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Is size-dependent pricing prevalent in fisheries? The case of Norwegian demersal and pelagic fisheries

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  • It is commonly acknowledged that body weight of fish is a key factor in determining market value of landed catch, thus influencing optimal harvest strategies. However, in management strategy evaluations and bioeconomic modelling, body size is often an overlooked economic parameter, and there are no systematic studies on the prevalence of size-dependent pricing. In our study we assessed the presence and magnitude of size-dependent pricing in ex-vessel prices of fish in Norwegian fisheries. The data encompass landings of four pelagic and four demersal stocks in Norway in 2000-2010. Linear mixed models and generalized additive models were used to determine the dependence of unit price on weight class as well as on total yield and time (year). The results show a significant positive relationship between weight class and price for seven out of the eight examined fish stocks. The relative effect of body weight on price was the strongest for cod,Greenland halibut, Norwegian spring-spawning herring and mackerel, lesser for North Sea herring and saithe, and negligible for horse mackerel. These findings demonstrate that size-dependent pricing is common in Norwegian fisheries and might be also widespread internationally. To incorporate such price structures and thus the real valuation of biological attributes like fish size in management strategies could therefore contribute to improved economic performance and sustainability of fisheries.
  • Keywords: Markets: Preferences and Prices, Markets and Trade, Fisheries Economics
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  • Zimmerman, Fabian. 2014. Is size-dependent pricing prevalent in fisheries? The case of Norwegian demersal and pelagic fisheries. In: Towards ecosystem based management of fisheries: what role can economics play?: Proceedings of the Seventeenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 7-11, 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Complied by Ann L. Shriver & Melissa Errend. Corvallis, OR: International Institute of Fisheries.
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  • Fisheries Research & Development Corporation, World Wildlife Fund, MG Kailis Group, AquaFish Innovation Lab, NOAA Fisheries, The European Association of Fisheries Economists, Japan International Fisheries Research Society, United Nations University, NORAD



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