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Economic and Social Sciences Research Program

Fishing Productivity and Its Relation to Management Regimes

Although both economic and biological performance have long been important focal points in fisheries economics, traditional productivity measurement has historically played an ancillary role. In the past two decades, however, it has been increasingly recognized that modeling and measuring production processes in fisheries is a key to understanding, and ultimately correcting, imbalances resulting from market failures and biological constraints.  Production models allow one to track standard measures of economic performance and to analyze how such measures change in response to regulatory and biological variations. In this paper we add to the currently limited literature on productivity in fisheries, by estimating productivity and its components for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands pollock fishery. In particular, we analyze changes in productivity that occurred for catcher-processors after introduction of cooperatives through the American Fisheries Act. We also incorporate measures of discarded bycatch in our model so that productivity measures embody externalities generated by pollock harvesting operations. Our approach is less restrictive than the existing fishery productivity studies in that we relax assumptions regarding constant returns to scale, marginal cost pricing, Hicks-neutrality, and homothetic separability. This work is being conducted jointly with Catherine Morrison Paul at the University of California, Davis. For more information or to comment on this project, contact .

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