Assessing the Effectiveness of a Voluntary Bycatch Avoidance Program: Sea State Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/conference_proceedings_or_journals/js956g72x

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  • Bycatch of non-targeted species in marine fisheries has become a major policy issue in fisheries management over recent years. One approach to curbing the bycatch problem is the voluntary sharing of detailed spatiotemporal information between vessels as an aide in individual bycatch avoidance as well as a tool to lower the transaction cots of endogenous collective action. In this paper we evaluate such a program in the North Pacific flatfish fishery in which a small number of vessels produce bycatch of two regulatory discard species: red king crab and Pacific halibut. The quantity of bycatch available to the fleet is allocated on a common property basis for each species and are enforced in the associated target fisheries face by severe curtailment or closure. We utilize detailed observer data from before and after the establishment of the voluntary bycatch avoidance program to assess its effectiveness both in terms of bycatch rates and the underlying incentives of participating and non-participating fishermen. We employ a number of structural and reduced form econometric modeling approaches and ultimately find substantial differences in the performance of the voluntary bycatch avoidance programs for the two bycatch species. Reasons for the poor avoidance of halibut relative to crab are considered with factors such as geographic concentration, the horizon of cooperation and the disparate biology of the two species playing a key role.
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  • Abbott, Josh and James Wilen. 2008. Assessing the Effectiveness of a Voluntary Bycatch Avoidance Program: Sea State. 23 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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