Econometric Modeling of Fisheries with Complex Life Histories: Avoiding Biological Management Failures

41 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2007

See all articles by Martin D. Smith

Martin D. Smith

Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment

Junjie Zhang

Duke Kunshan University; Duke University

Felicia Coleman

Florida State University

Date Written: June 10, 2007

Abstract

Economics of the fishery has focused on the wastefulness of common pool resource exploitation. Pure open access fisheries dissipate economic rents and degrade biological stocks. Biologically managed fisheries also dissipate rents but are thought to hold biological stocks at desired levels. We develop and estimate an empirical bioeconomic model of the Gulf of Mexico gag fishery that questions the presumptive success of biological management. Unlike previous bioeconomic life history studies, we provide a way to circumvent calibration problems by embedding our estimation routine directly in the dynamic bioeconomic model. We nest a standard biological management model that accounts for complex life history characteristics of the gag. Biological intuition suggests that a spawning season closure will reduce fishing pressure and increase stocks, and simulations of the biological management model confirm this finding. However, simulations of the empirical bioeconomic model show that these intended outcomes of the spawning closure do not materialize. The behavioral response to the closure is so pronounced that it offsets the restriction in allowable fishing days. Our results suggest that failure to account for fishing behavior plays an important role in fishery management failures.

Keywords: bioeconomics, suboptimal regulation, restricted access fishery, life history, age-structured model, fishing behavior

JEL Classification: Q22

Suggested Citation

Smith, Martin D. and Zhang, Junjie and Coleman, Felicia, Econometric Modeling of Fisheries with Complex Life Histories: Avoiding Biological Management Failures (June 10, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=980745 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.980745

Martin D. Smith (Contact Author)

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

Junjie Zhang

Duke Kunshan University ( email )

No. 8 Duke Avenue
Kunshan, 215316
China
+86 512 36657068 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://junjiezhang.org

Duke University ( email )

No. 8 Duke Avenue
Kunshan, 215316
China
+86 512 36657068 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://junjiezhang.org

Felicia Coleman

Florida State University ( email )

Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

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