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Increasing marginal returns and the danger of collapse of commercially valuable fish stocks

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  • Maroto, Jose M.
  • Moran, Manuel
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    Abstract

    On the basis of data from the North Sea herring fishery, we discuss the consequences of increasing marginal returns on the exploitation of renewable resources. We show that high, but still reasonable, discount rates can cause extinction to be optimal even in the ideal case of a sole owner and a resource with a high growth rate. In the case of lower discount rates, optimal cyclical policies can periodically drive the resource to levels approaching Safe Minimum Standards. We discuss the sustainability, intergenerational equity, social risk aversion, and theoretical issues raised by increasing marginal returns.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 68 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1-2 (December)
    Pages: 422-428

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2008:i:1-2:p:422-428

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Dynamic programming Precautionary Approach Bioeconomic modelling Stock collapse Lipschitz continuity Increasing marginal returns;

    References

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    1. John M. Gowdy, 2003. "The Revolution in Welfare Economics and its Implications for Environmental Valuation and Policy," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0315, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
    2. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Gamma Discounting," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1843, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    4. Sterner, Thomas, 2007. "Unobserved diversity, depletion and irreversibility The importance of subpopulations for management of cod stocks," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 566-574, March.
    5. Rognvaldur Hannesson, 1975. "Fishery Dynamics: A North Atlantic Cod Fishery," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 8(2), pages 151-73, May.
    6. Sumaila, Ussif R. & Walters, Carl, 2005. "Intergenerational discounting: a new intuitive approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 135-142, January.
    7. Trond Bjorndal & Jon M. Conrad, 1987. "The Dynamics of an Open Access Fishery," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(1), pages 74-85, February.
    8. Bjorndal, Trond, 1988. "The optimal management of North Sea Herring," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 9-29, March.
    9. Ikerne del Valle & Inmaculada Astorkiza & Kepa Astorkiza, 2001. "Is the Current Regulation of the VIII Division European Anchovy Optimal?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(1), pages 53-72, May.
    10. Clark, Colin W. & Munro, Gordon R., 1975. "The economics of fishing and modern capital theory: A simplified approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 92-106, December.
    11. Doring, Ralf & Egelkraut, Thorsten M., 2008. "Investing in natural capital as management strategy in fisheries: The case of the Baltic Sea cod fishery," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 634-642, January.
    12. Clark, Colin W. & Kirkwood, Geoffrey P., 1986. "On uncertain renewable resource stocks: Optimal harvest policies and the value of stock surveys," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 235-244, September.
    13. Dawid, Herbert & Kopel, Michael, 1997. "On the Economically Optimal Exploitation of a Renewable Resource: The Case of a Convex Environment and a Convex Return Function," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 272-297, October.
    14. Trond Bjørndal & Jon M. Conrad & Kjell G. Salvanes, 1993. "Stock Size, Harvesting Costs, and the Potential for Extinction: The Case of Sealing," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(2), pages 156-167.
    15. Clark, Colin W, 1973. "Profit Maximization and the Extinction of Animal Species," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 950-61, July-Aug..
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    Cited by:
    1. Da Rocha, José María & Antelo, Luis T. & Gutiérrez Huerta, María José, 2012. "Selectivity, pulse fishing and endogenous lifespan in Beverton-Holt models," DFAEII Working Papers 2012-11, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.

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