Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Economic evaluation of projects and policies affecting anadromous fish : a simulation approach Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/jh343w409

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  • Anadromous fish populations in the Pacific Northwest have undergone substantial change throughout the past century. Historical periods of over-harvest and the construction of numerous dams throughout the region have contributed to declines in the runs of naturally spawning stocks. Management efforts to rebuild fish populations have focused on the restriction of harvest activities and the release of hatchery-reared salmon. A microcomputer simulation model is developed to estimate the economic impacts of management alternatives. In it, fish are passed throughout a network of nodes, according to parameters governing mortality and harvest. These parameters, and the node structure itself, are provided to the model by a user-specified input file. As a result, the model affords flexibility in meeting the modeling needs of differing salmonid stocks. The model's economic assessment capabilities are demonstrated through a case study of Rogue River spring chinook. Results of this exercise include estimates for the impacts of dam construction, hatchery releases, and changes in ocean and river harvest policies on the social value derived from harvest activities. The research also examines the redistribution of economic benefits associated with these policies. The impact of a recently constructed dam upon spring chinook fishermen is estimated at a loss of more than $10,600,000 over thirty years, given no hatchery supplementation. Current hatchery programs have mitigated the loss to fishermen, but whether they also offset their operating costs depends upon the particular harvest values employed. The value of providing an additional wild spawner to the basin is estimated to be roughly $300. Examination of various harvest alternatives indicates that restrictions placed on the commercial ocean fishery would be more successful in increasing the present value of harvests than would similar restrictions in the sport fishery. An important factor in this outcome is the higher value attributed to sport catch by currently accepted methods of valuation. Suggestions are made for improvements to the simulation model and the availability of information for use with it. Foremost among these is the need for improved specification of the marginal social value derived from salmon harvested in commercial and recreational fisheries.
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