Evaluating an Experimental Catch Shares Program for Gulf of Mexico Headboats: Year One Public Deposited

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  • Recreational fishing for popular species like red snapper and grouper in the Gulf of Mexico has followed a familiar pattern to that observed in many commercial fisheries: fishing under regulated open access has promoted a “race to the fish” with cascades of shorter seasons, shrinking bag limits, and significant fishery discards. These restrictions may have significant effects on angler welfare – misallocating fish from those with high valuations to those able to fish during the “derby” – and have also made it difficult for vessel owners in the for-hire recreational fishery (e.g., charter and headboats) to sustain viable, year-round businesses. In this atmosphere, Environmental Defense Fund has worked with an affiliation of headboat operators, the Gulf Headboat Collaborative (GHC), to obtain an experimental fishing permit (EFP) from NOAA Fisheries to pilot a headboat catch share (effectively a cooperative) program. Operating under strict catch limits and electronic data reporting requirements, this EFP authorizes up to 20 headboat operators to fish for a limited allocation of red snapper and gag grouper when it is best for their businesses and safest for their customers, instead of being constrained by short and unpredictable season openings. This talk synthesizes data from headboat logbooks (for both GHC and non-GHC vessels) and surveys of headboat owners and passengers to examine the performance of this policy experiment after its first year. Wherever possible we draw upon program evaluation methods to rigorously analyze the effects of the program on number and distribution of fishing trips, revenues and profits of GHC participants.
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  • Abbott, Joshua K. and Daniel Willard. 2015. Evaluating an Experimental Catch Shares Program for Gulf of Mexico Headboats: Year One. In: Proceedings of the Eighth Biennial Forum of the North American Association of Fisheries Economists, May 20-22, 2015, Ketchikan, Alaska: Economic Sustainability, Fishing Communities and Working Waterfronts. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver and Melissa Errend. North American Association of Fisheries Economists, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2015.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2015-11-02T17:03:47Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Abbott 75 NAAFE 2015.pdf: 1274020 bytes, checksum: 794b594b74d606fb682ae841cd311370 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2015-05
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Melissa Errend (melissa.errend@gmail.com) on 2015-11-02T16:55:16Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Abbott 75 NAAFE 2015.pdf: 1274020 bytes, checksum: 794b594b74d606fb682ae841cd311370 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Susan Gilmont(susan.gilmont@orst.edu) on 2015-11-02T17:03:47Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Abbott 75 NAAFE 2015.pdf: 1274020 bytes, checksum: 794b594b74d606fb682ae841cd311370 (MD5)

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