Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Multi-fishery activity in Oregon commercial fishing fleets : an economic analysis of short-run decision-making behavior Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/r494vn75t

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  • Growing demand for limited quantities of fish has led to systematic planning for the conservation and management of U.S. fishery resources. There is a need for better understanding of the complex biological and social environment on which regulation for conservation, social, and economic purposes is imposed. The behavior of commercial fishermen, who in many instances use multi-purpose vessels to exploit multi-species fisheries, is difficult to assess and predict. The purpose of this thesis is to describe and analyze selected aspects of Oregon commercial fishing fleets. The focus of this study is on the short-run decision-making behavior of Oregon trawl fishermen for the period 1974-1979. A general review of the activities of Oregon's multi-purpose fishing fleets is followed by an attempt to measure the responses of trawl vessel operators to varying economic and biological conditions. Several models of the short-run allocation of fishing time by a multi-purpose vessel operator are developed. The limited amount of economic literature on multi-purpose fleet behavior is briefly reviewed. An important feature not explicitly recognized in the theoretical models is that fishermen operate in an uncertain environment. Fishermen are hypothesized to react to expectations about economic returns in the fisheries which they can exploit. Simple Nerlovian agricultural supply response models were adapted for statistical analysis of the allocation of fishing time. Fishermen's short-run behavior was hypothesized to depend on expectations of current rather than normal returns to fishing time. Four versions of models which explain allocation of fishing time for a stable subfleet of trawl vessels were estimated using ordinary least squares regression. Monthly days of fishing by fishery were significantly explained by variables representing expected gross revenues per unit of effort, weather conditions and seasonal regulations. The analysis also indicates that fishermen are able to respond rapidly to perceived variations in gross returns. In the shrimp and crab fisheries, elasticities of days fished with respect to expected gross returns were estimated to be in the range of 0.45 to 0.40. Regulatory implications are that: (1) fisheries managers need to monitor the effects of regulation with little delay and (2) the use of taxes and subsidies to shift significant amounts of effort among fisheries is not likely to be successful. Additional research effort could profitably be spent to refine measurement of the explanatory variables, or to measure the response of individual fishermen to suitable explanatory variables.
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