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Fishing access agreements and harvesting decisions of host and distant water fishing nations

Rachel Nichols, Satoshi Yamazaki (), Sarah Jennings and Reg A. Watson

Marine Policy, 2015, vol. 54, issue C, 77-85

Abstract: The declaration of exclusive economic zones (EEZs) granted coastal states sovereign rights over the marine resources in their EEZs and enabled developing coastal states to legally charge access fees to distant water fishing (DWF) nations for access to the resources in these waters. Despite the potential for economic gains, however, the ability of coastal states to benefit from the granting of sovereign rights and to ensure the sustainable use of their fisheries resources depends on how domestic fishing effort responds to the harvesting decisions of the DWF nations. We develop a stylized bioeconomic model to explore the change in fishing behavior of host and DWF nations when the two nations enter into an access agreement with varying levels of access fee. We further conduct an econometric analysis of changes in Pacific island nations’ harvesting behavior in response to the harvest decisions of DWF nations using data from the Western and Central Pacific tuna fishery. Our model results show that there is a range of variable access payment levels over which the host nation substitutes benefits from its domestic fishing activity with access payments from the DWF nation and that setting fees in this range can create a trap whereby host nations are forced to trade-off receiving a fair return to their fishery resources through access fees and retaining their own active fleet capacity. Our empirical analysis further shows a gradual shift in the way in which Pacific island host nations responded to the harvest decision of DWF nations as a result of the creation of the 200-nautical-mile EEZ.

Keywords: Fisheries; Access agreements; Tuna; Pacific island nations; Distant water fishing nations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.12.019

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