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This article turns a critical eye on the current role of economics in informing inter-sector allocation disputes. I argue that much of this analysis relies on a notion of efficiency that is flawed on both static and dynamic grounds and fails to address the inefficiencies of existing management institutions. I propose that real-location is rarely a first-order concern. Rather, it is a “red herring” that detracts from far more necessary fundamental reforms within the recreational sector. These reforms would significantly improve the accountability and efficiency of the sector and establish the necessary institutions to resolve allocation disputes in an adaptive, efficient manner through arms-length transactions. I propose a general framework for reform of mixed recreational-commercial fisheries and discuss realistic rights-based policies to better manage fishing mortality for private recreational anglers and facilitate transferability across sectors. I close with an appeal for more policy-relevant work on recreational fisheries by fisheries economists.
Traditional sectors, such as agriculture and fishing, often receive special treatment from policymakers because such sectors are perceived to be associated with traditional cultural public good values. However, these values are often difficult to measure, and few attempts have been made to do so. The recent European Union (EU) eel management directive creates an unusually clear-cut tradeoff between eel fishing and other agents affecting the European eel population. It is possible, therefore, to directly measure the perceived public good value of the eel fishery in terms of other economic costs that policymakers are willing to incur in order to maintain eel fishing. Using Swedish data, we find that Swedish policymakers value the public good aspect of the remaining Swedish eel fishery at a minimum of SEK 34 million (approximately EUR 3.4 million) annually, which is more than the commercial eel fishery's actual production value.
In October of each year, sockeye salmon return to the Adam's River in the southern-interior of British Columbia, Canada, to spawn. A survey instrument based upon the individual travel cost approach was distributed to individuals making recreational visits to Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park (through which the Adam's River flows) during a recent dominant-year run. The primary objective of this article is to report estimates of the net benefits arising from those recreational visits for three categories of visitors, including multi-purpose visitors. Since the data set encompasses both revealed preference (RP) and stated preference (SP) data, a random-effects Poisson regression was utilized to generate the estimates of consumer surplus. Two related issues of concern are also addressed: (1) does the SP data reflect hypothetical bias, and (2) is convergent validity reflected in separate estimates of consumer surplus generated using RP and SP data?
Regulatory requirements and shifts in consumer preferences have resulted in seafood products bearing multiple information labels. Developing successful seafood marketing strategies requires an understanding of how multilabeled products influence consumer choices. We analyze preferences for four classes of seafood information labels including safety, quality, local, and ecolabels using data from a choice experiment for two seafood species. Data was collected at a grocery chain focused on niche markets in Portland, Oregon. Each label is found to have a significant influence on consumer choice, with local labels and ecolabels yielding the largest estimates of consumer mean willingness to pay. Ecolabels yield a wider range of individual willingness to pay estimates compared to the other labels, and preferences for the local label are not affected by the appearance of additional information labels on the same product. Results suggest opportunities for advancing niche market strategies, including the development of local seafood labeling programs.
Typically, crew members in fisheries are remunerated through a share of the total revenues. However, there is little empirical evidence on the mechanisms by which revenues are distributed to labor and capital, and how these distributions affect economic performance. Under an agency problem framework, we estimate a dose-response function to study the formation of contracts and identify the marginal effects of changes in crew profit shares on fishing returns in Chilean artisanal fisheries. The results support share contract choices based on bargaining power, monitoring costs, technology, state of fishing resources, and outside options. We find significant effects of increasing crew profit shares on vessel owner returns in the interval (0.25, 0.65). The results vary across fisheries, however. While the effects are not significant in the fish group, they are larger and robust for molluscs and crustaceans. The latter finding is expected given differences in the observability of effort across fisheries.
Regulations to reduce bycatch of non-marketed marine species often impose gear restrictions, reductions in harvest of the target species, and/or spatial and temporal closures of the fishing ground. These regulations can exact significant social costs in commercial fisheries. We evaluate performance of a cap-and-trade bycatch management policy. Harvest of a target fish species, costly avoidance of the bycatch species, and harvesting efficiency are examined in a stochastic production environment with and without at-sea observability of bycatch, and with and without trade in harvest quotas and bycatch caps. Our results suggest that precise implementation of a socially optimal management plan is possible only if bycatch is observable and trade in fish quotas and bycatch cap is frictionless. Conditions exist in which quota/permit trading raises bycatch relative to a no-trade environment. The results offer useful guidance for designing cap-and-trade bycatch management programs.