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Thursday, May 23, 2019

S5: Designing Policies for Fisheries Management in the Arctic

Session Chairs: Melina Kourantidou, University of Southern Denmark; Linda Fernandez, Virginia Commonwealth University; Brooks Kaiser, University of Southern Denmark;

13:20 – 13:38  |  3581104

Managing a natural asset that is both a value and a pest. Cooperation vs. competition: The Barents Sea red king crab

Melina Kourantidou1; Anders Skonhoft2;
1University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark; 2Economic Department, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway;

Climate-induced changes along with anthropogenic intervention are driving marine invasions worldwide, with the Arctic being a particularly vulnerable area with lots of unknowns. In this paper, we examine the Red King Crab invasion in the Barents Sea which originates from an intentional introduction in the late 1960s and whose management remains controversial over the past two decades, both nationally and across borders that share the stock (Russia and Norway). We focus on the most interesting feature of the invasion/fishery which is the role of the crab as a nuisance and a valuable economic resource at the same time. Specifically, we explore the management of the fishery using a bioeconomic model, both in a cooperative and in a non-cooperative setting. We follow the conventions and assumptions of many analytical fishery models and add to that the nuisance from the crab stock as well as the spatial externality associated to the migration of the crab from the Russian to the Norwegian zone. We derive and discuss the analytical solutions and seek to understand the gain from cooperation as well as the impact of management decisions over harvesting taken independently by Russia and Norway. We also present a numerical analysis of the crab management for a more clear illustration of harvest policies by the two countries; we run basic scenarios where the effort cost in the Norwegian fleet exceeds that of the Russian effort cost, and the opposite for the harvest productivity. The data scarcity, especially for the cost of the nuisance as well as for the characteristics of the Russian fishery and fleet, restricts our ability to provide precise estimates. Notwithstanding these data limitations, the paper provides useful insights that can be used in better understanding the incentives for cooperation across countries and the trade-offs involved in managing such species that are simultaneously a value and a pest.

13:38 – 13:56  |  3581105

Allocation of research resources for marine invasive species with a commercial value: The red king crab in the Barents Sea

Melina Kourantidou1; Brooks Kaiser1;
1University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark;

This paper models the optimal allocation of research resources for an invading species. The model uses microeconomic theory to assess tradeoffs in research priorities based on expected productivity gains from management decisions derived from new information. Resources may be allocated ahead of the invasion frontier or within the invaded area. Research ahead of the frontier helps define external damages by establishing the baseline ecosystem services and values; research in the invaded area determines restoration needs and costs. Furthermore research in the invaded area may improve management of any commercial aspect of the invading species. In other words, benefits of research may accrue either from improved information regarding the potential or actual damages of the invasion, or from improved information for solving the common property management challenges of a commercial species. In the case of a profitable invasive species, simple application of the precautionary approach to the invasion has direct quantifiable costs in foregone commercial benefits. For the purposes of the analysis we are using the Red King Crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) as a case study. The Red King Crab is a well-established invader in the Barents Sea that conveys both harvesting benefits and ecosystem damages, which may be spatially differentiated. The damages can be alleviated by harvest. We distinguish the research for Red King Crab in different types based on their potential to reveal successfully these marginal external benefits from commercial harvesting. We illustrate how allocation of research resources can be improved when decision-makers are faced with a significant amount of uncertainty on the ecosystem impacts. The model highlights the importance of the prioritizing criteria in research resource allocation for invasive species with a commercial value as a means of identifying the underlying bioeconomic trade-off.

13:56 – 14:14  |  3581207

Walking a tight line: Management of a new Arctic fishery in the presence of spatially differentiated ecological-economic externalities

Linda Fernandez1; Brooks Kaiser2; Melina Kourantidou2;
1VCU, Richmond, USA; 2SDU, Esberg, Denmark;

This paper models bio-economic processes of the Red King Crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus, RKC) as an invasive marine species in the Barents Sea. We seek to understand the impact of management decisions over harvesting taken jointly and independently by Russia, who purposefully introduced the crab, and Norway, into whose waters the crab has migrated. At stake in the invasion are unique benthic species and co-evolved systems that have taken millennia to develop and have measured nonmarket values. This work uses a spatial dynamic model to discuss management of international invasive species challenges. Since the countries differ across multiple dimensions of dispersal of stock along with damages of the invasion, harvest costs and market options, applied game theory enables the analysis. Historical management of the RKC by the two nations reflects differing market choices (Russia targets flash-frozen large scale fishing while Norway targets small-scale mostly live crab fishery). Thus we examine actual historical management under differing empirical national costs and benefits. The RKC presents particularly interesting challenges due to its dual nature as invasive species and market commodity. Part of the strategic balancing act needed for a solution to the spread of the RKC has been directed at spatial containment, where the containment procedure depends on economic incentives of open access fisheries. This research sheds light on the economic and ecological tradeoffs faced in rapidly changing Arctic waters and the challenges presented by transboundary resources with differing net benefits to different groups. Results show each country can respond with more flexibility to competitive world market under noncooperation (and more information on rate of stock transfer) compared to past cooperation; the reduction in dramatic swings in stock may signal more ability to sustain stock amidst change. Damages avoided (commercial value of bycatch avoided and nonmarket valuation of benthos) in both zones of Norway offer incentives to harvest. Price takers in the Barents respond to crab prices (world market for fresh and frozen) as key to increase in profit maximizing harvest. Purposeful introduction does matter as the harvests are for a long term fishery instead of for an agenda of eradication/elimination of invasive crab.

14:14 – 14:32  |  3581376

Capital investments in ecosystems for ecological and community resilience

Brooks Kaiser1; Melina Kourantidou1;
1University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark;

We use a production growth model to consider the path dependent impacts of capital investments in infrastructure on ecosystem productivity. While physical capital investments change the returns to the natural resource flows from an ecosystems natural capital, decisions regarding those investments rarely consider these dynamic productivity impacts. Physical capital investments are often made by local and regional stakeholders and focus on extraction and commodification of resource flows. Meanwhile, the natural capital stocks may have more diffuse and less tangible resource flows that conflict with this extractive use, but could create broader economic value if preserved. Thus global optimization of the resource flows and capital investments may be foregone in favor of decisions that support local coastal communities and livelihoods. Accurately identifying any such losses ex-ante is unlikely, but history consists of many examples where ex-post realization of the losses generates regret and costly investment in e.g. biodiversity conservation at expensive margins. This challenge is one of the driving forces behind application of the precautionary principle.

One such potential developing case is the Red King Crab (RKC) fishery in Norway. Management of the commercially valuable invasive species has been changing the socioeconomic and ecological landscape in Northern Finnmark since the beginning of commercial exploitation in the early 2000s. The RKC in the Barents Sea is an intentionally introduced species that is viewed both as a nuisance and as a valuable economic resource. This induces ambivalent preferences among local stakeholders and decision-makers in Norway. Low harvesting costs, uncertain ecosystem losses and ongoing infrastructure investment in onshore landing facilities all shape stakeholders myopic interests in Norway in favor of a long-term management of the fishery. Simultaneously the political willingness to support local coastal communities and livelihoods in northern Norway provides significant impetus for maintaining a long-term stock, particularly in Eastern Finnmark. The ongoing infrastructure investments favor economic commodities over other ecosystem productivities affected by the invasive crab. We use this case to highlight the path dependencies created by infrastructure development and to identify trade-offs inherent in the management of the invasion for ecological and community resilience.

14:32 – 14:50  |  3611984

Implementation of an integrated fisheries management plan and development of a community-based catch monitoring program for Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in Nunavut

Paula Smith1; Jennie Ryman1;
1Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada;

Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), located in the Eastern Arctic of Canada, are highly valued by Inuit. The subsistence harvest provides a traditional source of food and maintains Inuit cultural traditions, including the transfer of specific knowledge from experienced hunters to younger generations. Within the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA), wildlife harvesting activities are co-managed with Inuit in accordance with the Nunavut Agreement and with regulations and policies of the Fisheries Act. Through established working groups including co-management organizations, an Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for Atlantic walrus in the NSA was finalized in 2017. The IFMP identifies the main objectives and requirements for the walrus fishery as well as the management measures to be used to achieve those objectives. Objectives include maintaining sustainable walrus stocks and populations, and promoting shared stewardship through collaboration and decision-making with co-management organizations. As part of demonstrating sustainable harvest levels and practices, a Community-based Catch Monitoring (CBCM) program for walrus was initiated in 2017, based in Hall Beach, Nunavut, one of the main walrus harvesting communities in Canada. The CBCM program is a co-management partnership involving the Hall Beach Hunters and Trappers Association, local walrus hunters, the Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Over three years, the CBCM program aims to collect information from the local walrus harvest to support the conservation and sustainable use of walrus, and incorporate traditional Inuit knowledge into local and regional decision-making. This will provide co-management organizations with dependable, timely and accessible information necessary to ensure the walrus fishery is managed in a sustainable way. The long-term goal is to expand this CBCM program to other walrus-harvesting communities in Nunavut.

14:50 – 15:08  |  3660432

Socioeconomic scenarios in the Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling (ACLIM) Project: Adaptive fisheries management under changing environmental and economic conditions

Alan Haynie1; Amanda Faig2; Kirstin Holsman1; Stephen Kasperski1; Anne Hollowed1;
1NOAA Fisheries, Seattle, WA, USA; 2University of Washington SAFS, Seattle, WA, USA;

The Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling (ACLIM) project is a multidisciplinary effort to examine how different climate scenarios are likely to impact the Bering Sea ecosystem and to prepare our management system is ready for these potential changes. ACLIM integrates climate scenarios with a suite of biological and oceanographic\models that include different levels of ecosystem complexity and sources of uncertainty. This talk focuses on coupling the projects bio-physical models with models of fisher behavior and management scenarios. The complexity of the economic models varies to match the scale of the biological models with which they are coupled.

We identify groups of economic and management factors that are the core drivers of fisheries. For management, there are many possible future policy choices, such as changes in target and bycatch species allocations or expanded spatial protective measures that can reduce the vulnerability of different stakeholders. Building on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs), we define the primary measures that have been demonstrated to impact past fisher behavior and define a range of future economic changes and policy interactions under which we predict future integrated modeling outcomes. We demonstrate how different policy tools can have a large impact on how effectively we can adapt to environmental change and variation. We compare our approach with the approaches of several other large integrated modeling projects and discuss the specific features of the Bering Sea ecosystem and management system that make our approach the most effective for marine resource management in the North Pacific.

15:08 – 15:30


Group discussion will follow oral presentations.


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