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Managing fisheries without restricting catch or effort : the use of marine reserves for inshore fisheries

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  • Although widely accepted, management systems that directly restrict catch or effort are neither efficient nor desirable for many fisheries, and have failed to conserve fishery stocks in many cases. Fisheries scientists have suggested that closing part of the fishery with marine reserves may sustain or increase harvest. These marine reserves act as natural hatcheries and nurseries in which reproduction and growth are not impeded, and supplement the surrounding fishery. Empirical studies of marine reserves have focused on the conservation benefits only inside the reserves. I develop a dynamic model and numerical simulation of a fishery for which a marine reserve is introduced. Net present value of fish harvests are maximized as a function of reserve size with total effort assumed constant. Unlike previous models, the time path of harvests and fish stocks prior to reaching a new steady-state is determined. This is important because the full impact of the reserve may not be realized for several years. The model suggests that reserves may increase the net present value of the fishery when total effort is high and can not be regulated directly. Higher discount rates reduce the optimal size of reserves.
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  • Holland, Daniel S. 1996. Managing fisheries without restricting catch or effort : the use of marine reserves for inshore fisheries. In: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 1-4, 1996, Marrakech, Morocco. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2002. CD ROM
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