|Abstract or Summary
- The vaquita, a critically endangered marine mammal, is a bycatch to shrimp strawl and gillnet fisheries in the upper Gulf of California. Reducing vaquita bycatch, however, is complex. The fisheries are smaller-scale and major contributors of income and employment to coastal communities. Although tourism is increasingly important, fishing remains an important contributor to income and employment. Considerable effort toward bycatch reduction has helped slow the decline of vaquita, but the population nonetheless has declined to an alarmingly small population. Bycatch conservation and management can proceed by direct regulation, incentive-based regulation, or intrinsic motivation. Bycatch reduction can be addressed at the vessel level, at firms in the supply chain through standards and certification, and at consumer markets through eco-labels and information programs. Incentive-based approaches, recognizing that bycatch is more than a technological and biological problem, address vessel bycatch through altering fisher behavior and decision-making. Both direct and incentive-based regulation also address the insufficient and asymmetric information held by vessels, firms in the supply chain, and consumers. This submission addresses vaquita bycatch through potential application of specific incentive-based policy instruments at the vessel level -- the bycatch externality, and insufficient and asymmetric information – the information externality.