Transcript Part 2

Part IV. Renewable Resources
A. Fish – part 2: Policy
B. Forests
C. Water
D. Biodiversity
Current Fishery Policy
This section will focus on 2 approaches to policy.
Those policies that can actually address the issue of entry
are termed “limited-entry” techniques.
All other regulations or policies that do not explicitly
address the problem of entry are termed “open-access”
(OA) techniques.
OA techniques modify fishing behavior of those
participants in the fishery without directly affecting
participation in the fishery, and typically raise the cost
associated with fishing.
Analogous to C & C
OA regulations – how to catch
• OA regulations are designed to maintain the stocks at some
target level, usually stocks consistent with MSY.
• Because modern technology can give a fishing fleet
tremendous fishing power relative to the size of a fish
population, OA regulation generally forces inefficiency on
the fishers.
• In Maryland's share of the Chesapeake, it is illegal to
dredge for oysters under motorized power. This means
sails, smaller dredging equipment, and slower movement
across the oyster beds.
OA regulations – who to catch
• Regulation which revolves around restrictions on
the minimum size of fish that are legal to harvest
are designed to leave a portion of the fish stock in
the water to provide a sufficient breeding stock to
ensure future populations.
• Fishers generally implement this restriction by
choosing a mesh size for their nets that allows
smaller, illegal fish, to escape.
OA regulations – when to catch
• Because fishing activity may disrupt the spawning
process, often the fishing season is closed for a
certain period on an annual basis, generally during
spawning season.
• Also, some species become so extremely
congregated during spawning that fishing effort
could capture virtually the entire population.
OA regulations – where to catch
• Regulations on where fish may be caught are
designed to protect fish stocks when they are
congregated and vulnerable to overharvesting.
• These types of regulations also protect vulnerable
fishing habitats from destruction by the fishing
OA regulations –
how many to catch
• Often, OA regulations take the form of limits on
how many fish may be captured in a given time
• These limits may be in the form of weight caught,
number of fish, or volume of catch.
• The catch limit on giant bluefin tuna is 1 fish per
boat. A fish can often weigh as much as 1000
pounds and the market price has been $18 per
Economic Analysis of
Open-Access Regulations
The effect of OA regulation falls has 2 effects:
1. increase in cost due to regulations
2. possible decrease in cost due to higher catch per effort
Net effect increased costs
Table 11.3 summarizes the impact of the OA
regulations on key variables in the fishery.
Economic Analysis of
Open-Access Regulations
Limited Entry Techniques
• Limited entry techniques raise the cost for fishers without
increasing social costs.
• If limited entry techniques are truly analogous to economic
incentives for pollution control, then they should be
available either as price policies (tax) or quantity policies
• Fisheries economics literature tends to focus on quantitybased systems.
• The name for these systems is individual transferable
quotas (ITQs).
Catch based ITQs
• ITQs would work in a fashion similar to marketable
pollution permits.
• Limit placed on total catch, each fisher allocated portion of
total catch
• Limits effort because cost of effort increases, because
people must now buy ITQs to fish
• Cost increase serves to eliminate disparity between social
and private cost of fishing associated with the OA
Effort based ITQs
• Limited entry techniques structured to direct effort rather
than catch can also be developed.
• Here only a fixed number of boats would be allowed to
operate in the fishery, must have permit be to allowed in
• The method of permit allocation could be by auction or
historical presence in the fishery.
• Completely analogous to MPP’s
Transferable ITQs
• If these ITQs are transferable, it will be possible to
have only the most efficient fisherman in the
• Enforcement of effort-based limits, that is vessel
permits, would be much easier than that associated
with the catch limits.
• No measuring or weighing is necessary; a poster
sized certificate of operation would allow easy
identification of legal vessels.
ITQ problems
• Catch-based ITQs are subject to several problems.
• People might cheat on their quota by selling to
foreign vessels or in an underground market.
• Another problem is associated with the differing
market values of different size fish.
• Once quota is reached, throw less valuable (but
now dead) fish overboard to make room for better
Private oyster beds
• Although most fishery regulation relies on OA
techniques, an important example of a limited
entry technique is the Virginia oyster fishery,
where oyster beds are treated as private property.
• Eliminates OA exploitation
• It gives oyster bed operators incentive to invest in
their property such as seeding with larval oysters
and creating more structures to which the oysters
can attach.
• An additional example of the limited entry
regulation is the economic exclusion zone,
established under the authority of the United
Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.
• This regulation established a 200 mile limit along
the coast of a country where each country has the
right to limit access to their waters. This is a
partial limited access regulation.
Why We Do Not See
More Limits to Entry
• First, many limits to access are informal.
• Fishing communities tend to be close knit and generally
resistant to outsiders.
• It is difficult to enter into these fisheries without facing
barriers and possible sabotage of equipment.
• Second, fisherman opposition to the idea of limited entry is
Why We Do Not See
More Limits to Entry
• A possible explanation for the opposition to limited entry
among current fishers is that these fishers may be utility
maximizers rather than profit maximizers.
• Pure profit maximizers would see the potential economic
rents associated with limited entry, and most would
probably support limits to entry in order to obtain these
potential rents.
• Fishers from communities that have fished for generations
fit this category.
Why We Do Not See
More Limits to Entry
• Need to reduce catch today in order to expand fish
stock, catch and income in the future.
• The desire to support fishing families in the
present may result in opposition of limited entry
• The greater the uncertainty about the success of
limited entry policies to enhance future value in
the fishery, the greater the chance fishers will not
support the policies.
• Aquaculture, the cultivation of fish in artificial
environments or in contained natural environments, is
often suggested as a means of dealing with the OA
• Not all species can be cultivated.
• Shellfish are ideal because of their inherent immobility.
• Wildfish will only benefit indirectly from aquaculture if
the “farmed” species takes part of the market demand for
the wildfish and therefore reduces the fishing pressure on
the species.
Aquaculture’s problems
• Aquaculture creates its own set of problems.
• Communities and industries that are based on wild
fisheries could suffer economic setbacks from the
decline in demand for wild fish (as consumers
choose aquaculture).
Aquaculture’s problems
• Aquaculture can severely damage the environment.
• Shrimp aquaculture in Central and South America has
resulted in a loss of mangrove forests, excess nutrient
loading into estuaries and severely reduced dissolved
oxygen in areas bordering estuaries.
• There are also potential problems associated with
hybridized fish escaping and damaging the gene pool of
existing species.
Other Issues in
Fishery Management
• Other problems associated with fishery
management include:
– incidental catch;
– destruction of habitat through fishing activities;
– destruction of wetlands and related habitat through nonfishing activities;
– pollution of fishery habitat;
– conflicts between user groups and
– international cooperation concerning the harvesting of
migratory species.
Incidental catch
• Often the fisher will catch not only the species that they
seek but also other species, referred to as incidental catch.
• Many types of fishing gear do not discriminate among fish
species, and both the desired species and a spectrum of
untargeted species are caught by this gear.
• Among the most notorious of these are the gill nets, whose
lengths often measured in miles.
• These nets are vertically suspended in the water, like
underwater fences, ensnaring the gill covers of fish as they
attempt to back out.
Long Lines
• Another indiscriminate fishing method is “long-lining.”
• A long-line consists of line that may be 10 km in length or
longer, with baited hooks every several meters.
• These lines are employed off the Atlantic coast in pursuit
of highly profitable swordfish.
• Because sharks are often caught, these long-lines have
been an important factor in the decline of the shark
• Due to the difficulties of monitoring, restrictions on fishing
methods may be preferential to policies based on economic
• An example of this type of policy is the requirement that
shrimpers install a Turtle Excluder Device (TED) in their
nets to allow endangered sea turtles to escape.
• In addition to the turtles which are “kicked” out of the
shrimp net, non-targeted fish are also allowed to escape.
• Whether policy makers should implement the
restrictions on gill nets and long-line operations
needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis for
each potential restriction.
• The benefits of protecting untargeted species are
spread out over a large number of people, but the
costs are concentrated upon a very few.
Destruction of Habitat
• Damage can occur when contact of fishing gear with the
floor of the estuary or ocean uproots aquatic plants, breaks
coral, dislodges shell fish, and so on.
• One particularly sensitive ecosystem is that associated with
a coral reef, where anchors and boat bottoms dragging
across the coral can kill it.
• Even more destructive is the practice of fishing using
explosions or the use of cyanide in the coral to stun and
collect fish for consumption and aquariums.
Destruction of Habitat
• Other habitats such as upland and coastal wetlands,
temperate forests and free flowing rivers are critically
important to fisheries.
• The temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest are
critically important to maintaining the riverine habitat,
which is essential to anadromous fish, such as salmon and
• Any activity which impacts the quality of these ecosystems
can impact the quality of the riverine system and the
salmon and steelhead.
Pollution of Fishery Habitat
• This pollution and loss of habitat has affected virtually
every freshwater species, and many saltwater species,
where saltwater species are affected by estuarine pollution.
• Anadromous species such as salmon, steelhead, shad, and
striped bass are particularly vulnerable to riverine
• In developing countries, soil erosion from deforestation
and intensive cultivation of hillside lands has severely
impacted water quality not only in the rivers, but in
reservoirs, estuaries, lagoons, and coral reefs.
Management of Recreational
Fishery Resources
• Limits on the number of fish that may be kept, restricted
seasons, and size limits.
• By stocking fish, where a very large number of fish are
hatched, grown to size, and released into the wild, the
problem of OA is addressed by increasing resource base.
• Often have closed seasons timed to coincide with
spawning periods in the fishery.
• Access improvements such as launching ramps, fishing
piers, parking areas, and artificial reefs can be designed to
reduce congestion in the fishery, but may also lead to
increased use.
Management of Recreational
Fishery Resources
• Catch & release programs are based on the idea that a
recreational angler does not have to kill his or her catch to
produce utility from fishing.
• Size limits place restrictions on the minimum (and
sometimes maximum) size of fish that are legal to keep.
• Creel limits place restrictions on the maximum number of
fish per day that may be kept.
• Both restrictions are designed to protect the reproductive
viability of the fish stocks.
Management of Recreational
Fishery Resources
• In order to find the benefits associated with a
particular recreational fishing activity, a valuation
study must be done. Usually CV or travel cost
• Freeman (1979) and many others note that the
major benefit of improving water quality can be
attributed to recreational uses of water resources,
including boating, swimming, and recreational
• Fishery resources are renewable but destructible.
• The destructibility problem is amplified by the open-access
nature of many of the world’s fishery resources.
• For commercial fishing, optimal management strategy
requires the limitation of effort to a level that maximizes
the sum of CS, PS, and fishery rent.
• Actual fishery management seldom achieves this goal and
is based on developing restrictions on how, when, where,
and how much fish can be caught.