Market Interactions between Aquaculture and Common-Property Fisheries: Examining the Empirical Evidence from the Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Fishery in Alaska Public Deposited

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  • The impressive growth of world aquaculture has led to profound transformations in the economic structure of several capture fisheries. Evidence from the Alaska salmon fisheries supports this argument as a connection has been suggested between the recent trends of declining ex-vessel prices and the rapid development of salmon farming elsewhere in the world. In Bristol Bay, home of the largest sockeye salmon runs in the globe, participation in the limited-entry fishery has declined by approximately 20% since 2001. Likewise, permit market values have plummeted to historic low levels, with economic conditions not likely to improve significantly in the mid-term future. To examine this problem, we develop a formal analytical framework for the study of market interactions between a limited-entry fishery and an aquaculture sector. We adapt the model of regulated open-access developed by Homans and Wilen to examine the implications of aquaculture development on the actions of fishermen and the regulatory sector in a restricted-access setting. Results indicate that the emergence of a low-cost aquaculture sector brings about important structural changes in the restricted-access fishery, rendering limited-entry regulations irrelevant as participation rates decline due to the falling prices. An important implication is that, despite the limited-entry constraint, the fishery moves to an institutional arrangement closer to regulated open access, with resource rents drastically reduced. Model predictions are compared with the empirical evidence available from the Bristol Bay sockeye fishery. The advantages of cooperative management relative to the current competitive structure of the fishery are highlighted.
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  • Valderrama, Diego and James Anderson. 2008. Market Interactions between Aquaculture and Common-Property Fisheries: Examining the Empirical Evidence from the Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Fishery in Alaska. 12 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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