the net welfare loss main have been large, given the distributional effects on different groups of fishermen.
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  • Gola, L. & M. Quaas. The Economic Consequences of Regime Shifts in Marine Ecosystems. Visible Possibilities: The Economics of Sustainable Fisheries, Aquaculture and Seafood Trade: Proceedings of the Sixteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 16-20, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Edited by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2012.
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