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Measuring the value added by changes in age distribution of recreational target species Public Deposited

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  • A suite of metrics may be required to characterize ecosystem status and its resilience. Simplistic models, not accounting for the age composition complexity, can fail in predicting the impacts of anthropogenic activities and may not appropriately evaluate long-term consequences of management. Old-growth age structure is necessary for maintaining long-term sustainable population levels and age truncation may be detrimental to reproductive success of the stock. The economic consequences of the shift in the age distribution are gathering interest for some time now. However, the main focus is on the long-term economic consequences and the chain effects propagated throughout the age classes. Little attention has been devoted to the demand for fish differentiated by size. We focus our analysis on the striped bass recreational fisheries in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. We develop a Bayesian model of recreational harvest of striped bass where benefits are derived from stock size, as well as age structure. The age structure drives the probability of catching a fish of a particular size. Consequently, it captures the angler nonlinear preferences for catching a fish of considerable size, i.e., 'trophy fish'. The model accounts for benefits of managing stock for a more mature state of the ecosystem with a higher number of older and bigger fish of high interest for recreational fishermen. We derive benefits changes imposed on the striped bass recreational fishery as the recreational sector is becoming increasingly important and new management strategies may be necessary to address this shifting trend.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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