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Interactions Between Climate Change and Fisheries Management in the Mid-Atlantic Bight (USA)

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  • The Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) encompasses coastal waters from North Carolina to Massachusetts and is home to many important fisheries. Two features make this region uniquely suited to study how institutions and climate change may interact to affect fishery outcomes. First, since the 1960s, the MAB has been warming at approximately twice the global rate, and a northward movement of many species is correlated with this warming. Second, fisheries in the MAB are prosecuted by fleets from eight or more jurisdictions, requiring negotiations that often result in state-level allotments that are difficult to adjust in response to changing resource availability. To examine the interactions between warming and institutions, we examine the valuable commercial fluke fishery (Summer flounder), which have shifted 200km north over the last 40 years. Commercial fleets have responded, with southern fleets in particular traveling much further and returning home to land, as per rules establishing how quota is utilized. The inability to transfer quota between states has likely led to efficiency losses, a hypothesis we test by exploiting a comprehensive dataset of vessel-level harvests between 1997-2013, coupled with a dataset developed as part of a larger project depicting the spatial availability of legal-sized fish. We estimate trip-level costs, and parse the degree to which biomass shifts have contributed to fishing location choice. This work builds on efforts to identify efficiency losses associated with non-efficiency management objectives (e.g., vessel size restrictions to limit consolidation), and provides insight into the manner in which climate change impacts are mediated by institutions.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 0976343290



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