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Commercial fishing is generally hazardous, but some types of commercial fishing are more dangerous than others. Since much of the fishing industry is composed of small family-owned businesses, commercial fishermen often have to rely on the private health insurance markets. Do commercial fishermen working in more dangerous areas or with more dangerous gear mitigate their risk by purchasing health insurance? I examine the relationship between the economics of the North Carolina commercial fishing fleet and private market health insurance purchases in the two years immediately preceding the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. Establishing this baseline is important, as the slow implementation of the Act's expanded coverage will take time to make meaningful impacts on commercial fishing fleets. I close by considering which aspects of commercial fishing might be most affected by the ACA.
This article enquires into why the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Fish Stocks Agreement have failed to provide an adequate legal framework for effective management of high-seas living resources. This failure is due to the nature of the international legal framework that requires signatories only to “cooperate” but how to cooperate remains a choice variable. The result is that if it suits them, signatories take ‘reservations’ (e.g., on whether to abide by catch quotas in Regional Fisheries Management Organizations) with the effect that they continue to ‘play’ non-cooperatively. It is argued that environmental groups, such as Greenpeace, have an important role to play in aligning moral precepts and one day, perhaps, creating a coordination game between fishing nations in which ‘reservations’ are no longer taken.
We theoretically demonstrate the net change in welfare when moving from an open-access institution to a monopoly resource manager. A monopoly renewable resource manager, such as a harvester cooperative, may create a gain relative to a rent-dissipating sector because of its internalization of the impact of harvesting on the resource stock. As the monopolist reduces harvest, resource stocks recover and resource rent is generated through reduced harvesting costs. Thus, it is possible that the monopoly harvest exceeds the rent-dissipated harvest over time, leaving both producers and consumers better off. We argue that local resource management institutions that exert market power should not be considered violations of antitrust laws without first considering the costs and benefits of monopoly management. In cases where outside management has not had success, local management with monopoly power could represent a second-best solution.
This article presents an economic model of the efficiency and industry impacts of individual vs. collective approaches to rights-based management in fisheries. Key features of the model are the inclusion of uncertainty and an optimally designed mechanism for paying penalties or buying additional quota when harvests exceed allowances. Contrary to what might be expected, we find that a risk pooling mechanism (through either collective quotas or ITQs) does not necessarily reduce the probability of quota overages. We also show that for arbitrary penalties, the incentive effects faced by harvesters differ under the various approaches. The ability of regulators to optimally adjust the enforcement mechanism (here the quota price) plays a critical role in determining the efficiency of the different approaches. Finally, the optimal quota prices and the conditions that trigger them differ across the approaches; hence the impacts on expected profits differ as well.
Optimal management of herring, mackerel, and blue whiting in the North East Atlantic is analyzed. The main motivation is to quantify the potential gain from implementing multispecies management compared to traditional single-species management. The objective is to maximize discounted net revenue; in other words a sole-owner perspective. The results are derived from an empirically based surplus growth type of model with three species. The biological interaction in the model is mainly competition for food. One result is that discounted net revenue could have been around 25% higher if the stocks had been optimally managed from a multi-species perspective.
Ecological diversity is especially high in the Gulf of Mexico, and multiple Gulf of Mexico resources imply complex management challenges. Yet, relatively little is known about social values of marine biodiversity in the Gulf of Mexico. This article uses results from a stated preference survey of nationally representative households to quantify economic values. The specific assessment scenario involves a current policy proposal to expand the boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Willingness to pay estimates range from $35–$107 per household. Respondent characteristics are related to willingness to pay in ways consistent with economic intuition and theory. We conclude with aggregate willingness to pay calculations, and results suggest that total social benefits of marine reserve expansion in the Gulf region are large.
Open access is a well-known externality problem in fisheries causing excess capacity and overfishing. Due to global warming, externality problems from CO2 emissions have gained increased interest. With two externality problems, a first-best optimum can be achieved by using two regulatory instruments. However, solving the open-access externality problem also affects CO2 emissions. By using a bio-economic model covering Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands, it is shown that regulations of the open-access externality problem have a large effect on both economic performance and CO2 emissions, while an additional CO2 regulation only has minor effects. The second-best solution achieved by only regulating open access reduces emissions by approximately 50% compared to current fisheries, with the exception of Iceland, which already has a well-developed fisheries management system.