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Economic & Social Sciences Research Program

NOAA Fisheries Economics and Social Science Workshop

Members of the Economic and Social Sciences Research Program represented the AFSC at the NOAA Fisheries Economics and Social Science Workshop in New Orleans, 26-28 October. Ron Felthoven (and coauthor Catherine Morrison Paul) received first and third place awards in the scientific research category for papers on fishing capacity and productivity. Jennifer Sepez, Heather Lazrus, Christina Package, Bryan Tilt, and Ismael Vaccaro placed second in the regulatory analysis category for their paper on fishing communities.

Courtney Carothers presented “Commercial Fishing Crew Demographics of the North Pacific” by C. Carothers and J. Sepez, which analyzed the ADF&G crew member license database in order to create a demographic profile (age, gender, residency, nationality, citizenship, and year-to-year license longevity) of the people who crew on North Pacific commercial fishing vessels.

Ron Felthoven presented “Multi-Output Non-Frontier Measures of Fishing Capacity and Utilization” and “Directions for Productivity Measurement in Fisheries” by R. Felthoven and C. Morrison Paul. These papers each describe development of new methodologies to measure fishing capacity and productivity in fisheries using commonly available data.

Alan Haynie organized and led a special session on the “Economics of Spatial Fisheries Management.” Alan also gave a talk based on his joint work with David Layton, entitled “Estimating the Economic Impact of the Steller Sea Lion Conservation Area.”

Dan Lew presented “The Economic Value of Steller Sea Lion Protection.” The presentation provided information on Steller sea lion biology, population trends, and ESA listing status; the policy importance of understanding public preferences for Steller sea lion protection, and efforts to collect information about these public preferences through a nationwide public survey.

Christina Package presented “Fishing Communities of the North Pacific, Volume I: Alaska” by J. Sepez, H. Lazrus, C. Package, B. Tilt, and I. Vaccaro which focused on the community profiling effort by the AFSC. The presentation outlined the content of the profiles, which include the demographics of the community, history, economy, governance, facilities, and participation in commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries.

Economic Data Collection Programs

Center economists continued working with Alaska Regional Office and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) staff to implement the economic data collection program that will be an integral part of the BSAI Crab Rationalization Program. During this quarter, they conducted pretests of the economic data reports that will be required by crab harvesters and processors and developed a scope of work under which PSMFC will collect the data.

Conference Papers

Chang Seung presented two papers in the 2004 National IMPLAN Conference held in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, on 6-8 October. One paper was entitled “The Fisheries Economic Assessment Model (FEAM)”, which is an analytical tool used to estimate economic impacts of commercial fisheries on the West Coast and in Alaska. By greatly multiplying the possible number of harvesting and processing sector types and combinations, FEAM expands on the capabilities of IMPLAN for analyzing the economic impacts of commercial and recreational fishing activities.

The second paper titled “A Review of Regional Economic Models for Alaska Fisheries” is the first formal study to provide a thorough evaluation of the regional economic models available for regional impact analysis for fisheries. This review gives a comprehensive and thorough evaluation of the existing regional economic impact models. Although the review is written for Alaska fisheries, the methodologies reviewed are applicable to fisheries in other U.S. regions.

By Ron Felthoven


Age & Growth Program


Estimated production figures for 1 January through 31 December 2004:


Number Aged

Flathead sole


Alaska plaice


Northern rocksole


Yellowfin sole


Arrowtooth flounder


Longhead dab


Walleye pollock


Pacific cod




Atka mackerel


Pacific ocean perch


Northern rockfish


Rougheye rockfish


Redstripe rockfish


Light dusky rockfish


Dark dusky rockfish


Total production figures were 35,035 with 10,682 test ages and 237 examined and determined to be unageable. These figures represent a record high over the last 15 years for which statistics are available.

Charles Hutchinson presented his Master’s Thesis defense at the University of Washington and has completed all requirements for his degree. The title of his thesis is “Using radioisotopes in the age determination of shortraker (Sebastes borealis) and canary (Sebastes pinniger) rockfish.”

By Dan Kimura.

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