The Artisanal Hilsa Fishery: economically Efficient Fisheries Policy Public Deposited

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  • The hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha) fishery is by far the largest single species fishery in Bangladesh. In this paper, a simple bio-economic year-class based model is developed to describe the fishery and examine its properties. With the help of this model, the optimum sustainable yield of the fishery is calculated and compared to the existing situation. The model is further used to locate socially and economically reasonably dynamic paths from the current situation to the optimal one. The results indicate that the fishing effort (measured in standardized boat units) required maintaining maximum sustainable economic benefits are about one-third of the current fishing effort. At this sustainable fishing effort level, annual net economic benefits from the fishery amount to about US$ 260 million according to my calculations compared to virtually nothing today. The present value of the fishery along a moderate effort adjustment path to this long term equilibrium position is US$ 3,650 million at 6% rate of discount. The dynamic path that maximizes the present value of the fishery involves quite dramatic effort reductions for the first two years. Such a path would increase the present value of the fishery by perhaps 8-10%.
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  • Mome, Masud Ara and Ragnar Arnason. 2008. The Artisanal Hilsa Fishery: economically Efficient Fisheries Policy. 12 pages. In: Proceedings of the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 22-25, 2008, Nha Trang, Vietnam: Achieving a Sustainable Future: Managing Aquaculture, Fishing, Trade and Development. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2008.
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