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To provide insights for artisanal recreational fisheries management, using Belize as a case study, our research addressed the following research question: What is the natural resource base in terms of the fish species, typology of users, and general management regulations comprising artisanal recreational fisheries in Belize? To answer it, a mixed method approach, which included social and biological surveys, was used. Our results indicated: (1) there is a mismatch in the very definition of “recreational fisheries” between the fishery managers and resource users; (2) current management regulates the so called “sport fishing,” whereas three other recorded fisheries—reef fishing, blue fishing, and local recreational fishing—remain unregulated; (3) 26 bony fish species in the study area; and (4) the direct users (fishers) are primarily non-residents, whereas the indirect users (service providers) are residents. Our study suggests that any management plan for these fisheries should consider local complexities and stakeholders' inputs.
We analyze the Gulf of Mexico brown shrimp fishery and the potential impacts of a large seasonal area of hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) that coincides with the peak shrimp season. A spatial-dynamic bioeconomic simulation embeds three biological impacts on shrimp: mortality, growth, and aggregation on hypoxic edges. Hypoxia creates feedbacks in the bioeconomic system, altering catch and effort patterns. System changes propagate over space to affect areas that do not experience hypoxia. Areas that might otherwise be considered controls in a natural experiments framework are contaminated by the ecological disturbance through spatial sorting. Aggregate predictions from simulations are similar to empirical fishery data. Average shrimp size and total landings are negatively correlated, as are hypoxic severity and landings. Shrimp size and hypoxic severity are only weakly negatively correlated. Growth overfishing, which varies with recruitment success and ecological disturbances, is a key mediating effect.
The economic benefits that arise following the transition to a rights-based fishery management regime accrue on both the extensive and intensive margins. This research explores the changes in fleet composition, economic performance, and coordination that occurred following the introduction of the Bering Sea Crab Rationalization Program. On the extensive margin, we estimate the relative efficiency of vessels within each fishing cooperative to look for potential arbitrage opportunities when selecting which vessels will fish the cooperative's quota allocation. On the intensive margin, we investigate the role of peer effects in facilitating the flow of information within the cooperative. The results support two hypotheses within the red king and snow crab fisheries: (1) the cooperatives which formed appear to have exploited the intracooperative efficiency arbitrage opportunities, and (2) an increase in landings by a fellow cooperative member tends to increase one's own landings, a positive peer effect.
We present a novel technique for analyzing price dispersion in non-centralized quota lease markets where pairwise negotiations determine price and price information from past transactions is not generally available. The technique does not require fishing cost or ex-vessel price data and employs social network analysis metrics (namely degree centrality and constraint) to measure access to information and network position for buyers and sellers. Our method is applied to the Gulf of Mexico red snapper quota lease market and finds that certain quota lease traders with larger information-sharing networks or stronger network positions have greater negotiating power. Also, average quota lease prices varied by region even though there are no geographic trading restrictions. Results indicate social networks are correlated with price dispersion and inefficiencies in the trading markets that can undermine the success of catch share programs that seek to improve fishery profits and reduce overcapacity.
The Gulf of Mexico red snapper individual fishing quota program was implemented in 2007 to reduce overcapacity and eliminate derby fishing conditions in the commercial fishery. The five-year review of the program reveals that the number of vessels and fishing trips declined by 17% and 29%, respectively. The review also found the fishery was open year round for the first time in 20 years. Between 2007 and 2011, inflation-adjusted dockside, allocation (leased quota), and quota share prices rose by 7%, 37%, and 145%, respectively, suggesting the profitability of the fleet improved. Gini and Herfindahl-Hirschman indices indicate the distribution of shares is highly unequal, but shareholders do not have market power. The absence of quota overages and lower aggregate discard levels suggest resource stewardship improved. However, discards in the eastern Gulf remain high due to stock range expansion and insufficient allocation. This article also describes lessons learned from the five-year review.