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Optimal multispecies harvesting in the presence of a nuisance species

Stephen Kasperski

Marine Policy, 2016, vol. 64, issue C, 55-63

Abstract: Current knowledge of the complex relationships within ecological and economic systems make operationalizing ecosystem approaches within fisheries management difficult. As these approaches are developed, it is important to include non-target species that affect the productivity (as prey) and availability (as predators) of targeted species. This study develops a multispecies bioeconomic model that incorporates ecological and economic interactions to determine the optimal harvest of each species in the presence of a "nuisance" species, which lowers the value of the fishery by negatively affecting the growth of the other species in the ecosystem, and has little harvest value of its own. The populations of walleye pollock, Pacific cod, and arrowtooth flounder (a nuisance species) in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands region of Alaska are used as a case study. Vessel-and gear-specific profit functions with multi-output production technologies are used, along with estimated multispecies stock dynamics equations, to determine the optimal multispecies quotas and subsidy on the harvest of the nuisance species to maximize the value of this fishery. Ignoring the nuisance species results in a substantially less productive and lower value fishery than optimal joint management. This study highlights the importance of incorporating the impact of non-targeted species in ecosystem-based fisheries management.

Keywords: Ecosystem-based management; Bioeconomic; Multispecies; Multi-ouptut (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.11.009

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