Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, held July 11-15, 2016 at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center (AECC), Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
Suggested Bibliographic Reference: Challenging New Frontiers in the Global Seafood Sector: Proceedings of the Eighteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 11-15, 2016. Compiled by Stefani J. Evers and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2016.
This paper studies whether and under what circumstances, individual fishing decisions in aggregate match the maximum economic yield (MEY) or maximum sustainable yield (MSY) of a fishery. Under experimental economic conditions we provided participants a fleet of boats with a constant marginal cost and a non-linear revenue function. We explore the impact of differences in fishery composition and the impact changes in marginal cost had on their fishing decisions. These compositions include a single fisher in the fishery, multiple fishers in the fishery and multiple fishers in the fishery with a changing marginal cost of fishing. We found that fishing rates of single fisheries trended towards MEY over time. In fisheries with multiple fishers the relativity of the marginal cost was a significant determinant of whether they fished at MEY or not. When the marginal cost was such they could earn more by not coordinating, given others did, they fished beyond the fleet’s MEY but below MSY. When the marginal cost was such that reneging from group coordination was not beneficial, fishers converged in aggregate to the fleet’s MEY over time. While these are experimental findings, the results suggest that we need to look deeper into the interaction of individual and group cost functions and the incentives they create when designing fishery specific management plans aimed at achieving MEY or MSY objectives.