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Embodied and Disembodied Technical Change in Fisheries: An Analysis of the Sète Trawl Fishery, 1985–1999

James Kirkley, Catherine Morrison Paul, Stephen Cunningham and Joseph Catanzano

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2004, vol. 29, issue 2, 191-217

Abstract: Overfishing and excess capacity in mostfisheries around the world have generated considerableand increasing concern about their biological and economic performance ramifications. Theseproblems, in part, stem from substantialinvestment in technical improvements to boats andequipment in fishing fleets, which exacerbatesexcess fishing capacity and low returns tofishing effort and investment, given regulatoryand biological constraints. However, little attempt hasbeen made to quantify the extent or effects oftechnical change in fisheries. In this paper, we usedetailed data on innovation patterns for 19vessels in the Sète trawl fleet of southernFrance to evaluate the contributions oftechnical change to catch rates. We find thatembodied technical change enhanced productivity by approximately one percent per year between 1985 and 1999, but that external (disembodied) events counteractedthis trend, causing a net output decline ofabout three percent per year. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Keywords: embodied technical change; fisheries; stochastic frontier (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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