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.
Suggested Bibliographic Reference: 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.
The success of fishery management ultimately depends on the approach of implementation. Past fishery management has relied largely on technical regulations. Examples for such command-and-control measures include detailed gear prescriptions, restrictions on the days-at-sea spent fishing and vessel capacity, and minimum landing sizes. Resource economists have argued in favor of incentive-based approaches, such as individual transferable quota (ITQ) systems and harvesting fees. For a fishery with multiple ecological and economic interactions, neither of the two approaches can assure a first-best solution in general. A central question thus is, which of the two approaches is more effective and efficient with respect to the objectives of ecosystem-based management. Here, we focus on intra-specific ecological and technical interactions which arise within an age-structured fishery. We use an age-structured ecological-economic optimization model of the Eastern Baltic cod fishery to quantify and analyze the effects of gear regulations and total allowable catches, as they have been applied since the mid 1980s, as well as alternative, incentive-based systems, i.e. tradable quotas. We find that gear restrictions have not been effective and that the gradual increase of mesh sizes may even have been detrimental, as total allowable catches have been set as ineffectively high levels. Setting total allowable catches at sufficiently restrictive levels could have achieved an efficient outcome. Tradable quotas in terms of numbers of fish would achieve a similarly effective outcome in ecological terms, and would be economically preferable, because no technical restrictions are needed. We discuss possibilities to extend our results to multi-species fisheries.