Fishing under the Radar: Estimating Compliance with Fishing Bans
55 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021 Last revised: 18 Oct 2022
Date Written: September 27, 2021
Fishing bans are widely used to manage and regulate fisheries. This paper estimates compliance with the world’s largest fishing ban by measuring the extent of apparent fishing effort during the annual Chinese fishing ban. Specifically, we estimate compliance using vessel broadcast positions and a less manipulable measure of fishing activity based on nighttime lights. With both datasets, we find a significant and substantial reduction in fishing activity due to the ban. While vessel broadcast positions suggest an average reduction of fishing activity by 90 percent during the ban, we find a weaker reduction of around half that size when relying on nighttime lights. Further results suggest that attractive income opportunities during the ban hamper compliance.
Keywords: Fisheries, Conservation Policy, Regulations, Compliance, Nighttime lights
JEL Classification: C80, Q22, Q28, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation