- The relationship between intrinsic fish quality (fish condition before handling),
production efficiency, product price, and the optimal management of commercial "wild"
fisheries was explored in four companion papers. The optimal management plan-consisting
of quotas and harvest schedules - would maximize the discounted net industry
revenues (NPV) given a minimum biomass level.
The first paper used information on biological changes in Pacific whiting and
corresponding production yields to model a vertically integrated fishery from harvest
through processing. The seasonal, nonlinear, bioeconomic programming model
incorporated stock dynamics with the interactive economic effects of intrinsic fish
quality, the harvest schedule, and the quota allocation between heterogeneous user
groups. NPV was maximized when the intraseason timing of harvest coincided with the
seasonal improvement in fish quality that follows spawning and migration. NPV was
only marginally affected, however, by the quota allocation.
The second paper employed processing-level surimi data to estimate the effect of
production and policy-controlled variables on quality characteristics. Hedonic equations
were then estimated to obtain the implicit price of each characteristic in distinct markets.
Implicit prices were also estimated for grade, production location (onshore, at-sea), and
production date. Results indicated that (1) species and the time between processing and
harvesting both significantly affected the characteristics, (2) color and gel strength
attributes had the largest price effect, and (3) market conditions can diminish the price
effect of production-controlled factors.
The third paper defined a theoretical model for managing commercial wild-caught
fisheries. The model demonstrated that a delay in harvesting can increase NPV and stock
size through improvements in intrinsic fish quality that positively impact production
yields, fish size, and product price. In the empirical application, improved yields, heavier
fish, and higher prices increased NPV by 38, 6, and 25 percent, respectively;
multiplicative effects accounted for the remaining 31 percent.
Sensitivity analysis in the final paper found that the optimal allocation to the
onshore sector was inversely related to the size of the recruiting cohort due to current
capacity constraints (relative to the average annual harvest). In addition, the policy
objective(s) and interseason variability in intrinsic quality influenced NPV and the
optimal management plan.