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The public swimming beach at Maumee Bay State Park (MBSP) on Lake Erie is often posted for occurrences of unsafe levels of bacteria. The main source of bacteria derives from a drainage ditch that discharges near the beach. We have conducted a comprehensive study to determine the feasibility of using a constructed wetland to filter the ditch water, prior to its entry into Maumee Bay. As part of this study, we administered an on-site non-market valuation survey of beach visitors, in which observed and contingent trips to the beach were used to estimate the potential welfare benefits of the restored wetlands. The data were analyzed using three versions of the multivariate Poisson-lognormal (MPLN) model, a random effects count data model. We conclude version one, with flexible covariance structure and vehicle costs of $0.25 per mile, is the preferred version and use it to estimate an average annual willingness to pay (WTP) of $166 to construct wetlands and improve water quality. The aggregate annual benefit to an estimated 37,300 annual beach visitors is estimated as $6.19 million. The robustness of this estimate to a variety of alternative assumptions is examined.
In response to concerns about the morbidity rate associated with the consumption of raw Gulf of Mexico oysters, California initiated a program in March 1991 that required anyone selling raw Gulf oysters to notify potential consumers that the “consumption of raw oysters can cause serious illness and death among people with liver disease, chronic illness, or weakened immune systems.” This labeling requirement, followed shortly thereafter by similar requirements in other states, received extensive media coverage. The primary objective of this study was to consider, within the context of a complete demand system, the impact of mandatory warning labels and associated media attention on the demand for the product subject to regulation and media attention (i.e., Gulf product) as well as substitute products. Results indicate that warning labels lowered the demand for oysters originating from the Gulf and Chesapeake and increased demand for oysters originating from the Pacific and foreign sources. Results also indicate that the own-price flexibilities from all sources are inelastic and, with few exceptions, all products are gross substitutes for one another.
This study was conducted to estimate the elasticities of demand for eight different fish types and four income groups in Bangladesh using year-round data collected from inland areas of the country. It uses a three-stage budgeting framework that estimates a demand function for food in the first stage, a demand function for fish (as a group) in the second stage, and a set of demand functions for fish by type in the third stage using a quadratic extension of the Almost Ideal Demand System (QUAIDS) model. The Heckman procedure was used in stage three to remove the possible bias in the parameter estimates brought about by zero consumption. The magnitude of both price and income elasticities varies across different fish types and income quartile groups, indicating the relevance of estimation specific to fish types and quartiles. Except for assorted small fish, the other seven fish types included in the study were found to have positive income elasticity for all income levels. Assorted small fish is an inferior commodity for the richest quartile of the population.
This study assesses the preferences of shoppers of live seafood products in the North Central Region of the US accounting for heterogeneity in their preferences. The results suggest that quality assurance considerations and high incomes are factors that would increase the probability of higher expenditures on live fish/shellfish. The purchase of saltwater fish and shellfish also increased the probability of higher expenditures. The North Central Region produces freshwater seafood, and maintaining fish quality through the production process is important to this niche market. Shoppers also purchased live seafood frequently, signifying the importance of availability.
This paper was written as thanks for compliments offered at award proceedings at the 2010 IIFET. It deals with the past and future of fishery economics. A short historical account (or “pedigree”) shows that while fisheries have been mentioned by historians of old economies, their writings chiefly covered only the fish trade. This was also true of early economists, such as Petty and Adam Smith. It was marine biologists who were to show the way. Around the time of the Great War, the first bits of genuine fishery economic analysis appeared. These, however, were generally disregarded until Scott Gordon's 1954 article caused what Thomas Kuhn calls a “revolution.” My own paper appeared a year later. There followed what looked like decades of comparative calmness in ocean economics. The advent of individual catch quotas has now widened and deepened the interest in fishery problems and those “paradigms” related to them, such as those appropriate to fishery self-government. The new problems and possibilities have drawn in lively and creative participants. They work in the front ranks of applied economics, and the author is proud to have been honoured by them.
The failure to understand fundamental economic issues lies at the core of problems with fishery policy and practice. Fishery policy is high-level strategic direction; fishery practice is the implementation of policy. Economics education and outreach can strengthen fishery policy and practice, but they are underutilized as an avenue of influence. The position of economics in fisheries can be understood as a value chain, in which a sequence of activities gives economic information greater added value than the sum the individual activities. The value chain is weakened by the inadequacy of data and by the delivery of education and outreach at levels insufficient to robustly affect policy and management actions. The three primary reasons for this weakness are inadequate investment, unappealing language, and limited exposure. I give examples of policy areas that would benefit from stronger education and outreach and discuss the benefits and costs of participating in these activities.