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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Economics of Fisheries Management

Session Chair: Alan Haynie, NOAA/NMFS, Alaska Fisheries Science Center;

13:20 – 13:38  |  3553413

Game theory and fisheries management: Insights and future areas of research

Lone Gronbaek1; Marko Lindroos2; Gordon Munro3; Pedro Pintassilgo4;
1University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; 2University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; 3University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 4University of the Algarve, Faro, Portugal;

The four authors are in the final stage of completing a book, Game Theory and Fisheries Management: Theory and Applications, which has been in preparation since 2016. The purpose of this paper and presentation is to point to insights arising from work on the book; directing us to areas of much needed future research, with a key case study being taken from Canadian fisheries. The paper will also point to an immediate policy application. In terms of capture fisheries, both international and national, a major area that remains under researched is that of uncertainty and its consequences. International fisheries, in particular, are crowded with examples of hitherto stable cooperative resource management arrangements that have been seriously damaged by unpredictable shocks. Next, the authors in past NAAFE and IFFET conferences have pointed to the application of game theory to the management of national (intra-EEZ) fisheries as the New Frontier. Developments have occurred (particularly in Canadian fisheries) that have made the need to explore this New Frontier increasingly urgent. With regards to immediate policy applications, two of the authors will, shortly before NAAFE 2019, have come from a meeting in London in which they will have been asked to discuss the relevance of game to international fisheries management agreements to representatives from UK government and industry, as the UK confronts a post-Brexit world.

13:38 – 13:56  |  3569987

Incentive effect of joint and several liability in fishery cooperatives on regulatory compliance

Manuel Bellanger1; Dan Holland2; Chris Anderson3; Olivier Guyader1;
1Ifremer, Plouzane, France; 2NWFSC, Seattle, WA, USA; 3SAFS, Seattle, WA, USA;

Cooperative-based catch share systems can be implemented such that the members of the same fishery cooperative are jointly and severally liable for not exceeding collectively assigned fishing rights. In practice, this means that a regulator can take away catch privileges from an entire cooperative that overruns its collective quota, effectively creating a penalty much larger than what could be recovered with an individual fine. Fishery cooperatives then typically implement their own internal compliance regime that includes monitoring and penalties. This paper first reviews compliance practice in cooperative-based catch share systems by examining the commonalities and differences in the way compliance regimes are structured (observation and reporting requirements, penalty scheme, internal enforcement authority, indemnification mechanisms) in a number of internal agreements from fishery cooperatives in North America and in Europe. Based on our review of cooperatives and the literature on compliance, we discuss how incentives to comply may be different for an individual fisherman operating in a fishery cooperative where joint and several liability applies as compared to an individual fishing quota baseline situation without fishery cooperative. Our review suggests that, from the regulators point of view, joint and several liability can increase the level of compliance for a given enforcement expenditure. However, the regulator cannot rely solely on cooperatives to carry out controls and must ensure that the cooperatives themselves have an interest in setting up an effective monitoring system and will enforce sanctions within the cooperative.

13:56 – 14:14  |  3573261

Bioeconomic evaluation of the fishing season in the octopus maya octopus fishery in the Yucatan Peninsula

José A. Duarte1; Álvaro Hernández-Flores2; Silvia Salas3; Juan Carlos Seijo2;
1Univerisdad Marista de Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán; 2Universidad Marista de Mérida, Mérida, Yucatán; 3Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Mérida, Yucatán;

The octopus resource is one of the most important in the Yucatan Peninsula because its global demand shows an upward trend. This fishery is based in one of the most important octopus endemic populations, the Octopus maya which is characterized by being holobenthic and semelparous. Ovigerous females presents parental care, stopping eating until their death which occurs days after hatching. In this fishery a traditional technique known as gareteo is used, which consists of leaving the boat drifting with two bamboo rods at its ends. In them there are fixed several lines with bait attached to the ends such as crab. This method differs from others based on habitat like used in other octopus fisheries. For the management of the fishery different regulations have been implemented, which include a season closure of eight months a year with the objective to protect the reproductive processes of the population. Nevertheless the fishing season takes place during the time when the reproductive activity occurs. This management measure was analyzed through a bioeconomic simulation model structured by age to analyze its role in the permanence of the stock. This model includes the reproductive behavior of the females and the sexual selectivity of the gareteo method. Four scenarios were used to evaluate the effects of potential changes in the scheduling of the time span of the fishing season in three succesive years. The response variables were total biomass, spawning biomass, recruitment, catch and quasi profits, assuming no changes in the fishing method. In scenarios one and two, when fishing season opened earlier than current dates (status quo), there was a significant reduction of catch and the spawning biomass in the third year. When simulations postponed the opening of the season (scenarios three and four), the annual catches and spawning stock experienced an increase in the third year regarding the status quo. This analysis showed that the use of a selective gear (bait-based) and the behaviour of parental care of females during reproduction, offer a buffer to maintain the stock, despite the fishing season operating in part of the reproductive period.

14:14 – 14:32  |  3578423

Management strategy evaluation of fishing reserves designed via spatial optimization models

Zack S Oyafuso1; Erik C Franklin1; PingSun Leung1;
1University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA;

Fishing reserves and other spatial management tactics can be useful tools for fisheries management. Reserve selection models can guide managers by calculating placements of reserves subject to explicit management objectives and targets. Results from reserve selection modelling indicate a strong tradeoff between conservation representation and socioeconomic impact (i.e., opportunity cost) in reserve design. Thus, a range of optimal reserve solutions can arise, and the preferences of the decision makers can influence the subset of optimal solutions that is relevant. We wanted to examine the bioeconomic effects of a diverse range of reserve solutions calculated from reserve selection models when implemented over time. We tested three types of optimal reserve solutions: 1) lowest socioeconomic impact, 2) highest conservation representation, and 3) a compromise solution equally balancing the conservation and socioeconomic objectives. We hypothesized that tradeoffs between the two objectives for these three solution types are propagated over time through the fish and fisher populations. To evaluate these reserve solutions, we first developed a spatially explicit operating model (OM) with biomass-pool fish population dynamics, individual-based fleet dynamics, and spatiotemporal variation in fishery accessibility. The OM was progressed until varying levels of population depletion (80%, 50%, and 30% of total population size), then a reserve optimization model was used to approximate the pareto frontier of solutions comprised of maximizing conservation representation and minimizing socioeconomic opportunity cost. From the pareto frontier of solutions, the three solution types were identified, implemented on the simulated spatial domain, and then the OM was progressed for another 50 years. Reserve scenarios were a combination of the three solution types and two total area scenarios (10% and 30%). Total fish biomass, profit, effort, catch, and number of fishers were tracked over time. Results from this simulation are intended to show how bioeconomic tradeoffs identified when designing marine reserves are translated through time under stochastic spatiotemporal dynamics and reacting fish and fisher populations.

14:32 – 14:50  |  3581725

Developing a regional fishery portfolio for alternative policies: An upside-bioeconomic analysis for Japanese fisheries

Gaku Ishimura1; Kei Kawamura1; Kanae Tokunaga2; Kazuhiko Otsuka2; Keita Abe3;
1Iwate University, Iwate, JAPAN; 2EDF, Tokyo, JAPAN; 3the Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen, Norway;

In 2018, the Japanese Diet has passed significant reforms of its fisheries law after World War II. The Japanese government plans to enact them within two years of promulgation. Under the envisioned new fishery system, one of the drastic changes is that prefectural governments will bear a more responsibility on the fishery resource management by expanding stock assessments to all commercial fish stocks and establishing individual fishing quotas. This study aims to estimate the effects of fisheries law reforms on prefecture levels. Upon considering a set of fish stock available for each prefecture as a portfolio of fishery resource, three alternative fishery policy scenarios for each prefecture level are examined; (1) business-as-usual scenario (current fishing mortality rates), (2) catch at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) scenario suggested by fishery reformation, and (3) an economically optimal policy scenario that seeks to maximize profits given the biomass level projected in each year. These portfolios of fishery resource include 95 commercially exploited fish stocks using landing data, representing 84% of Japanese landings from 1956 to 2015. While our previous analysis on Japan as a whole suggested business-as-usual and MSY scenarios yield similar outcomes for resource abundance and profits, our prefectural level results demonstrate that the multihued outcomes of each prefecture. This implies that fisheries law reforms require each prefecture to plan own unique fishery management strategy by considering its portfolio of the fishery resource.

14:50 – 15:08  |  3587103

Measure, harvest, learn: Renewable resource management under state and parameter uncertainty

David Kling1; Paul Fackler2; Michael Springborn3;
1Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, United States of America; 2North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America; 3University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States of America;

Fishery management involves acquiring and using information about the harvested stock. In many fisheries this is done through a stock assessment, which predicts how management choices will affect future yield and stock abundance. Even when budgetary and technical resources exist to produce a cutting-edge assessment, results are subject to multiple forms of uncertainty. Measurement of the current stock is imperfect (leading to state uncertainty), and the model of stock dynamics includes parameters that must be estimated (leading to parameter uncertainty). From an economic perspective, investment in a stock assessment should be weighed against its expected benefit in terms of improved fishery performance. We introduce a model of fishery management that includes a representation of the stock assessment process. The fishery manager in our model is uncertain about both the current abundance of the stock and parameters of the equation that determines stock growth. The manager chooses how to use fishery-dependent information, invest in fishery-independent stock measurements, and set harvest quota, in order to maximize the expected net present value of rents. In the process, the manager takes into account the value of information in the form of either more precise stock abundance estimates or a more accurate growth model. Our solution approach combines recent advances in approximate dynamic programming for economic models involving many state variables with techniques for modeling sequential Bayesian learning. Our results provide insight into the economic value generated by stock assessments of differing intensity, in particular the return on investment in information. One novel finding is that, in general, the optimal timing of stock assessments occurs at irregular intervals in response to bioeconomic and informational incentives, rather than at evenly spaced intervals (e.g., every 3 years). We also find that the dynamics of learning and opportunities for policy experimentation in our model differ substantially from conventional special cases, where either state or parameter uncertainty are considered in isolation. In addition to contributing to the economics of information in fisheries, we expect our findings and methodology will be relevant for research on other wild population management problems.

15:08 – 15:26  |  3591232

Coordinated fisheries crime and negative externality on marine ecosystems: A bioeconomic and empirical analysis

Wisdom Akpalu1;
1UNU-WIDER, Accra, Ghana;

The capture fisheries sector is a critical source of animal protein in Africa and other developing regions of the world. In addition, the sector creates jobs, and contributes significantly to agricultural GDP and non-traditional export revenues. Currently, in coastal countries in Africa, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities are threatening the livelihoods of fishers depend directly and indirectly on fishing. In West Africa alone, IUU constitutes about 33-50% of total capture fish landings. A typical illegal activity known as saiko involves trawl vessels catching small pelagic species within the inshore exclusive zones (IEZ) (using gears that plane off the benthic floor of the ocean), disguising the landing as bycatches and transshipping them to artisanal fishing boats to be retailed at the shore. Fishing within the IEZ, targeting impropriate species, and transshipment at sea are all illegal activities. However, due to the limited capacity of the regulatory bodies, fishing regulations are inadequately enforced. This study develops a bioeconomic model to show that, in addition to perceived risk, severity of punishment, and perceived social considerations and legitimacy of the saiko regulation, the disparity between private rate of time preference and that of others are critical in the decision to participate in a coordinated fisheries crime that imposes negative externality on the artisanal capture fishery. The dynamic model assumes imperfect competition in the local fish market, ecosystem impact of saiko fishing, and a possible differential discount rate between the artisanal fishers who engage in saiko fishing and their counterparts who do not engage in it. The predictions of the model are empirically verified with a discrete choice model using a survey data on Ghana. Furthermore, we propose an optimal fine, given the risk of detection, that is necessary to internalize the environmental opportunity cost associated with saiko fishing.


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