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Economic Approach to Fisheries Management and Allocation With Short Run Diminishing Stocks

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  • In the standard economic approach to optimal allocation, aggregate economic benefit is maximised where the sustainable harvest is allocated so that marginal net benefits are equal. The model assumes a known sustainable harvest. It also assumes optimal intrasectoral allocation in each sector. The Western Australian West Coast demersal fishery, like many fisheries, is based on a common fish stock exploited by both commercial and recreational fishers. A multispecies fishery, it includes prize species such as dhufish and pink snapper that are iconic for recreational fishers and highly regarded commercial table fish. Recent stock assessments have concluded that stocks are under threat and significant restrictions have been placed on both commercial and recreational fishers. The management framework must now deal simultaneously with reducing aggregate harvests and achieving optimal allocation. This paper applies the economic model of optimal allocation to establish a benchmark allocation for the iconic species baldchin groper, pink snapper and dhufish, using survey based estimates of the marginal economic surplus from commercial and recreational fishing. Current restrictions are evaluated against this benchmark economic optimum to determine how well they align with the model and what adjustments might be appropriate. Empirical lessons based on data collected from commercial and recreational fishers in the fishery are used to also consider whether the basic economic model of allocation is itself in need of refinement to deal with the current circumstances, in particular the changes in recreational fishing behaviour that might involve switching effort to the less constrained non iconic species.
  • Keywords: Fisheries Economics, Fishery Management, Special Topics, Valuing Recreational Fisheries and Modelling Human Responses to Changes in their Management Regimes
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  • Lindner, Robert, Seamus McElroy and Paul McLeod. 2010. Economic Approach to Fisheries Management and Allocation With Short Run Diminishing Stocks. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 13-16, 2010, Montpellier, France: Economics of Fish Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems: Balancing Uses, Balancing Costs. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2010.
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  • US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Division, Agence Française de Développement, Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, Ministère de L’Alimentation de L’Agriculture et de la Pêche, Ministère de l’Énergie, du Développement Durable et de la Mer, La Région Languedoc Rouslilon, Département Hérault, Montpellier Agglomèration, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, and AquaFish Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP).



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