Cooperative research, the active participation of industry in scientific research, is receiving increased attention as
an alternative to traditional government-sponsored methods. Its strongest attributes are its potential to improve spatial and
temporal collection of fishery data while reducing some research costs. Despite these potential benefits, there are obstacles to
adopting cooperative research on a large scale including concerns about biased data, continuity with current data regimes, and
the motivations of the participants. Acknowledging these limitations, this research examines the factors that influence
industry's willingness to participate in cooperative research with fishery scientists. During summer 1998, scientists and
fishermen in the U.S. West Coast groundfish fishery participated in a mail survey that asked respondents to assess several
potential cooperative research projects on the basis of their perceived costs and benefits. Scientists and fishermen differed
most strongly on “observer programs” and “interviewing fishermen to gather qualitative data.” The survey also included
hypothetical scenarios where fishing vessels would be chartered for research. Fishermen assigned a "desirability" score and
"willingness to supply" their vessel for research as a function of varying levels of compensation, days at sea, consultation into
the design and conduct of the research, and other factors. Based on a utility of profit supply model, results were analyzed
using ordinary least squares. Compensation and skipper consultation had the largest effect on the charter's desirability and
respondents' willingness to supply. Age, education, and gear type also significantly affected fishermen's willingness to
participate in the charters. These results suggest significant problems in the manner in which scientists and industry relate.
Addressing these problems will require developing institutions with appropriate incentives that emphasize "win-win"
scenarios for both groups.
Harms, J. and G. Sylvia. The Economics of Cooperative Fishery Research: A Survey of U.S. West Coast Groundfish Industry and Scientists. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.