Management of an Annual Fishery in the Presence of Ecological Stress: The Case of Shrimp and Hypoxia

Duke Environmental Economics Working Paper No. EE10-05

33 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2011

See all articles by Ling Huang

Ling Huang

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Martin D. Smith

Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment

Date Written: September 1, 2010

Abstract

The emergence of ecosystem-based management suggests that traditional fisheries management and protection of environmental quality are increasingly interrelated. But fishery managers have limited control over most sources of marine and estuarine pollution and at best can only adapt to environmental conditions. This paper presents a bioeconomic model of optimal harvest of an annual species that is subject to an environmental disturbance, and parameterizes the model to analyze the effect of hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) on the optimal harvest path of brown shrimp, a commercially important species that is fished in hypoxic waters in the Gulf of Mexico and in estuaries in the southeastern United States. We find that hypoxia alters the qualitative pattern of optimal harvest and shifts the season opening earlier in the year; more severe hypoxia leads to even earlier season openings. Failure to adapt to hypoxia leads to greater losses when the effects of hypoxia are more severe. However, rent gains from adapting fishery management to hypoxia are relatively small compared to rent losses from the hypoxia effect itself. This suggests that it is critical for other regulatory agencies to control estuarine pollution, and fishery managers need to generate value from the fishery resources through other means such as rationalization.

Keywords: bioeconomics, hypoxia, adaptive policy, ecosystem-based management

JEL Classification: Q22, Q53

Suggested Citation

Huang, Ling and Smith, Martin D., Management of an Annual Fishery in the Presence of Ecological Stress: The Case of Shrimp and Hypoxia (September 1, 2010). Duke Environmental Economics Working Paper No. EE10-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1926487 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1926487

Ling Huang (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) ( email )

2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada

Martin D. Smith

Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment ( email )

Box 90328
A122 LSRC
Durham, NC 27708-0328
United States
919-613-8028 (Phone)
919-684-8741 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://fds.duke.edu/db/Nicholas/esp/faculty/marsmith

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