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Product switching and efficiency in a declining small-scale fishery

Shoichi Kiyama and Satoshi Yamazaki ()

Ecological Economics, 2022, vol. 193, issue C

Abstract: Adjusting the composition of species in production (i.e., product switching) is a strategy commonly adopted by fishers to mitigate income fluctuations. However, the overall effects of such strategies on individual fishers' economic performance are not well understood. This article examines how catch, revenue and productive efficiency are associated with product switching in the presence of a major stock collapse in the fishery. The data were compiled from a daily record of individual operations in a small-scale fishery during a period when the stock of one key species collapsed. We find that fishers generally tended to persist with a particular product mix. However, the stock collapse forced fishers to reassess their product mix across wild-caught and farmed species or to exit entirely from the fishery. Adjusting product mix helped the remaining fishers to mitigate the reduction in income, but is associated with a loss of efficiency. Although the availability of alternative species served as a buffer against major fishery collapse, product switching may undermine the efficiency of resource use, while threatening the sustainability of substituted species.

Keywords: Fisher behavior; Production mix; Productive efficiency; Resource collapse; Small-scale fisheries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.107318

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